FCC’s Proposed Forfeiture of $640,000 against AT&T for License Violations Stemming from Acquisitions Subject to Republican Criticism

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A Notice of Apparent Liability issued today by the Federal Communications Commission against AT&T for numerous alleged violations of microwave point-to-point license rules after a lengthy investigation by the Enforcement Bureau, but the two Republican Commissioners took the Commission and Bureau to task for failing to provide transparent factual bases and justifications for both the base violations and also the grounds for proposed upward adjustments.  Commissioner Ajit Pai made a point of concurring and Commissioner Michael O’Reilly concurred in part and dissented in part.

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New Wireless Infrastructure Rules to Take Effect in Phases

The new FCC rules adopted in October 2014 promoting more rapid wireless infrastructure deployments will begin taking effect next month, but not all key provisions will be following the same schedule.  Continue Reading

State of the Union Preview: White House Communications Priorities for 2015

In the days leading up to Tuesday’s State of the Union address, President Obama has been previewing his Administration’s communications and technology priorities for 2015, including calling for an end to state laws that restrict municipal broadband deployments and new steps to promote cybersecurity. Continue Reading

From FitBit to Quitbit: The Role of Federal Agencies and Consumer Electronics

The annual International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), held each year in early January, is a showcase for the latest gadgetry trends.  The recently-concluded CES 2015 featured innovation in a variety of forms, not the least of which are products with a health-related focus.  From the FitBit to track steps to the Quitbit to track progress in quitting smoking, the number of products recording consumer behavior continues to proliferate.   Continue Reading

FCC Imposes $18,000 Penalty for 4 TCPA Violations

On January 9, 2015, the FCC released a Forfeiture Order against AmericanWest Advertising, LLC (“AmericanWest”) for alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (“TCPA”) prohibitions on unsolicited pre-recorded sales calls. In its Order, the Commission imposed a monetary penalty of $18,000 based on consumer complaints that AmericanWest delivered four unsolicited, pre-recorded advertising messages to consumers in March 2010 telling them that they had won vacation packages. Continue Reading

FCC Expands Role of Telecommunications Certification Bodies in Equipment Authorization Regime

Just before the New Year, the Commission released revised equipment authorization rules providing that Telecommunications Certifications Bodies (“TCBs”) will soon process and grant all applications for certification.  As set forth in the Report and Order released December 30, 2014, although the Office of Engineering and Technology (“OET”) of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) will cease accepting and granting applications for Certification upon the rules’ effective date, OET will still administer pre-approval guidance pursuant to codification of its “permit but ask” procedures.  Continue Reading

The Newest E-rate Reform Order: The Study Guide

After voting on December 11, 2014 to adopt new E-rate rules, the Commission’s Second Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration became available to the public on December 19.  As we wrote earlier, the new E-rate rules increase the program’s funding cap to $3.9 billion and provide schools and libraries with additional options and incentives to purchase high-speed broadband connections.  Continue Reading

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