On June 28, 2018, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced a Consent Decree with AT&T Mobility, LLC (“AT&T”) to resolve investigations into two 911 service outages in 2017. The outages lasted for more than five hours and resulted in approximately 15,000 failed calls. The settlement was somewhat unexpected because more than a year had passed since the FCC issued its report on the outages, which did not indicate that enforcement action was coming. The penalty levied against AT&T underscores that improving the nation’s 911 capabilities continues to be a top priority for the FCC and that outages will be met with significant fines.

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Stressing the importance of receiving truthful and accurate information, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) reached a $1.7 million settlement with inmate calling services provider Securus Technologies, Inc. and related entities (“Securus”) to resolve allegations that Securus submitted misleading information to the FCC in support of a pending transfer of control.  Although the settlement cleared the way for the transfer’s approval, the FCC held up the deal for months while it investigated statements made by Securus representatives.  As a result, the FCC’s action supports the adage that “haste often makes waste” in telecommunications-related deals and that submitting misleading information to the FCC can come with significant consequences.


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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 time so one should not draw too many conclusions about what the FCC’s priorities will be going forward. There are, however, some differences in this Consent Decree when compared with the Bureau’s approach under the leadership of Travis LeBlanc that are worthy of note.

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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 action.  The announcement clarified previously unsettled issues regarding the Enforcement Bureau’s delegated authority, which Chairman Pai said resulted in major settlements with little to no Commissioner input.

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stock_12192012_0878Showing 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.  Specifically, the FCC’s investigation found that T‑Mobile failed to adequately disclose that it would significantly slow the speed of its customers’ “unlimited” data after they reached preset, undisclosed thresholds for data usage.

The FCC’s settlement requires T-Mobile to pay a total of $48 million. It further requires T-Mobile to clearly and conspicuously disclose any material limitations on the amount and speed of mobile data for its “unlimited” plans, and includes reporting and training obligations.


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Last week, the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) announced a $135,000 settlement with Constellium Rolled Products Ravenswood, LLC (“Constellium”) regarding the company’s unauthorized radio station operations, failure to timely file radio station renewal applications, and acquiring private land mobile radio service (“PLMRS”) station licenses without advance FCC approval.  What makes the Constellium consent decree different than most is that the settlement was reached after the Bureau issued a Notice of Apparent Liability (“NAL”) proposing a forfeiture for these violations.  Much more frequently, consent decree orders are reached earlier in the process, obviating the issuance of an NAL.  In this case, the Bureau agreed to a significant reduction in the forfeiture in exchange for Constellium implementing a 3-year robust compliance plan, giving station licensees a glimpse into the potential value of settling in comparison with being subjected to an NAL followed by a forfeiture order if the defense against the NAL is not successful.

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On December 22, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) Enforcement Bureau adopted a consent decree resolving the Enforcement Bureau’s investigation into whether the NYC DOE violated the competitive bidding rules of the FCC’s E-rate program.  The competitive bidding rules ensure that schools and libraries that seek E-rate eligible goods and services treat price as the primary factor when choosing their service provider.

The consent decree is significant in several respects.  First, this marks the first significant action handled by the USF “Strike Force” established by Chairman Wheeler in 2014.  It also marks the largest e-rate settlement to date, and includes many compliance plan requirements that could become de facto standards for future E-rate enforcement actions.  Further, to the best we can determine, this is the first E-rate enforcement action the Commission has taken against a school or library applicant under the program.


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Kajeet, Inc., and its wholly-owned subsidiary Kajeet/Airlink LLC, has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle a 2009 investigation by the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (Bureau), initiated in 2009, into several company violations.  The investigation concerned the company’s apparent failure to make timely contributions to the Universal Service Fund (USF) and various other industry funds (the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, the Local Number Portability (LNP) cost recovery mechanism, etc.) and Kajeet/Airlink’s failure to seek an assignment of an international Section 214 authorization in connection with the acquisition of assets of Airlink Mobile.  While the Consent Decree, released on October 7, 2015, has many of the provisions that have become the “new normal” for the current Bureau – an admission of liability, civil penalty – it is remarkable for several reasons.

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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 and pay a civil penalty.  This is the second time the Commission has imposed a large fine for Wi-Fi blocking at large venues.  Last year the agency reached a similar settlement with Marriott International, Inc.

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The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau announced today that the Canadian National Railway, a large diversified rail, trucking, warehousing and distribution services company, has entered into Consent Decree and agreed to pay $5.25 million in civil penalties to resolve an FCC investigation into the company’s wireless radio operations in the United States.

According to the Consent Decree,