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Broadband Deployment Law Advisor Insight and Commentary on the Deployment of Communications Infrastructure

Category Archives: Broadband Deployment

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Eighth Circuit Affirms FCC’s 2015 Order Equalizing Cable and Telecom Pole Attachment Rates

Posted in Broadband Deployment, DWT Advisory, Infrastructure (Poles, Conduit and Rights of Way), Pole Attachments, Wireless

On Monday, July 31, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, in a unanimous opinion, affirmed the FCC’s November 2015 Order on Reconsideration closing the “telecom formula loophole” to ensure that pole attachment rates for cable and telecom attachers are equivalent. In the FCC’s 2011 Order that was upheld by the D.C. Circuit, the FCC sought to align the… Continue Reading

FCC Reinstates CPNI Privacy Regulations (and Compliance Filing Obligations) for Telecom and VoIP Service Providers

Posted in Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment, DWT Advisory, Mobile Broadband

In a recent order, the FCC has reinstated its customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) rules governing the privacy obligations of voice service providers under Section 222. This action follows the Congressional repeal of the FCC’s 2016 Privacy Order that had extended CPNI regulations to broadband internet access services. As a result, telecom and VoIP providers… Continue Reading

The Need for Speed 2: FCC Releases Final NPRM to Accelerate Broadband Deployment

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

On April 21, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) released its final version of the combined Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comment  in the matter of Accelerating Wireline Broadband Deployment by Removing Barriers to Infrastructure Deployment (“Final NPRM”),  adopted at the FCC’s April 20 Open Meeting. The Final NPRM, designed… Continue Reading

Broadband Funding – Opportunities and Challenges under the FCC’s CAF Phase II Auction and Mobility Fund Phase II

Posted in Broadband Deployment

As the FCC prepares to finalize the framework for the Connect America Fund Phase II Auction and moves forward with Phase II of the Mobility Fund, potential participants in these two programs should begin to review the available details of each program. The CAF Phase II Auction in particular offers a new opportunity for competitive… Continue Reading

The Need for Speed: FCC Circulates Proposal to Accelerate Broadband Deployment

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

Changes to Pole Attachment Make-Ready Rules and Rates as well as Local Law Preemption Under Consideration On March 30, 2017, the FCC released a draft of a combined Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comment designed to facilitate and accelerate the deployment of next generation broadband networks. The draft Notice was released… Continue Reading

With USF Auctions Approaching, FCC Establishes Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force

Posted in Broadband Deployment, High-Cost Universal Service, Wireless

On April 3, 2017, the FCC announced the formation of the Rural Broadband Auctions Task Force to implement the upcoming Universal Service Fund (USF) related auctions.  Although there was no discussion of a task force in the recent Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Auction Order or the Mobility Fund Phase II Order, the auctions… Continue Reading

FCC Finalizes Criteria for CAF Phase II Auction

Posted in Broadband Deployment, High-Cost Universal Service, Wireless

Today the FCC approved an order that moves the nearly two billion dollar Connect America Fund (CAF) Phase II Auction competitive bidding process forward.   As we have previously reported, the Phase II auction will provide support (subsidies) to broadband providers willing to deploy broadband and voice services to unserved Americans.  The FCC will use four… Continue Reading

FCC Approves ILEC Shift to GAAP Accounting, Mitigates Pole Rate Impact

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

At today’s open meeting the FCC adopted a Report and Order that streamlines and eliminates Part 32 accounting requirements governing price-cap carriers, allowing them instead to rely on GAAP accounting methods and thus eliminate the need to maintain two sets of accounting books. In doing so, however, the FCC acknowledged the important role that Part… Continue Reading

FCC Chairman Pai Launches “Digital Empowerment Agenda” and Creates New Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee—Nominations Due Feb. 15

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

In one of his first acts as FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai announced he was moving forward with his Digital Empowerment Agenda accompanied by the announcement this past Tuesday that the FCC is forming a new federal advisory committee, to be called the New Broadband Deployment Advisory Committee (“NBDAC”).  Then-Commissioner Pai had proposed the creation of… Continue Reading

Podcast: A Valuable Discussion About Property Values

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Wireless

Just about half of all American homes have cut the cord and rely only on wireless phones. Clearly, people see value in living near a cell phone tower. So how should you respond when you face opposition claiming that your proposed facility will negatively affect real estate values? In this episode, we’ll review some strategies… Continue Reading

Ohio Enacts Small Cell Deployment Measures: Limits Local Governments

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Wireless

On December 7, 2016, the Ohio Legislature passed Senate Bill No. 331, which, among other issues, would amend Ohio law to promote the prompt deployment of small cells and Distributed Antenna Systems (“DAS”) by significantly limiting local authority over wireless deployment in public rights of way.  On December 19, 2016, the Ohio Governor signed SB… Continue Reading

