Category Archives: Business & Strategic Planning

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That Won’t Fly: The D.C. Circuit Strikes Down the FAA’s Registration Regime for Recreational Drones

Last week, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (“D.C. Circuit”) struck down an FAA regulation that required the owners of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”) to register with the agency (the “Registration Rule”). In 2012, Congress passed the FAA Modernization and Reform Act (“FMRA”), which prohibited the FAA from creating … Continue Reading

Sprint and Windstream Waste No Time Appealing Business Data Services Order

On May 8, 2017, merely ten days after the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted its Report & Order (“BDS Order”) deregulating the market for Business Data Services (“BDS”), Sprint and Windstream petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (“D.C. Circuit”) to vacate the BDS Order. In the BDS Order, as we … Continue Reading

FCC Eases Restrictions on Broadband Deployment Support for Rate-of-Return Carriers; Faces Challenges to Connect America Fund Phase II Auction

As part of its continued focus on accelerating broadband deployment, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) eased restrictions on its universal service support for deployments by rate-of-return carriers in rural and other high-cost areas.  In a unanimous Order on Reconsideration issued at its April meeting, the FCC found that the restrictions drove providers to exclude high-cost … Continue Reading

International Bureau Temporarily Waives Section 43.62 International Traffic and Revenue Reporting Requirement

By an International Bureau (Bureau) Order (Order) released yesterday that temporarily waives the International Traffic and Revenue Reporting (the Traffic and Revenue Report) requirement, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) appears to be moving steadily toward its overhaul of the Section 43.62 international reporting requirements.  As Kelley Drye reported in recent posts (here and here), in late … Continue Reading

FCC Provides Guidance on Inability to Pay Analysis in Enforcement Actions; Significantly Reduces Slamming/Cramming Penalty

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reduced the penalty assessed against a long distance carrier by over $6 million in a Forfeiture Order issued earlier this week, after the carrier demonstrated an inability to pay the proposed fine.  In doing so, the FCC provided rare insight into how it assesses inability to pay claims raised by … Continue Reading

Previewing the (Net Neutrality) Road Ahead: Chairman Pai Announces a Plan to Reverse the 2015 Open Internet Order

On April 26, 2017, Ajit Pai, Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) announced his plans to launch a rulemaking proceeding reassessing the FCC’s Open Internet rules. During an event at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., Chairman Pai announced that he would present a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to reassess many … Continue Reading

Comment Deadlines Set for FCC’s Latest International Reporting Streamlining Rulemaking

As Kelley Drye reported in a post late last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering eliminating the FCC Rule 43.62(b) annual International Traffic and Revenue reporting obligation and streamlining the Rule 43.62(a) annual Circuit Capacity reporting requirements.  The FCC last overhauled these international reporting requirements a mere four years ago.  The FCC’s Notice … Continue Reading

FCC Announces the Results of the $19.8 Billion Broadcast Incentive Auction

On Thursday, April 13, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) announced the results of its broadcast incentive auction.  The FCC raised approximately $19.8 billion through the auction.  While the gross revenues were considerably less than the nearly $45 billion the Commission raised in 2015 from the Advanced Wireless Services 3 (“AWS-3”) auction, … Continue Reading

Wireline Competition Bureau Explains No Presumption of Intrastate or Interstate Jurisdiction for Private Lines; Carriers Must Conduct Good Faith Inquiry Into Nature of Traffic Carried

By an Order issued late last week, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) provided important insight regarding determining the jurisdictional classification of private line revenues.  In ruling on long-pending petitions for reconsideration of Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) audit findings regarding the classification of private line revenues, the Bureau explained that the longstanding Ten Percent Rule … Continue Reading

Client Advisory: Congress Repeals FCC 2016 Privacy Order via Congressional Review Act

On April 3, 2017, President Trump signed into law a Congressional joint resolution eliminating new broadband and voice privacy rules set forth in a November 2016 order (the 2016 Privacy Order) by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) (the Joint Resolution).  Members of Congress largely voted along partisan lines. The House approved the Joint Resolution by … Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Eliminating Annual International Traffic and Revenue Report and Streamlining Annual Circuit Capacity Report

