Our "Tuning into Spectrum" series takes a close look at hot topics and issues in radio spectrum. Thanks to technological advancements, a major development in recent years has been the growing prospects for innovative use of higher spectrum bands. In this episode, Associate Avonne Bell talks with Partners Chip Yorkgitis and Josh Guyan about the FCC’s heightened focus on millimeter wave spectrum. They discuss the connection to 5G, potential impacts on federal meteorological and passive services, the use of an incentive auction in a new setting, innovative proposals for spectrum access, and more. Look out for additional spectrum updates in the coming months in this continuously evolving environment.
In February 2019, the FCC issued an Enforcement Advisory warning marketers of LED signs that their products must be authorized, properly labeled, and contain the required user disclosures before being marketed in the United States. The Enforcement Advisory followed a slew of enforcement actions in 2018 totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in penalties against importers and retailers of LED signs for violations of the FCC’s equipment marketing rules. In this special edition of Full Spectrum’s enforcement series, Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier do a deep dive on the FCC’s LED sign enforcement initiative, breaking down the FCC’s equipment authorization rules, how they apply to LED signs, and what importers, retailers, and others in the LED sign supply chain need to do now in order to avoid FCC enforcement action later.
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In this edition of Full Spectrum’s recurring series on FCC enforcement, Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier finish their recap of the major developments in FCC enforcement in 2018 and discuss potential next steps in the year ahead. Part two of this episode features a deeper dive into FCC enforcement trends on revocation of authority and inability to pay claims, and takes a close look at the FCC’s expanded robocalling enforcement.
This episode builds on the discussion in part one, where Steve and Brad provided an overview of major 2018 enforcement actions and a breakdown of the FCC's use of settlements to encourage adoption of industry best practices.
In this edition of Full Spectrum’s recurring series on FCC enforcement, Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier highlight some of the major developments in FCC enforcement in 2018 and discuss potential next steps in the year ahead. Part one of this episode focuses on the big picture in 2018 and the FCC's use of non-monetary tools to encourage adoption of industry best practices.
After criticizing the prior administration for policymaking through enforcement and imposing excessive fines, Chairman Pai’s FCC promised a return to “by-the-books” enforcement based on existing rules. Pai’s Enforcement Bureau has largely delivered on that promise. However, Chairman Pai did not entirely refrain from pushing the boundaries of the FCC's authority in high-profile enforcement items to advance his policy priorities.
Dropping next week is part two of the 2018 Year in Review in which Steve and Brad take a deeper dive into the enforcement actions, with a focus on recent trends in how the FCC issues fines and its actions to combat robocalls.
The FCC has now proposed, or imposed, over $200 million in fines for unlawful caller ID spoofing and TCPA violations. In this edition of “Inside the TCPA,” Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier discuss how enforcement fits in as part of the overall FCC TCPA policy strategy. This discussion features an overview of recent enforcement actions, including those against Best Insurance Contracts/Philip Roesel and Affordable Enterprises of Arizona. Steve and Brad also explain the difference between spoofing and TCPA violations as they look at trends and possible next steps for the FCC.
In this new series, our attorneys will provide a recap of recent industry conferences and their takeaways. This episode focuses on the 8th Annual SHLB Conference “Building the Future Bit x Bit” which took place October 10th-12th. The two and a half day conference attracted more attendees than any other year. Partner Josh Guyan attended with Partner Steve Augustino, who moderated the “E-Rate Service Provider Toolkit” panel at the event. Josh and Steve talk about key issues in E-Rate and rural healthcare, interesting panels, the Schools Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition in general, and more.
In this edition of Full Spectrum’s recurring series on FCC enforcement, Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier address the legal dangers facing entities that may be unfamiliar with telecommunications regulation. Steve and Brad focus on a multi-million dollar DOJ fraud prosecution involving the E-rate fund and a settlement of inadvertent transfers of FCC licenses occurring as a result of a transaction between two entities that are not traditionally seen as communications entities (in this case, two hospitality companies). They also look ahead to two enforcement items on the agenda for the FCC’s September 26, 2018 Open Meeting.
“Inside the TCPA” offers a deeper focus on TCPA issues and petitions pending before the FCC. Each episode tackles a single TCPA topic or petition that is in the news or affecting cases around the country. In this episode, partner Steve Augustino and associate Jenny Wainwright discuss efforts by the FCC and private industry to limit the number of illegal calls that reach consumers’ phones. In particular, they give an overview of a 2017 FCC order that authorized carriers to block certain types of calls, discuss the basics of private industry call blocking and call labelling services, and review suggestions from both industry and consumer groups on how to address this issue going forward.
Our "Spectrum Update" series takes a close look at hot topics and issues in wireless spectrum. In this episode, Partners Chip Yorkgitis and Josh Guyan discuss the hotly contested changes that are proposed and ongoing in the spectrum between 3.1 and 4.2 GHz in the U.S. There appear to be potential opportunities for commercial mobile to share these bands with current uses, but there are also calls for greater use of the bands for unlicensed and fixed wireless services. In many countries in Europe and Asia, in particular, these bands have been identified for 5G use already and the FCC is considering doing the same in the U.S.
