FCC Law Blog

Developments in Telecom Law

On November 20, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Order”) adopting final rules to facilitate equal access to broadband and address digital discrimination.[1] This decision will be of particular importance to entities that provide, facilitate, or affect consumer access to broadband, including both terrestrial and satellite broadband providers irrespective of the technology used to deliver the broadband service. A Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) accompanies the Order, seeking additional comment on matters pertaining to the implementation of section 60506 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.[2] The
Continue Reading ALERT: FCC Seeks to Eliminate Digital Discrimination

On December 15, 2023, after more than three years of consideration, and amid the largest ever federal investment in broadband, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) unanimously adopted a new pole-attachment order that dramatically reforms the Commission’s rules and policies governing communications attachments to utility poles.
Continue Reading FCC Adopts New Pole Attachment Rules to Promote Broadband Expansion

After more than three years of consideration, amidst the largest federal and state investment in broadband deployment, and anticipating disputes between broadband providers and utility pole owners concerning the terms and conditions of new attachments particularly in broadband expansion areas, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has released a new pole-attachment order If adopted, the order would dramatically reform the Commission’s rules and policies governing communications attachments to utility poles.
Continue Reading FCC To Vote on New Pole Attachments Rules to Promote Broadband Expansion

On November 13, 2023, the Biden-Harris Administration issued a National Spectrum Strategy (the Strategy) and Presidential Memorandum on the modernization of U.S. spectrum policy. The Strategy, developed by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) in close coordination with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and other Executive Branch agencies, seeks to “guide decisions about how to allocate limited spectrum resources and ensure these decisions are made through a rigorous, transparent process.” The Strategy represents the Administration’s attempt to chart a “whole-of-Nation” approach to achieve national spectrum policy objectives.
Continue Reading The Biden-Harris Administration Releases National Spectrum Strategy

On November 16, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Report & Order (“Order”) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”), adopting measures to address two techniques bad actors frequently use to access victims’ cell phone accounts: (1) SIM swapping and (2) port-out fraud.
Continue Reading Shutting Down the Cell Phone Scammers: The FCC Adopts Rules to Crack Down on Fraudulent Practices against Wireless Phone Users

Consistent with the White House’s Executive Order this week laying out a national policy on AI, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a draft Notice of Inquiry (“NOI”) that would look into the implications of emerging Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) technologies on the Commission’s efforts to prevent unwanted and illegal calls and texts under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”).
Continue Reading FCC Launches Inquiry into the Risks of AI on Unwanted Robocalls and Texts

Recently, the FCC reminded telecom providers that the cost of failing to protect their customers’ privacy is steep. In a July 28, 2023 Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, the Federal Communications Commission fined Q Link Wireless LLC and Hello Mobile Telecom LLC, an affiliate of Q Link, $20 million for impermissibly relying upon readily available biographical information and account information to authenticate online customers.[1]
Continue Reading ALERT: The FCC Fines Companies $20 Million for Failing to Safeguard Customer Proprietary Network Information

On July 14, 2023, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit issued an administrative stay of an order that would prohibit certain federal officials and agencies from communicating with social media companies on content moderation issues.
Continue Reading Fifth Circuit Pauses Injunction Restricting Communications Between the Government and Social Media Companies Over Content Removal

Who knew that state sovereignty and urging states’ rights meant prompting federal agencies to bring about change at the local level? That seems to be happening in the field of pole attachment regulation.
Continue Reading FCC Assures State Lawmakers of Commitment to Pole Attachment Rules Promoting Broadband Deployment and Competition

UPDATE: Following recent approval from the Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”), the Commission has announced that January 22, 2024 will be the filing deadline of the one-time collection of foreign ownership information.

The FCC recently adopted two items that underscore the Commission’s growing role in a quickly evolving national security regulatory framework: an Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking overhauling the regulatory framework for Section 214 authorization holders and applicants, as well as an “Enforcement Advisory” reminding operators of the risks of not disclosing certain transactions to the Commission.
Continue Reading Don’t Look Twice, It’s Alright — The FCC Pulls Back the Curtain on Section 214 Authorizations

Last week, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing a new regulatory framework to address the growing convergence of satellite and terrestrial-based networks, titled the “Single Network Future: Supplementary Coverage from Space” proceeding.
Continue Reading FCC Takes the Lead on Satellite/Mobile Convergence in the Single Network Future Proceeding

On January 4, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“NPRM”) setting forth proposed rules for the operation of unmanned aircraft systems in the 5030-5091 MHz band. At present, unmanned aircraft systems primarily operate under the FCC’s rules for unlicensed and low-power communications or according to experimental licenses. Neither of these spectrum resources provide the user with the right to protection from harmful interference, meaning that communications using such resources can be unreliable. The FCC’s proposed rules attempt to address this issue by granting unmanned aircraft systems access to licensed spectrum with the resilience to support more
Continue Reading ALERT: FCC Opens Rulemaking on Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems in Licensed Spectrum

On November 30, 2022, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) released a draft Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Draft NPRM”) that, if adopted, will seek comment on comprehensive changes to the Part 25 satellite and earth station licensing rules for the first time since 2015.[1] The Draft NPRM represents a significant step in the Commission’s efforts to facilitate innovation in the satellite industry, proposing changes that would facilitate greater expediency, flexibility, and curability in the licensing process. 
Continue Reading ALERT: Space Innovation Comes to Part 25 as the FCC Proposes New Reforms for its Satellite and Earth Station Licensing Rules