Tag Archives: Consent Decree

Honesty is the Best Policy: FCC Imposes $1.7 Million Fine for Submitting Misleading Information in Inmate Calling Services Deal

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 … 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

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

Non-Telco Company Agrees to $135,000 Civil Penalty to Settle Investigation into Unauthorized Operations of Wireless Stations

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 … Continue Reading

FCC Reaches $3 Million Settlement with New York City Department of Education in E-Rate Investigation

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 … Continue Reading

FCC Uses Revised Forfeiture Policy to Settle Old USF Contribution NAL

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 … 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

Attention Wireless Operators: FCC Issues $5.25 Million Civil Penalty for Unauthorized Transfer of Control and Operations

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, the … 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

Wal-Mart.com USA Consent Decree Reminder of Retailers’ Responsibilities for the Radiofrequency Devices They Sell

A recently adopted Consent Decree entered into between the Enforcement Bureau (“Bureau”) and Wal-Mart.com USA leaves no doubt that retailers are advised to be aware of their regulatory responsibilities for the electronics they offer for sale, whether on their physical shelves or on their website.   Those responsibilities essentially require retailers to be the pro-active policemen … Continue Reading

Inexperience and Inadvertence No Excuse for Failure to Seek and Obtain FCC Consent to License Acquisitions

A recent Enforcement Bureau (“EB”) Order and Consent Decree highlights the perils that attend failure to get FCC approvals to transfer or assign wireless licenses. The March 13, 2014, release, involving Skybeam Acquisition Corporation and Digis, LLC, commonly-owned affiliates providing fixed wireless broadband service and VoIP, also confirmed, once again, that voluntary disclosure does not … Continue Reading

Windstream Second Carrier to Enter into Consent Decree Related to Rural Call Completion Performance – Agrees to Pay $2.5 Million

Although the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Call Completion rules have not yet become effective, the Enforcement Bureau recently concluded an investigation into the performance of Windstream in completing long-distance calls.  The carrier reached a settlement with the Commission obligating it to make a voluntary contribution to the Treasury of $2,500,000.  The Enforcement Bureau’s investigation, which commenced … Continue Reading

FCC Completes “Mystery Fees” Investigation of Verizon Wireless Data Charges

This order stands in stark contrast to the nominal CPNI settlements, odd refund provisions and low-ball forfeiture penalties we’ve discussed in this blog.  Today, the FCC announced an eye-popping $25 million settlement with Verizon Wireless in its investigation of Verizon’s unauthorized billing of wireless data charges.  The so-called "mystery fees" investigation stemmed from allegations that Verizon Wireless was … Continue Reading

FCC Settles $100,000 Proposed Fine for Only $250

At Kelley Drye, we handle a lot of FCC investigations, so we know first hand how the Commission develops proposed forfeitures for telecom violations. A case released today, however, underscores the inherent weakness in the FCC's current ad hoc approach. After proposing a fine of $100,000 for a privacy violation, the FCC settled the case for a mere $250. There is no mention of mitigating circumstances, of an inability to pay or of any of the statutory factors the FCC is obligated to consider. The outcome leaves you wondering: Just what is the base fine for failing to comply with the FCC's privacy rules?… Continue Reading
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