At its March 23, 2017 Open Meeting, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) voted unanimously to adopt a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on a proposal to reduce certain reporting requirements for international telecommunications service providers (International Service Providers). In particular, the FCC proposes to eliminate, in its entirety, the annual International … Continue Reading

FCC Grants Honda Twenty Month Extension to Comply with Video Accessibility Rules

On March 16, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau (Bureau) released a Memorandum Opinion and Order (Order) addressing Honda Motor Co., Ltd’s (Honda) January 2017 petition for limited waiver of video accessibility rules for its in-vehicle rear entertainment systems. The Bureau granted Honda’s 20-month waiver request with the condition that Honda provide status update … Continue Reading

3GPP Paves Way for Accelerated 5G Standards Development

During a plenary meeting held March 6-9 in Dubrovnik, Croatia, the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) a standards-developing collaboration between groups of telecommunications associations approved an accelerated time frame for the completion of specifications which will facilitate standards-based 5G deployment to begin in 2019 instead of 2020. … Continue Reading

FCC Authorizes First LTE-U Devices

Wireless carriers are a major step closer to using unlicensed spectrum to ease network congestion and boost speeds following the FCC’s authorization of the first LTE-Unlicensed (“LTE-U”) devices on February 22, 2017.  LTE-U technology allows carriers to deliver mobile traffic over unlicensed spectrum in the 5 GHz band already occupied by Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and other … Continue Reading

Commission Adopts Long-Awaited Mobility Fund Phase II

On February 23, 2017, during the second open meeting under Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) unanimously approved an order launching the long-awaited second phase of the Mobility Fund.  The Mobility Fund offers financial support to service providers to preserve and extend mobile broadband and voice services in unserved and … Continue Reading

Pai FCC Restores and Expands Small Carrier Open Internet Transparency Exemption

On Thursday February 23, 2017, by a 2-1 vote, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to restore the Small Provider Exemption from the Commission’s Open Internet rules, and to expand the exemption to cover more BIAS providers. In the 2015 Open Internet Order, the FCC adopted enhanced transparency disclosure requirements for Internet service providers by … Continue Reading

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

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. … Continue Reading

Client Advisory: CTIA’s Messaging Principles and Best Practices

On 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 … Continue Reading

Ajit Pai Selected as Next FCC Chairman

On January 20, 2017, Politico Pro reported that President Trump selected Republican Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Ajit Pai to serve as the next permanent FCC Chairman.  According to the report, Commissioner Pai will not need to go through Senate confirmation in order to become Chairman.  Instead, he will simply need the Senate to reappoint … Continue Reading

Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Releases Draft Framework for Analyzing Zero-Rated and Sponsored Data Programs

On January 11, 2017, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (WTB or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) issued an informal report—“Policy Review of Mobile Broadband Operators’ Sponsored Data Offerings for Zero-Rated Content and Services”—that establishes a draft framework for reviewing mobile broadband providers’ sponsored data and zero-rated offerings and analyzes the zero-rated and … Continue Reading

DOT Weighs Whether to Permit Voice Calls on Airlines with Advance Notice to Passengers

Imagine boarding a cross-country flight and finding yourself next to someone who will be talking on his or her cell phone for the next three hours. Would it make a difference if you knew ahead of time that the flight allowed voice calls?  This scenario is exactly what the Department of Transportation (DOT) is proposing.… Continue Reading

OMB Approves Enhanced Transparency Requirements for Open Internet Rules as the Small Provider Exemption Expires; Rules Will Go Into Effect January 17, 2017

According to a Public Notice the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released today, on December 15, 2016, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), has completed its review of the enhanced transparency rule from the 2015 Open Internet Order. In the 2015 Order, the FCC adopted enhancements to the transparency rule, which covers both content and … Continue Reading

Rhode Island Wants to be the First State to Offer 5G; Releases RFI

The state of Rhode Island plans to be the first state to test and launch next generation 5G networks, seeking to make 5G available to all of its communities.  This past week, Governor Gina Raimondo announced a joint effort by the Public Utilities Commission, Division of Public Utilities and Carriers, and the Office of Innovation … Continue Reading
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