Tag Archives: FCC

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

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 … Continue Reading

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 … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Pai Announces Creation of a Broadband Deployment Advisory Council

Federal 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 … Continue Reading

Pai FCC’s First Commission-Level Vote Targets Rural Broadband Access

On January 26, 2017, in its first action under the leadership of Chairman Ajit Pai, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) voted to allow the State Of NY to award up to $170 million in Connect America Fund (CAF) fuding to expand broadband access in unserved, rural portions of New York State.  These … 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

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 Continues TCPA Promotional Campaign

With just under one month left in Chairman Tom Wheeler’s tenure, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has continued to publicize the agency’s focus on enforcing and increasing awareness of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Most recently, Chairman Wheeler issued a statement on December 21, 2016 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the TCPA, in … Continue Reading

FCC Denies Petition for Declaratory Ruling on Fax Advertisements

On December 21, 2016, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) released an order denying a request by Kohll’s Pharmacy & Homecare, Inc. (Kohll’s) for a declaratory ruling that facsimiles sent on its behalf did not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) “where the facsimiles simply informed businesses of the health benefits of … 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

FCC Announces MOU with Canadian Counterpart to Combat Robocalls, Issues Enforcement Advisory on Automated Texts

Heading into the holiday season, the FCC shows no signs of slowing down in its consumer-focused initiatives, in particular those related to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  Earlier this month, for instance, the Commission sponsored a Twitter town hall to clarify TCPA restrictions, and announced that on December 14th, it will host a webinar … Continue Reading

FCC Denies TCPA Exemption for “Mortgage Servicing Calls”

On November 15, 2016, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) released an order denying a request by the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) for an exemption of the prior-express-consent requirement of the TCPA for “mortgage servicing calls” to wireless phone numbers, such as calls to inform borrowers of their options should they become delinquent or … 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

Citing an “Enforcement Gap,” FTC Seeks Rehearing En Banc of Dismissal of AT&T “Throttling” Case

On October 13, 2016, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a petition in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit requesting a rehearing en banc of the court’s decision in the FTC’s case against AT&T alleging that the company dramatically reduced – or “throttled” – data speeds for certain customers on unlimited data … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Outlines Proposal for New Broadband Privacy Rules

On October 6, 2016, Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) Chairman Tom Wheeler published a blog entry on the Commission’s website outlining proposed privacy rules for broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The proposed rules are scheduled to be considered by the full Commission at its monthly meeting on October 27, 2016. These rules come after … Continue Reading

Microsoft and Partners Seek FCC Approval to Use TV White Spaces to Extend E-Rate-Supported Broadband Services to Close the Homework Gap

A potential solution to the so-called “homework gap” – otherwise known as the limited ability of low-income students in rural or underserved areas to access a broadband connection at home – is the subject of a petition submitted to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) by an innovative public-private partnership and is now open … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Decision in AT&T “Throttling” Case May Reset Boundaries Between FTC and FCC Jurisdiction

On Monday, August 29, 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion that may dramatically alter the boundaries between the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) and Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) authority over phone companies, broadband providers, and other common carriers.  The Ninth Circuit dismissed a case that the FTC brought against AT&T over its … Continue Reading

FCC Seeks Comment on Disabilities Access Findings

On August 23, 2016, the FCC issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau’s tentative findings about the accessibility of communications technologies, which will be included in this year’s biennial report to Congress on the 2010 Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) (Biennial Report).  This will be the … Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Wheeler Turns to the FCC Blog to Encourage Robocall Blocking

On July 22, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler penned a blog post on the Commission’s website highlighting the efforts at the agency to prevent unwanted automated and prerecorded message calls restricted under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  In particular, the blog post discussed recent and upcoming rulemakings, declaratory decisions, and enforcement actions, as well as … Continue Reading

Details of Mandatory Network Outage Obligations for Submarine Cable Operators Released

As we noted in a prior post,  on June 24, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) adopted new mandatory network outage reporting requirements for submarine cable licensees.  The Commission’s Submarine Cable Network Outage Reporting Order (Order), released Tuesday, identifies Commission expectations and provides exact rule language for the reporting requirements which had been described at only … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Declaratory Ruling That the Federal Government and Contractors Acting Within Agency Scope Are Not Subject to the TCPA

On July 5, 2016, the FCC issued a Declaratory Ruling in which it determined that the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) “does not apply to calls made by or on behalf of the federal government in the conduct of official government business, except when a call made by a contractor does not comply with the … Continue Reading

FCC Imposes Mandatory Network Outage Reporting Requirements on Submarine Cable Licenses

The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) today adopted  mandatory network outage reporting requirements for submarine cable licensees less than a year after proposing to do so.  This mandatory reporting reflects a significant change from the voluntary submarine cable outage reporting system currently in place.  The new rules will apply to all submarine cable licensees, regardless of … Continue Reading
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