The FCC recently reached a $5.25 million settlement with AT&T to resolve investigations into two 911 service outages that resulted in thousands of failed emergency calls. This edition of Full Spectrum’s series on FCC enforcement discusses the unexpected settlement and its implications on carrier network practices and the FCC's enforcement priorities. Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier also cover LED sign enforcement, which has recently become an area of focus for the Pai FCC as the signs interfere with communications services. Finally, they cover a rare amateur radio settlement involving both the FCC and the Department of Justice.
“Inside the TCPA” offers a deeper focus on TCPA issues and petitions pending before the FCC. Each episode will tackle a single TCPA topic or petition that is in the news or affecting cases around the country. In this episode, partner Steve Augustino and associate Jenny Wainwright discuss the consent issues before the FCC in the agency’s remand proceeding after the 2018 D.C. Circuit decision in ACA International. In addition, Steve and Jenny examine three other petitions pending before the agency that could be resolved with the remand proceeding.
The FCC returned to bread-and-butter enforcement issues such as cramming/slamming and equipment authorization while issuing a record fine for robocalling at the midway point of 2018. In this edition of Full Spectrum’s series on FCC enforcement, Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier tackle how the FCC’s “back to basics” approach compares to past administrations and why the FCC sometimes issues large fines that violators cannot pay. The discussion also highlights the dangers for lighting manufactures and retailers as the FCC takes aim at wireless interference issues involving uncommon targets.
Kelley Drye introduces a new Full Spectrum series, “Inside the TCPA,” which will offer a deeper focus on TCPA issues and petitions pending before the FCC. Each episode will tackle a single TCPA topic or petition that is in the news or affecting cases around the country. In this inaugural episode, partner Steve Augustino and associate Jenny Wainwright discuss the definition of an autodialer or ATDS. This episode addresses the 2018 D.C. Circuit decision in ACA International and the FCC’s new proceeding to examine the definition. With initial comments having been filed on June 13th, Steve and Jenny analyze the principal arguments made by commenters and discuss whether Congress will weigh in on the matter.
Future episodes of “Inside the TCPA” will tackle reassigned numbers, consent, and other topics raised before the FCC. This is a companion to Kelley Drye’s comprehensive list of petitions before the Commission available in our monthly TCPA Tracker newsletter. Please contact us if we can assist you with any of the FCC proceedings.
In this edition of Full Spectrum’s series on FCC enforcement, Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier highlight some of the major enforcement developments in April 2018. The Pai FCC’s Enforcement Bureau seems to be hitting its stride, taking actions in several “core” focus areas. This episode discusses developments in robocalls, slamming/cramming, rural call completion and pirate radio. This episode also offers commentary on what might be on the horizon, including a prominently placed enforcement item on the May FCC Open Meeting agenda. Be sure to check back with Kelley Drye for post-meeting analysis.
Starting January 1, 2019, any new video game software that is capable of accessing or using an advanced communications service must include solutions to eliminate barriers to accessibility for people with disabilities. In this episode, Partners Steve Augustino and Josh Guyan, and Associate Avonne Bell discuss the upcoming end to a waiver for video game software products that will bring them under the purview of the FCC’s disabilities access rules for communications like voice or text chat included in video game software. This discussion will help video game software developers become better informed, plan and design appropriately, and keep adequate records for the purpose of meeting this new obligation.
Over a year into the Pai FCC, the Chairman’s enforcement priorities have come into focus. In Kelley Drye’s latest look at FCC enforcement, Partner Steve Augustino and Associate Brad Currier look at the "big ticket" FCC actions so far this year to identify enforcement trends and discuss where FCC enforcement is heading in 2018. They discuss important enforcement efforts in the first three months of the year, including efforts to combat universal service fraud, unauthorized operations, harmful interference and TCPA violations. In addition, this episode discusses the significance of recent broadcaster advertising fines at the start of 2018.
Following presentations for the Pacific Telecommunications Council and the Wireless Communications Alliance, Partners Chip Yorkgitis and Josh Guyan join Associate Ross Slutsky to discuss current domestic and international spectrum regulatory matters, focusing on those that could affect 5G rollout. In this episode, Chip, Josh and Ross cover FCC spectrum policy and proceedings, including the 3.5 GHz band, mid-band spectrum inquiry, the Spectrum Frontiers rulemaking, and two new proceedings being considered at the Commission’s February Open Meeting.
As the second session begins, the 115th Congress will pick up where it left off on some key telecommunications and technology issues. In this episode, Partner John Heitmann and Jennifer McCadney, Special Counsel in Kelley Drye’s Government Relations and Public Policy group, examine the current status of these issues and the implications for what is likely to occur in the coming months. The three categories of legislation they cover are (1) Mobile, 5G and Spectrum, (2) Rural Broadband Access, and (3) Internet, Privacy, Cybersecurity and Data Security.
Earlier this year, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a report focusing on the Lifeline program. Tucked away in that report was a significant discussion of Universal Service Fund (USF) contributor audits that has received little attention. In this episode, Partner Steve Augustino and Special Counsel Denise Smith discuss four trends in USF contributor audits they expect to result from the GAO report.
Advancements in communications technologies and the latest personal devices are presenting new and unconventional ways for consumers to communicate via text, voice, or video with other people and devices. The FCC and disabilities access stakeholders have generally acknowledged the potential benefits to people with disabilities of these new technologies. In this episode, Partner Josh Guyan and Associates Avonne Bell and Jameson Dempsey discuss the advancements and regulatory outlook for messaging, IoT, and many other emerging technology areas.