A Change of Pace? Pirate Radio Actions Signal A Possible Shift to Accelerated Issuance of Forfeiture Orders

On Thursday, February 23, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a pair of forfeiture orders against pirate radio operators.  Each was subject to a $25,000 fine for allegedly continually operating unlicensed radio stations in violation of Section 301 of the Communications Act.  Continue Reading

FCC Issues First Commission-level Consent Decree Order Since Removing Authority from Enforcement Bureau

On February 15, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued its first Commission-level consent decree since Chairman Pai’s process reform measure, discussed in our earlier blog post, which removed the Enforcement Bureau’s (Bureau) power to settle monetary enforcement actions originally issued by the FCC.  Settlement of this matter had been in the works for some time so one should not draw too many conclusions about what the FCC’s priorities will be going forward. There are, however, some differences in this Consent Decree when compared with the Bureau’s approach under the leadership of Travis LeBlanc that are worthy of note.

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3GPP Releases Guidance on 5G Labeling

On February 7, 2017, the Organizational Partners of the 3rd Generation Partnership (3GPP), a leading mobile standards body, released a new logo for use with products based on 5G specifications.  According to 3GPP, the logo will be available throughout various phases of development of 5G up through 2020, when the standard is scheduled for completion.

The 3GPP Organizational Partners are in agreement that the Project’s name and logos may be made available for use by manufacturers and service providers on a purely voluntary basis to declare that their products are based on the Project’s specifications.  In conjunction with release of the logo, 3GPP provides the terms of use and how to apply for permission to use its 5G logo:  http://www.3gpp.org/about-3gpp/legal-matters/logo-use.

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FCC Strips Enforcement Bureau of Authority to Settle Commission-Level Actions

The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau will no longer have the power to settle monetary enforcement actions originally issued by the Commission under a process reform announced by Chairman Pai on Wednesday.  Settlements of forfeitures proposed or imposed by the Commission will now be subject to a full Commission vote, as was the NAL that initiated the action.  The announcement clarified previously unsettled issues regarding the Enforcement Bureau’s delegated authority, which Chairman Pai said resulted in major settlements with little to no Commissioner input.

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Chairman Pai Launches Rollback of Recent FCC Actions

*J. Bradford Currier co-authored this post.

The FCC retracted actions related to net neutrality, network security, media ownership, and other hot-topic issues in a series of orders issued late Friday. The orders represent the first major salvo in Chairman Pai’s promised rollback of actions undertaken during the final days of former Chairman Wheeler’s tenure. Chairman Pai called the overturned actions examples of “midnight regulations” that were not supported by the new Republican-majority FCC. The action signals a significant pivot in the approach and substantive priorities following the change in Presidential administrations.

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Client Advisory: CTIA’s Messaging Principles and Best Practices

01_CFE_12_05_11_NASAOn January 19, 2017, CTIA issued a new guidance document developed by industry stakeholders with voluntary best practices for businesses that participate in the wireless messaging ecosystem entitled “Messaging Principles and Best Practices,” (Messaging Best Practices). The Messaging Best Practices present a revised approach to wireless messaging, replacing the previous SMS and MMS Interoperability Guidelines with “a broader, simpler and less technical set of recommendations that reflect an evolving wireless messaging ecosystem.” Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Pai Announces Creation of a Broadband Deployment Advisory Council

iStock_000006131068MediumFederal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Ajit Pai marked his first open meeting as Chairman by announcing a new Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (Committee), which is intended to advise the FCC on accelerating the deployment of high-speed internet access in communities across the country.  Designed to make recommendations to reduce and remove regulatory barriers to infrastructure investment, the Committee will develop specific reforms to the FCC’s pole attachment rules, identifying unreasonable regulatory barriers to broadband deployment, ways to encourage local governments to adopt deployment-friendly policies, and other reforms within the Commission’s authority, including provisions under the Middle Class Tax Cut and Job Relief Act of 2012. Continue Reading

The Month in FCC Enforcement: The Midnight Ride of Travis LeBlanc

Significant changes in FCC enforcement personnel and practices are expected after the inauguration of President Trump. This installment of Steve Augustino’s FCC Enforcement series on Kelley Drye’s Full Spectrum podcast chronicles the last actions of the FCC Enforcement Bureau led by Travis LeBlanc.

Steve’s FCC Enforcement series regularly examines developments and trends in FCC enforcement. This episode discusses cases from November 2016 through the beginning of January 2017.

To listen to this episode, please click here.

Don’t Miss Kelley Drye’s 8th Annual USF Update Webinar on February 23, 2017 at 12 PM ET

Kelley Drye is proud to present our 8th Annual Update on federal Universal Service Fund (USF) activities.  This one-of-a-kind webinar provides an in-depth discussion of trends and legal implications involving the Universal Service Fund, from contributions, to the four support funds, as well as audits and enforcement.  This educational event is intended to help attorneys and any communications provider understand and thrive in this space.

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FCC Chairman Pai Offers Ideas for “Aggressive Action” on TCPA Issues

To close out his first week as Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai spoke briefly at a meeting of the FCC’s Consumer Advisory Committee on Friday, January 27, 2017 and made clear that one of his priorities will be to address “robocalls,” which are the number one source of complaints to the FCC.  However, we expect that his methods will be much different than those employed during Chairman Wheeler’s tenure.

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