Internet Issues

Broadband Re-regulation: The Battle Returns to the Courts - Event Audio/Video

2015 National Lawyers Convention
Earl W. Comstock, Miguel Estrada, Roslyn Layton, David B. Sentelle, Kelly A. Donohue November 18, 2015

Panelists will examine the impact of the FCC's Open Internet Order and reclassification of broadband as a public utility and explore possible alternative regulatory regimes. What will the courts do? What should Congress do? What should a new Administration make its first broadband priorities? ‎With the convergence of technologies, should the current platform-specific regulation be replaced with a more flexible, service-based regulatory scheme? How could such regulations impact developing business models and evolving technologies? How is the US faring against the rest of the world in the quest for broadband leadership?

Telecommunications: Broadband Re-regulation: The Battle Returns to the Courts
3:45 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
East Room

  • Mr. Earl W. Comstock, Partner, Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC
  • Mr. Miguel A. Estrada, Partner, Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP
  • Ms. Roslyn Layton, Visiting Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
  • Mr. Robert Quinn, Senior Vice-President – Federal Regulatory and Chief Privacy Officer, AT&T
  • Moderator: Hon. David B. Sentelle, U.S. Court of Appeals, D.C. Circuit
  • Introduction: Ms. Kelly A. Donohue, Partner, Wilkinson Barker Knauer LLP

The Mayflower Hotel
Washington, DC

Injury & Article III (Spokeo/Search Engine Case)

Short video featuring Andy Hessick discussing Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins
Frederick "Andy" Hessick October 21, 2015

University of Utah Law Professor Andy Hessick previews an upcoming Supreme Court case and explains the possible application of the Fair Credit Reporting Act to search engines.

Mr. Robins found that one of these internet search engines, Spokeo, provided incorrect information about his age, education and marital status. Spokeo, a website that aggregates data from a variety of online sources, claims that Robins lacks standing because he did not suffer an “injury in fact.”  In opposition, Robins claims that a violation of the FCRA alone constitutes an injury.

Net Neutrality Litigation - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Brett Shumate, Adam J. White October 19, 2015

After suffering two judicial setbacks, most recently in the D.C. Circuit’s Verizon v. FCC decision in January 2014, the Federal Communications Commission adopted new net neutrality regulations and subjected broadband providers to public utility regulation under Title II of the Communications Act. In a new case, petitioners and intervenors challenging the FCC’s order recently filed their opening briefs outlining their arguments opposing the FCC’s latest attempt to regulate the internet.

In this Teleforum, counsel for two of the net neutrality petitioners and the intervenors discussed the issues being raised in the D.C. Circuit appeal. The panelists described the challenges to the FCC’s authority to regulate the Internet under Title II of the Communications Act and Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act. Is broadband a telecommunications service subject to public utility regulation or is it an information service? Can the FCC adopt rules to regulate the Internet under Section 706? Are broadband providers protected by the First Amendment? How will the Supreme Court’s recent decisions in King v. Burwell and Utility Air Regulatory Group v. EPA, and other constitutionally-rooted canons of statutory construction, affect the net neutrality case? Can the FCC ban paid prioritization of Internet traffic?

  • Brett Shumate, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Adam J. White, Counsel, Boyden Gray & Associates

Cybersecurity: Private Sector Faces Increasing Regulatory Risk From Agency Enforcement and Informal “Guidance” Becoming Standard of Care - Podcast

Litigation Practice Group Podcast
Megan L. Brown, Brent J. McIntosh, Rebecca Seidel October 16, 2015

After Target, Anthem, Sony, and Ashley Madison, cybersecurity is at the top of every company and regulator’s list of worries. As Congress considers legislation, the Executive Branch has been implementing a Presidential Executive Order to develop a “voluntary” framework for cybersecurity. The private sector faces a rapidly shifting terrain without clear standards. Agencies are flexing their regulatory muscles to expand oversight through informal guidance and threat of enforcement, as embodied in a recent victory by the FTC in the Wyndham case.

This Teleforum will provide an overview of the cybersecurity trends facing the private sector, and will discuss the implications for predictability, transparency, and innovation. Will the President’s Executive Order, and the NIST Cybersecurity Framework, become the de facto standard for the private sector? Is the federal government regulating through the threat of enforcement by FTC, FCC, and other federal agencies, instead of through more regular administrative processes? What should companies make of emerging agency “guidance” from agencies like the FDA, SEC, NHTSA, and DoD, on operations and innovation in areas like the Internet of Things, mobile applications and devices, cloud services, connected cars?


  • Megan L. Brown, Partner, Wiley Rein LLP
  • Brent J. McIntosh, Partner, Sullivan & Cromwell LLP
  • Rebecca Seidel, General Counsel, Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee

What's the Download on Municipal Broadband? - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Charles M. Davidson, Randolph J. May, Christopher Mitchell, Rachael M. Bender September 22, 2015

The role of municipally-owned and operated broadband networks in the United States has been the subject of considerable debate. Among some stakeholders, there is increasing enthusiasm around the potential for government-owned broadband networks (GONs) to serve as an engine for municipalities to jump-start economic development. When GONs fail, however, the costs are borne by taxpayers. Earlier this year, the FCC threw its hat into the ring by moving aggressively to preempt certain provisions of Tennessee and North Carolina law that restrict municipal provision of broadband service. In this teleforum, our experts assessed the need for GONs, addressed the competition policy and regulatory issues associated with these projects, and explored whether the FCC’s move to preempt the states will survive judicial appeal.

  • Charles M. Davidson, Director, Advanced Communications Law and Policy Institute, New York Law School
  • Randolph J. May, President, The Free State Foundation
  • Christopher Mitchell, Policy Director, Next Century Cities
  • Moderator: Rachael M. Bender, Senior Policy Director, Mobile Future