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Telecommunications

Net Neutrality Litigation

Litigation Practice Group Teleforum Friday, October 16, 01:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

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. The 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 will discuss the issues being raised in the D.C. Circuit appeal. The panelists will describe 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? The panelists will explore these and other issues in this important Teleforum.

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

What's the Download on Municipal Broadband?

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Teleforum Monday, September 21, 01:00 PMFederalist Society Teleforum Conference Call

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, we will assess the need for GONs, address the competition policy and regulatory issues associated with these projects, and explore 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

The Telecommunications Act: Can it Rein in the FCC? - Audio/Video

Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference
Jonathan Adelstein, Kelly Cole, Grace Koh, David B. Quinalty, Scott Belcher June 23, 2015

The communications and technology sectors have seen an explosion of growth and innovation over the last decade, and yet the primary body of law governing these areas, The Communications Act, has not been updated since the days of dial-up internet. In 2013, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Fred Upton (Mich.) and Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (Oreg.) announced that they would commence efforts to “update the law to better meet the dynamic needs of the 21st century.” In January, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John Thune (S. Dak.) announced similar plans.

Our panel will discuss recent efforts to update the Communications Act for the modern internet age. What should a new framework look like? With the convergence of technologies, should the current platform-specific regulation be replaced with a more flexible, service-based regulatory scheme? Should special considerations still apply in certain services? How could such regulations impact developing business models and evolving technologies? Should the scope of the FCC’s jurisdiction remain the same? These and other issues will be explored.

This panel was presented on June 18, 2015, at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, DC during the Third Annual Executive Branch Review Conference.

The Telecommunications Act: Can it Rein in the FCC?
9:40 – 11:10 a.m.
Senate Room

  • Mr. Jonathan Adelstein, President & CEO, PCIA - The Wireless Infrastructure Association
  • Ms. Kelly Cole, National Association of Broadcasters
  • Ms. Grace Koh, U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce
  • Mr. David B. Quinalty, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • Moderator: Mr. Scott Belcher, Telecommunications Industry Association

June 18, 2015
Washington, DC

The FTC and FCC: Regulatory Overlap - Podcast

Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Joshua D. Wright May 15, 2015

With the Federal Communications Commission's recent net neutrality regulations, the FCC has potentially entered into the Federal Trade Commission's regulatory arena in the area of antitrust regulation and consumer protection. Are the FCC's net neutrality rules an impermissible intrusion on the FTC's portfolio, or is the regulatory tension between the FTC and FCC merely an accident of overlapping jurisdiction provided by Congress in the respective statutes creating each agency?

  • Hon. Joshua D. Wright, Commissioner, United States Federal Trade Commission

The Future of Media: Is Government Regulation In Today's Media Landscape "Over-The-Top"? - Event Audio/Video

The Future of Media
Jeffrey Blum, Rick Kaplan, Barry Ohlson, Ryan Radia, Patricia J. Paoletta February 26, 2015

The Federalist Society's Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group and its George Washington University Law School Student Chapter co-sponsored a conference on the Future of Media -- examining the government's role in light of today's rapidly evolving media landscape. The conference took place at The George Washington University Law School on February 25, 2015.

Panel Presentation
1:00 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.

  • Jeffrey H. Blum, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, DISH Network Corporation
  • Rick Kaplan, General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal Affairs, National Association of Broadcasters
  • Barry J. Ohlson, Vice President, Regulatory Affairs, Cox Enterprises
  • Ryan Radia, Associate Director of Technology Studies, Competitive Enterprise Institute
  • Moderator: Patricia J. Paoletta, Partner, Harris, Wiltshire & Grannis LLP

The George Washington University Law School
Washington, DC