Tag Archives: Enforcement

What to Expect at the FCC’s August 2017 Open Meeting

Below is Kelley Drye’s preview of the items under consideration at the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s or Commission’s) upcoming monthly Open Meeting, to be held on August 3, 2017. Consistent with the trend since he took over the Commission, Chairman Ajit Pai continues to schedule a large number of items.  Indeed, for the seventh month … Continue Reading

Commissioner O’Rielly Again Targets Pirate Broadcasters and Their Supporters to Walk the Enforcement Plank

Commissioner Michael O’Reilly called for stronger enforcement action to combat unauthorized “pirate” radio broadcasters in a statement before the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on July 25, 2017.  The Commissioner’s recommendations came during the Subcommittee’s hearing on draft legislation to reauthorize the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”).  While the reauthorization … Continue Reading

FCC (Again) Takes to Bully Pulpit to Urge Network Reliability “Best Practices” to Combat Service Outages

On July 12, 2017, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (“Bureau”) of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a Public Notice encouraging communications service providers to implement certain “best practices” to avoid major service disruptions.  The Bureau’s recommendations come on the heels of recent major service outages caused by minor changes to service providers’ … 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

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

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 … Continue Reading

The FCC Fines Straight Path $ 100 Million for Failing to Meet License Obligations

Last week, the Enforcement Bureau (“EB”) of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commision”) reached a $ 100 million Consent Decree with Straight Path Communications Inc (“Straight Path” or “The Company”) for fraudulently violating FCC buildout and discontinuance rules with respect to their licenses in the 28 GHz and 39 GHz spectrum bands.  Under … Continue Reading

FCC Flexes Muscle: T-Mobile to Pay $48 Million for Failing to Disclose Limits on ‘Unlimited’ Data

Showing that it’s not about to slow down its aggressive enforcement of its open Internet regulations, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a settlement yesterday resolving claims that T-Mobile USA Inc. (T-Mobile) failed to adequately disclose material restrictions on T-Mobile and MetroPCS data plans that were advertised as “unlimited” from August 2014 to June 2015.  … Continue Reading

FCC Includes Privacy Item on Its March Open Meeting Agenda: What to Expect

It’s official: next Thursday, March 31, 2016, the FCC will vote on a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on a proposed framework for new privacy and data security rules for broadband Internet access service (BIAS) providers.  This proceeding will have important implications for not only the broadband providers subject to the rules, but also … Continue Reading

The FCA and the USF: Reactions and Impressions from the FCBA’s False Claims Act Seminar

Last week, the Federal Communication Bar Association’s (FCBA’s) Enforcement Committee hosted a legal seminar on an issue that is somewhat new and unfamiliar to the communications bar – the federal False Claims Act (FCA), and particularly its use by the federal government to combat fraud in the Universal Service Fund (USF).  All in attendance had … Continue Reading

FCC and FTC Reach Consumer Protection Memorandum of Understanding (MOU): Agencies Promise Cooperation, Express Shared Jurisdiction over Carrier Activities

On November 16, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reached a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in which the two agencies agreed to engage in greater coordination and collaboration on consumer protection issues, with greater respect for each agency’s jurisdiction. The MOU comes at a time when both agencies are … Continue Reading

FCC Issues NAL in First Contested Enforcement Proceeding Involving Wi-Fi Blocking

Wi-Fi management or blocking practices have once again seized the enforcement spotlight at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  On November 2, the FCC released a Notice of Apparent Liability (Dean NAL) proposing  a $718,000 penalty against M.C. Dean, an electrical contracting company, for allegedly blocking Wi-Fi hotspots at the Baltimore Convention Center.  That same day, … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Another Fine for Wi-Fi Blocking: Smart City Fined $750,000 for Blocking Mobile Hotspots

On August 18, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced a $750,000 settlement with Smart City Holdings, Inc.  (Smart City) to resolve an investigation into the company’s blocking consumer Wi-Fi hotspots at multiple convention center locations across the United States.  To settle the case, Smart City agreed to cease all Wi-Fi blocking, implement a compliance plan … Continue Reading

