Traditionally, wireline voice and data services have been provided in a heavily regulated environment both domestically and internationally. Meanwhile, the wireline sector has been transformed by the Internet, the provision of voice and data services over new technologies, and the convergence of services onto previously distinct platforms. Lawmakers and regulators are continually changing the regulatory environment to account for VoIP, broadband, intermodal competition, and the transition away from traditional voice service provided over legacy copper networks.
The fast-moving changes in technology and regulation make it challenging yet critical to know what the rules are and when new, innovative services may be subject to them.
In addition, marketplace battles continue to spill over into regulatory fora, as companies seek to modify or seek relief from rules to their competitive advantage.
We have the proven ability to present complex technical, economic and legal issues in ways that policymakers can appreciate and find comprehensible. We also have the legal horsepower to lay the record for judicial review at the regulatory agencies and prosecute that review in the courts.
We provide extensive compliance counseling, working with clients to help them understand how complex legal requirements apply (or don’t apply) to their products and services, and help those who wish not to be subject to extensive regulation to structure their activities appropriately.
Recently, we have represented clients before the FCC or advised on topics including:
- Merger review
- Open Internet
- VoIP provider obligations
- Universal service, including E-rate, Lifeline, Rural Healthcare, High-Cost Support, and Contribution Obligations
- Business Data Services
- Discontinuance of service
- Interprovider compensation
- Inmate Calling Services
- Representing VoIP providers seeking to navigate changing FCC regulations on 911 and E911, CALEA, interprovider compensation, disabilities access, number porting, as well as state efforts to regulate these services.
- Representing a major telecommunications carrier seeking to obtain additional telephone numbers in the face of state public utilities commission (PUC) opposition.
- Representing a major telecommunications support provider in a successful effort to introduce competition in number portability administration.
- Representing service providers in intercarrier compensation and interconnection disputes before the FCC, state public utility commissions and federal courts.
- Representing carriers subject to FCC investigations for compliance with various FCC rules, including universal service contributions, customer privacy, 911/E911 compliance, and outage reporting.
- Representing parties challenging a carrier’s tariffed rates, terms or conditions, or defending tariffed rates, terms or conditions.
- Representing service providers seeking fairer and more expeditious access to utility poles and conduits.
- Representing a coalition of end users and carriers that proposed to reform federal universal service contribution mechanisms to a connection-based system.
- Spearheading the creation and FCC adoption of the Coalition for Affordable Local and Long Distance Services (CALLS) Plan, the first-ever (and last successful) joint effort by large local exchange and long distance carriers comprehensively to reform telecommunications subsidy mechanisms and interstate access pricing.
- Representing group of long distance, competitive local and wireless companies in proposing reforms ultimately adopted by the FCC in its Multi-Association Group (MAG) Order.
- Representing non-incumbent carriers in the Intercarrier Compensation Forum and Missoula Plan intercarrier compensation reform processes.