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

On June 14, 2016, the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order, which classified broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, and imposed on providers a slate of “open Internet” and traditional common-carrier regulations. In

On October 13, 2015, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or the Commission) issued a Public Notice seeking comment on a Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling (Petition) from Twilio Inc. (Twilio), a cloud-based developer-platform for communications services, requesting that the Commission clarify that certain messaging services are “telecommunications

On June 15, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) appointed Ms. Parul P. Desai to serve as its first “Open Internet Ombudsperson.”

The FCC created the position of Open Internet Ombudsperson to assist consumers, businesses, and organizations with open Internet complaints and questions and to ensure that those parties

tcpa_button_practiceOn May 27, 2015, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler released a “fact sheet” on his proposal to address two dozen pending petitions seeking clarification on various aspects of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  The Chairman intends to address all of the petitions in a single omnibus approval, which will be presented for a vote during the Commission’s Open Meeting on June 18, 2015.
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grid2On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau issued its first enforcement advisory in the post-Open Internet Order  era.  Not surprisingly, the Bureau’s first advisory addressed the consumer privacy obligations of broadband providers.  In the Advisory, the Bureau reminded broadband Internet access service (“BIAS”) providers that they will need to take “reasonable, good faith steps to protect consumers’ privacy” pursuant to Section 222 of the Communications Act when the 2015 Open Internet Order goes into effect on June 12, 2015.  The Advisory also advises broadband providers to seek informal FCC guidance regarding particular practices during the initial implementation of the order.

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25001On April 13, 2015, a notice and summary of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) seminal Open Internet Order (the Order) was published in the Federal Register.  As we explained in an earlier blog post and client advisory, the Order includes new and modified open Internet rules; reclassifies broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended; and imposes several provisions of Title II on BIAS providers (e.g., consumer protection, privacy, and disabilities access requirements), while forbearing from others. 
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iStock_000019536561LargeOn 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 must implement a wide-ranging compliance plan, notify affected customers of the breach (and provide free credit monitoring services), and report any noncompliance or future breaches to the Commission.

As explained in more detail below, this settlement represents the latest in a growing trend in aggressive enforcement of the Commission’s privacy and data security rules.  As the Commission continues to find new ways to apply its rules against carriers—and begins to implement its 2015 Open Internet Order against broadband Internet access service providers—providers should take steps to bring themselves (and their vendors) into compliance.


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stock_02012007_0098On March 12th, the FCC released its long-awaited 2015 Open Internet Order. In brief, the order reclassifies broadband Internet access service (BIAS) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act, imposes three bright-line “Open Internet” rules, enhances the transparency rule, adopts a forward-looking reasonable conduct standard for service provider conduct, and forbears from applying a number of provisions of Title II. The rules apply equally to fixed and mobile BIAS providers, including resellers (e.g., MVNOs). The order is undoubtedly a landmark decision that changes dramatically, the FCC’s role with respect to consumer protection, the Internet, and the many business models that utilize the Internet in one way or another.
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On Thursday, March 12, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released the text of its long-awaited Open Internet Order, which it adopted on February 26, 2015.

As we discussed in a previous blog post, the FCC voted 3-2, along party lines, to reclassify “broadband Internet access service” (including both fixed and mobile broadband) as a “telecommunications service” under Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and to apply new prohibitions on blocking, throttling and paid prioritization.  It also forbears from many provisions of Title II, while applying other of the traditional Title II provisions.
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