Tag Archives: Litigation

Carpenters, Carriers, and Cell-Sites (Oh My!): SCOTUS to Hear Mobile Locational Privacy Case

On June 5, 2017, the United States Supreme Court granted cert in Carpenter v. United States, a case in the hotly contested area of mobile cellular location data privacy.  The question before the Court is whether law enforcement must obtain a warrant for historical cell-site location information. The case stems from 2014, when Timothy Carpenter … Continue Reading

Sprint and Windstream Waste No Time Appealing Business Data Services Order

On May 8, 2017, merely ten days after the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted its Report & Order (“BDS Order”) deregulating the market for Business Data Services (“BDS”), Sprint and Windstream petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (“D.C. Circuit”) to vacate the BDS Order. In the BDS Order, as we … 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

Questions About Scope of Local Authority May Come to Fore Given Expanded Opportunities for Unlicensed Deployments

Mike Dover contributed to this blog post. The Federal Communications Commission continues to pave additional avenues for building out wireless broadband networks and installing other high speed links, but questions linger over the authority of state and local governments to review and even block wireless infrastructure trying to capitalize on the FCC decisions. For example, … Continue Reading

Supreme Court Confirms the FCC’s Ability to Interpret the Scope of its Own Authority and Allows the Antenna Siting Application “Shot Clock” To Remain in Effect

In a much anticipated decision with potentially widespread ramifications across all federal agencies charged with implementing federal statutes, the United States Supreme Court has permitted the so-called “shot clock” rules of the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) applicable to wireless siting applications to remain in effect. By a 5-4 margin on May 20, 2013, … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Finds That ILEC Transit Service Is Governed by Section 251(c)(2) and Subject to Lower TELRIC Rates

Barbara Miller contributed to this post. Last week, a federal appellate court issued a decision signaling a significant victory for Competitive Local Exchange Carriers (“CLECs”) that rely on Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (“ILECs”) for transiting services in order to interconnect indirectly with other local carriers. Southern New England Tel. Co. v. Comcast Phone of Connecticut, … Continue Reading

Appeals Court Rules that Federal Courts May Hear Interconnection Agreement Claims in the First Instance

Barbara Miller co-authored this post. This week, the Fourth Circuit issued an important decision concerning the jurisdiction and role of federal courts in the interpretation and enforcement of state-approved Interconnection Agreements (“ICAs”).  In Central Telephone Co. v. Sprint Communications Co., the Fourth Circuit held that plaintiffs are not required to bring claims relating to the … Continue Reading

Sixth Circuit Rules That States May Fashion ILEC Interconnection Obligations under Section 251(a)

In an interconnection decision that may have implications beyond its facts, a federal appellate court ruled that State public utility commissions (“State Commissions”) may rely on Section 251(a) in resolving interconnection disputes involving incumbent local exchange carriers (“ILECs”). On March 28, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that ILECS have … Continue Reading

Appellate Court Upholds 2011 Pole Attachment Order Lowering the Telecom Pole Attachment Rate and Paving the Way for ILEC Complaints against Electric Utility Pole Owners

  The suspense did not last long.  Less than five weeks after a spirited oral argument before a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the “Court”) on January 23, 2013, the Court today affirmed key aspects of the Federal Communications Commission’s April 2011 Report and Order and … Continue Reading

Court Rules for ISP in Deep Packet Inspection Lawsuit

Barbara Miller co-authored this post. A few years back, the use of deep packet inspection software – software that examines individual data packets in a broadband transmission – to deliver targeted advertising was a hot topic in regulatory and privacy circles.  Those activities spawned a series of cases against the DPI companies and their Internet … Continue Reading

What FCC v. Fox Television Means for Non-Broadcasters

In FCC v. Fox Television Stations, Inc., the US Supreme Court reversed FCC indecency fines against two TV broadcast networks.   The decision has garnered a lot of attention in the broadcast industry and conventional media (and rightly so).   News stories describe the decision as a clear victory for broadcasters.  Many commentators also noted … Continue Reading

FCC Issues Clarification, Warning about Call Blocking Practices

Responding to complaints by rural LECs that call blocking has increased, the FCC yesterday issued a clarification and a stern warning to carriers not to block, choke or restrict calls to other carriers’ customers. While call completion issues can occur for a variety of reasons, allegations of “blocking” have arisen in a number of access … Continue Reading

FCC Again Supports CLECs in 1996 Act Litigation

One of the trends in 2011 has been the rise in amicus filings by the FCC in litigation matters.  This trend is fueled, no doubt, by the Supreme Court’s determination in Talk America v. Michigan Bell earlier this year that such interpretations by the agency are entitled to deference by the courts. The latest example of this … Continue Reading

FCC ICC/USF Reform Order Published in Federal Register

This morning, the FCC’s November 18, 2011 High-Cost USF and Intercarrier Reform Compensation Order was published in the Federal Register triggering an effective date of December 29, 2011 for all parts of the Order and rule changes adopted therein, except for the information collection requirements contained in some of the rules adopted.   Those information collection … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Text of Intercarrier Compensation Order

Late yesterday, the FCC released the text of its USF Reform and Intercarrier Compensation Reform Order, which it adopted on October 27.  The FCC’s rules, among other things, transition terminating access charges to zero, apply access to VoIP-PSTN traffic, adopt rules addressing access stimulation (prevalent in free conferencing, for example), and tackling the problem of phantom … Continue Reading

DC Circuit to Decide Net Neutrality Appeals

The same circuit that decided the Comcast case will decide the net neutrality appeals after all. Yesterday, the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation announced that the D.C. Circuit had been selected by random selection (i.e., lottery) for the net neutrality appeals.  The other cases will be consolidated with the D.C. Circuit case.… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality Litigation Moves to Lottery

With the September 23rd publication of the Net Neutrality Order in the Federal Register, appeals of the order could finally be filed.  As expected, multiple parties filed appeals in multiple districts, and the choice of circuit will now be decided by lottery under the Judicial Panel on Multijurisdiction Litigation rules.  Verizon has again asserted that the case … Continue Reading

Federal Register Publication Marks Beginning of Net Neutrality Litigation

One long march is finally over, another one begins.  After OMB approval of the rules was announced earlier this week, today, the FCC published the Net Neutrality Order in the Federal Register.  The 44 page summary is available here.  With this notice today, the next stage in the net neutrality saga finally begins.  First, and most … Continue Reading

CompTel Asks Court to Compel Action on Special Access

Since 2002, purchasers of special access services from the incumbent local telephone companies have been asking the FCC to revise its pricing rules for the services.   Last month, CompTel (the leading trade association for competitive carriers) and a coalition of others asked the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit to require the FCC to … Continue Reading

Another VoIP-Related Access Charge Issue Makes its Way to the FCC

The Commission’s long-standing refusal to classify VoIP services continues to feed litigation between telecommunications carriers.  Previously, a coalition of carriers asked the courts to decide the issue and it appears likely the FCC will address VoIP at least prospectively, but in the meantime, cases like this will persist. In the latest case, CLEC Pac-West and IXC … Continue Reading

Net Neutrality Update

After months of waiting for the FCC to publish its Net Neutrality Order in the Federal Register, the FCC has finally . . .  released a clarification of the disclosure rules that will eventually apply.   The action does not indicate when Federal Register publication will occur, but, buried in the clarification is an announcement that the … Continue Reading