Unpacking the TracFone Cellphone Unlocking Settlement

On June 30th, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s or the Commission’s) Enforcement Bureau (EB) reached a projected $3.2 million consent decree to resolve an investigation into whether TracFone, the nation’s largest prepaid wireless carrier, violated Commission rules related to its cellphone unlocking capabilities.  The FCC has estimated an aggregate consumer benefit of close to $80 … Continue Reading

AT&T Reaches $25 Million Settlement with FCC over Privacy and Data Security Violations

On April 8, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) Enforcement Bureau (“EB”) reached a $25 million consent decree with AT&T over privacy and data security breaches involving its customers’ proprietary information (“PI”) and customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) at three of AT&T’s international call centers.  Under the terms of the settlement, AT&T … Continue Reading

“Throttled” Motion to Dismiss; FTC Case Against AT&T for “Unlimited” Data Promises Continues

On March 31st, a federal judge in California District Court issued an Order denying AT&T’s motion to dismiss the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) lawsuit against the company concerning its advertising and business practices for its mobile wireless data plans.  This case presented an increasingly common question concerning the dividing line between jurisdiction of the FTC and … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Enforcement Advisory Discussing Upcoming Annual CPNI Certification Filing Deadline

Earlier today, the Federal Communications Commission released an enforcement advisory reminding telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers of the upcoming annual customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) certification due by March 2, 2015.  For Kelley Drye’s own advisory on this CPNI filing requirement, please see the attached alert.… Continue Reading

Federal Communications Commission Announces Membership in Global Privacy Enforcement Network

On October 28, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or the “Commission”) announced that it had joined the Global Privacy Enforcement Network (“GPEN”), a network of privacy enforcement and regulatory bodies from around the world that engages in collaboration and coordination on cross-border privacy enforcement actions.… Continue Reading

KDW Webinar Release: “Navigating the Potential Hazards of FCC Spectrum Use Enforcement”

The Federal Communications Commission continues to step up its enforcement actions against communications and technology companies with increasing emphasis on spectrum and licensing matters, including operating outside the rules (or with expired authority), unauthorized transfers of control or assignments, and operation of unlawful signal boosters and jammers. View webinar recording View slide deck… Continue Reading

Do Recent Consent Decrees Indicate a Shift in FCC Enforcement Policy?

In August, the FCC adopted consent decrees with three companies (Border Media Business Trust, Time Warner Cable, and ASUSTeK Computer Inc.) to resolve investigations into potential violations by each company of the Commission’s rules.  What makes these consent decrees noteworthy is the inclusion of new language and provisions not seen in settlements from prior years.  All three consent decrees … Continue Reading

FCC Announces USF Enforcement “Strike Force” To Combat Waste, Fraud and Abuse

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler issued a Public Notice on July 14, 2014, announcing the creation of a new “Strike Force” to respond to concerns of waste, fraud and abuse in the Universal Service Fund (USF). Chairman Wheeler reiterated that “the Commission is committed to aggressively rooting out waste, fraud and abuse.” Operating within the Enforcement … Continue Reading

Team Telecom Seeks Revocation of Two Carriers’ Section 214 Authorizations for Failure to Comply with Their Letter of Assurance Obligations

A carrier’s failure to comply with its letter of assurance or national security agreement may jeopardize its international Section 214 license.  In nearly unprecedented enforcement actions, the U.S. Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security (collectively “Team Telecom”), have recently requested that the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) terminate, or … Continue Reading

Annual CPNI Certifications Due March 3, 2014

It’s time again for carriers to submit the annual Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) certification to the FCC.  Telecommunications carriers and interconnected VoIP providers are required to certify annually their compliance with the FCC’s CPNI protection rules.  The 2014 report covers calendar year 2013 and will be due by March 3, 2014 (March 1 falls on … Continue Reading
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