Each year since 2014, a wide range of Drinker Biddle lawyers, including Telecom Highlights contributors Laura Phillips, Lee Petro and Anthony Glosson, have written the Practising Law Institute (PLI) Telecommunications Law Answer Book, a 600-plus page comprehensive overview of the legal and regulatory issues faced by the telecommunications industry. Each year the content is updated to reflect new legal, regulatory and policy developments. Laura Phillips serves as the publication’s Editor.
The Answer Book is presented in an easy-to-read Q&A format, and offers expert guidance on numerous issues for practitioners, corporate general counsels and senior management, and other professionals in the many areas of the telecommunications industry. Topics highlighted in this year’s Answer Book include, among others:
Pending Proposals to Reclassify Broadband Internet Access Service
Regulatory Developments to Support 5G Mobile Services
Cybersecurity US Executive Order
Repealed Broadband Privacy Rules
Executive-Branch Ethics and Gift Rules
Recent Antitrust/Sherman Act Claims
New Developments with the Connect America Fund
Revisions to FCC Foreign Ownership Rules
For more information, please visit the PLI site here
In a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) released last week, the FCC sought input on the state of 911 capabilities in office and other enterprise environments (Enterprise Communications Systems, or “ECS”). The FCC expressed concern about continuing reports of several difficulties in accessing 911 services through ECS, including:
Lack of direct 911 dialing – e.g., a requirement to dial 9-911 to dial out to emergency services.
Lack of ability to route calls to the closest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP).
Failure of some ECS networks to provide PSAPs with detailed information about the caller’s location.
At its monthly Open Meeting on June 22, the FCC voted to issue a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture (NAL) finding that Adrian Abramovich (Abramovich) apparently perpetrated one of the largest spoofed robocall campaigns that the agency has ever investigated. Through its Enforcement Bureau (Bureau), the FCC concurrently released a separate Citation and Order notifying Abramovich of violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) as well as the federal wire fraud statute by making illegal telemarketing calls to emergency lines, wireless phones, and residential phones, and that the calls included prerecorded messages falsely claimed affiliation with well-known U.S. travel and hotel companies, thus defrauding unsuspecting consumers receiving these calls. Continue reading FCC Acts on Serial Spoofing; Warns that TCPA and Wire Fraud Activities Must Cease→
Following an explosion in September in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York City and discovery of other unexploded homemade bomb devices, the New York Police Department identified a suspect, Ahmad Khan Rahami, who was sought in connection with the bombings and attempted bombings in Manhattan and New Jersey. For the first time ever in this circumstance, the NYPD used a communications tool initially known as the “Commercial Mobile Alert System” (CMAS) and later renamed to be “Wireless Emergency Alerts” or WEA to function as an electronic wanted poster. This was in contrast to more familiar uses of this emergency communications capability, such as the localized transmission of severe weather advisories or Amber Alerts. Under FCC rules, these alerts are originated by authorized federal, state and local governments, and they currently are used to geographically target 90-character messages that fall into three distinct categories: Presidential, Imminent Threat, and Amber Alerts. Continue reading The New York Police Department’s Use of Wireless Emergency Alert System to Seek Help in Locating Bombing Suspect: A New Use for these Alerts→
Each year, Drinker Biddle lawyers contribute to the Practising Law Institute (PLI) Telecommunications Law Answer Book, an annually published, 600-plus page comprehensive overview of the legal and regulatory issues faced by the telecommunications industry.
The book provides a comprehensive overview of the recent Congressional and FCC initiatives on data privacy and security and the restrictions on foreign ownership of U.S. communications companies regulated by the FCC, as well as other topics, including:
A full discussion of the 2015 Open Internet rules, recently upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit on June 14, 2016;
An update on the FCC’s actions to permit ILECs to retire their copper plants and the consumer information requirements when ILECs reduce or discontinue traditional wireline services;
A review of the new rules for radio stations transitioning their public files to an online database;
An update on recent social media issues, including ownership of social media accounts and the FTC’s regulation of native advertising practices; and
A discussion of the FCC’s recent actions regarding the Incentive Auction, and new opportunities for the experimental use of spectrum.
With the TCPA dockets remaining active going into 2016, we decided to put together a list of notable petitions pending at the FCC. The following list provides details on most petitions that the FCC has yet to rule on, including links to the petition and, where applicable, the public notice, some background on the issues implicated by the petitions, and details on important dates associated with the proceeding.
Nonpublic draft FCC orders on the following petitions are currently on circulation before the Commission for a vote:
In a highly anticipated action, the Federal Communications Commission voted along party lines on March 31 to adopt a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) seeking comment on a range of privacy guidelines for broadband Internet Service Providers (ISPs). FCC Chairman Wheeler, Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel each voted to adopt the Notice, while Commissioners Pai and O’Rielly dissented.
The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) on January 13, 2016, issued its Request for Proposals (RFP) to deploy and operate a nationwide public safety broadband network, marking a major step forward in a decades-long effort to modernize communications for first responders and other public safety personnel. The release follows extensive dialogue with public safety and potential vendors in the technology and communications industry on the objectives and scope of the RFP for the FirstNet network, including a consultation and outreach program to engage with the states, territories, federal agencies, tribal governments, among others.