Podcast: Survival of the Fittest

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Wireless

Like Turkey on Thanksgiving, for some things there is just no adequate substitute.  When you are siting a wireless facility, you want to show that there is no better substitute (or alternative) to your proposal. We’ve litigated numerous “effective prohibition” cases under the federal Communications Act around the country and, while the specific standards vary… Continue Reading

For Your Deployment Enjoyment: New Podcast Series for Wireless Siting Professionals

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Wireless

Tune in to this (free!) podcast series – a must-listen for wireless siting professionals who want to establish best practices for getting their wireless sites approved. Join attorneys Leslie Moylan and Dan Reing as they share their experiences and ideas for getting wireless site applications approved at the local level, and how best to build the record… Continue Reading

DC Circuit Affirms FCC’s Open Internet Order

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Internet Video, Wireless

180 pages of analysis includes a 60 page partial dissent Today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit rejected multiple Petitions for Review and upheld the FCC’s Open Internet Order.  That order reclassified wired and mobile broadband Internet access services as telecommunications services and subjects providers of those services to several specific new… Continue Reading

NESC 2017 Edition to Revise Several Rules Pertinent to Joint Use and Pole Attachments

Posted in Broadband Deployment

The National Electrical Safety Code (“NESC”), published by the IEEE Standards Association (“IEEE”), is the foremost standard for constructing communications plant using existing utility pole infrastructure.  For 100 years, power and communications industries and regulators have looked to the NESC as the standard for safe practices for the installation, operation and maintenance of electric supply… Continue Reading

FCC Releases 2016 Broadband Progress Report

Posted in Broadband Deployment, High-Cost Universal Service

According to the Federal Communications Commission, 90 percent of Americans have access to broadband Internet access service at the FCC’s benchmark speeds of 25 Mbps for downloads/3 Mbps for uploads. But the FCC also found that 34 million Americans still lack access to the benchmark speeds, and despite significant progress in recent years to expand… Continue Reading

States Have Jurisdiction Over ISP-Bound Traffic Says 3rd Circuit

Posted in Broadband Deployment

On November 25, the Third Circuit held that states have jurisdiction over Internet Service Provider (ISP) bound traffic exchanged between two competing local exchange carriers (CLECs). In 2008, Core billed AT&T for terminating local phone calls dating back to 2004, from AT&T’s customers to Core’s ISP customers. AT&T refused to pay, claiming that the traffic… Continue Reading

Advisory Alert: FCC Releases Outline of Net Neutrality Rules Scheduled for February 26 Vote

Posted in Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment, DWT Advisory

On February 4, 2015, the FCC issued a press release describing the Open Internet (or Net Neutrality) rules Chairman Wheeler will bring to a vote at the Commission’s February 26, 2015 meeting. The draft order is now being circulated, and we expect further details to emerge over the next few weeks. Here’s what we know… Continue Reading

Building a Broadband Network

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Fiber Networks, General

Recently, I participated on a panel at the Annual Meeting of the Schools, Health & Libraries Broadband Coalition, otherwise known as SHLB.  The panel was entitled “Building a Broadband Network” and was comprised of experts who discussed the business case for such networks and their design, construction, operation and maintenance.  Of no surprise, all of… Continue Reading

FCC’s Spectrum Sharing Proposals Expect to Support Further Deployment of Carrier-Grade Small Cell and Fixed Wireless Broadband Networks

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Spectrum Initiatives

Yesterday’s FCC decision to make 150 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5 GHz band available for shared use may be the impetus for service providers to deploy more carrier-grade small cell and fixed wireless broadband service networks in certain parts of the country.   The agency approved a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking setting forth proposed… Continue Reading

Funds for Broadband Deployments in Rural Areas May Be Available to Competitors Under FCC CAF Phase II Order

Posted in Broadband Deployment, High-Cost Universal Service

Competitive broadband providers, including cable operators, CLECs and wireless ISPs, will be permitted to seek subsidies to deploy broadband networks in unserved areas under a new FCC order approved today.  Under “Phase II” of the Connect America Fund (CAF) the FCC will disburse up to $9 billion in support (over at least a five year… Continue Reading

Nearly 1,000 Entities File “Expressions of Interest” in FCC’s Rural Broadband Experiment Proceeding

Posted in Broadband Deployment, General

The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) planned rural broadband experiments have garnered enormous interest from a variety of communications and network service providers.  In a recent blog post, FCC strategy chief Jonathan Chambers, noted that as of March 11, the FCC has received nearly 1,000 proposals from rural telephone companies, cable operators, and wireless ISPs (WISPs)… Continue Reading

FCC Makes Estimated $50 to $100 Million Available to Competitors Deploying Broadband in Rural Areas for the First Time

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Wireless

Competitive providers deploying broadband networks in rural areas will now be eligible to obtain direct subsidy support from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) through an experimental program under the Connect America Fund (CAF).  The so-called “rural broadband experiment” is designed to test the feasibility of directing subsidies to competitors, including cable operators, CLECs, and wireless… Continue Reading