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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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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

Current Legal Issues Affecting Broadband Infrastructure Deployment

Posted in Broadband Deployment, General

Today, our DWT Broadband Deployment team gave a presentation entitled “Current Legal Issues Affecting Broadband Infrastructure Deployment.” The presentation focused on the following topics: Recent Federal Steps to Accelerate Wireless Facilities Deployment Deployment of Wired Facilities in Public Rights-of-Way and Private Easements MDU Legal Update Aftermath of FCC April 2011 Pole Attachment Order—Pending Challenges Know Your… Continue Reading

California Expands Broadband Grant Program to Non-Regulated Entities

Posted in Broadband Deployment, State Activities

On October 3, Gov. Brown signed into law two bills that make changes to the California Advanced Services Fund (“CASF”).  These bills are aimed at expanding broadband availability to the remaining unserved and underserved areas of California.  In 2010, the California Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) authorized the CASF to provide broadband infrastructure grants to “telephone corporations”… Continue Reading

FCC Proposes Rules Promoting Deployment of DAS and Small Cells

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Wireless

The FCC today proposed additional rules designed to promote the rapid deployment of wireless facilities and services, particularly, distributed antenna systems (DAS) and other forms of “small cell” deployments. The NPRM, the text of which should be released shortly, recognizes the need for more widely deployed wireless infrastructure to support increased consumer and machine-to-machine dependence… Continue Reading

Tools to Speed Access to Federal Lands Announced By White House

Posted in Broadband Deployment

In a blog post on September 16, 2013, the White House Office of Science And Technology Policy announced actions taken that the government hopes will reduce barriers for companies seeking to deploy broadband networks on federal properties and rights of way.  In the blog post, the co-chairs of the Broadband Deployment on Federal Property Working… Continue Reading

Missouri Circuit Court Enjoins Two New Laws Promoting Wireless and Wireline Broadband Deployment

Posted in Broadband Deployment, State Activities, Wireless

As an update to our blog posts dated May 29, 2013 (Communication Attacher Efforts Lead to Laws Governing Pole Owning Electric Cooperatives and Municipalities) and August 13, 2013 (Missouri Enacts Statute Favorable For Wireless Industry and Broadband Deployment), today the Circuit Court of Cole County, Missouri, enjoined and stayed the two Missouri laws (HB 345… Continue Reading

Missouri Enacts Statute Favorable For Wireless Industry And Broadband Deployment

Posted in Broadband Deployment, State Activities, Wireless

On July 5, 2013, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri signed into law HB 331 – the “Uniform Wireless Communications Infrastructure Deployment Act” (the “Act”).  The purpose of the Act is “to encourage and streamline the deployment of broadband facilities and to help ensure that robust wireless communication services are available throughout Missouri.” The Act is decidedly favorable… Continue Reading

Electric Utilities Seek SCOTUS Review of DC Circuit February 2013 Pole Decision Granting ILECs Pole Attachment Rights

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

 On May 24, 2013, five electric utilities filed a petition for certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court seeking limited review of the D.C. Circuit’s February 2013 pole attachment decision that, among other things, upheld the FCC’s 2011 Pole Order giving Incumbent Local Exchange Carriers (ILECs) rights to “just and reasonable” rates, terms, and conditions for… Continue Reading

Communications Attacher Efforts Lead to Laws Governing Pole Owning Electric Cooperatives and Municipalities

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Infrastructure (Poles, Conduit and Rights of Way), Pole Attachments, State Activities

At this time of year when state legislative sessions have ended or are coming to a close, there are usually one or two bills making their way to governors for signature that, in some form or another, regulate pole owning electric cooperatives and/or municipalities for pole attachment purposes. As a general matter, electric cooperatives and… Continue Reading

FCC to Study Pole Attachment Costs to Spur Gigabit Deployment

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

At last month’s Broadband Acceleration Initiative workshop, outgoing FCC Chairman Genachowski announced that the FCC would soon release a notice launching an inquiry into pole attachment costs as part of its effort to further reduce barriers to broadband build-out. This announcement followed on the heels of the Chairman’s issuance of the Gigabit Cities Challenge, which… Continue Reading

Disputes Over MDU Access Persist

Posted in Broadband Deployment, MDU Access

You would be forgiven if you thought the status of exclusive agreements for exclusive broadband cable service to “multiple dwelling units” such as condominiums and planned communities (MDUs) was settled. In 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued a ruling broadly declaring that such exclusivity agreements are “null and void,” and adopted a rule that… Continue Reading

Regional Transmission Organizations Can Be a Bellwether for Wireless Attachers on Transmission Towers

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments, Wireless

 Throughout the nation, wireless carriers attach their facilities to electric transmission towers, despite the fact that they do not have statutory rights to do so. The rights of wireless carriers to attach to electric facilities generally stems from the federal Pole Attachment Act, as amended by the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (“the Act”), codified at… Continue Reading

Federal Funding Available for Building Broadband Networks for Health Care

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Fiber Networks

Many healthcare providers (HCPs) do not have access to broadband facilities that are capable of supporting bandwidth-hungry telemedicine applications – either because it is simply unavailable or too expensive. Congress recognized this problem when it created the Health Care Support component of the Universal Service Fund. In December 2012, the FCC changed the program to… Continue Reading

U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit Upholds FCC’s April 2011 Pole Attachment Order

Posted in Broadband Deployment, Pole Attachments

In a significant victory for cable and telecommunications providers, today the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a unanimous opinion, upheld the FCC’s April 2011 decision (2011 Pole Order) lowering telecommunications pole attachment rates to more closely align with rates paid by cable television attachers on poles subject to FCC… Continue Reading

Net Neutrality Regulations Will Soon Be In Effect

Posted in Broadband Deployment

UPDATE: Rules published Sept. 23, effective November 20.  Rules now subject to legislative and industry challenges.  Read our DWT Advisory here. On September 9, 2011, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) signed off on the new data collection requirements of the FCC’s net neutrality order. This allows the Federal Register to publish the net neutrality… Continue Reading

Verizon Challenge FCC’s Net Neutrality Order in Federal Court

Posted in Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment, DWT Advisory

Verizon just announced that it has filed a lawsuit in the federal D.C. Court of Appeals to challenge the FCC’s Net Neutrality Order that was adopted during the Commission’s December open meeting.  We have not yet seen the contents of the complaint, but Verizon’s brief press release is available here. For information about the FCC’s… Continue Reading

FCC Approves Comcast-NBCU Deal; Conditions Affect Online Video Programming and Affordable Broadband Commitments

Posted in Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment

UPDATE: DWT Advisory is now available! UPDATE: FCC has released the Memorandum Opinion and Order Today the FCC granted approval of the Comcast-NBCU transaction, with conditions and commitments, of course.   Although the order has not yet been released, according to the FCC’s press release, the approval requires Comcast-NBCU to "take affirmative steps to foster competition in the video… Continue Reading

DWT ADVISORY: FCC Releases Details on Net Neutrality Rules

Posted in Accessibility (Persons with Disabilities), Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment, Consumer Disclosure Requirements, E-rate, High-Cost Universal Service, Infrastructure (Poles, Conduit and Rights of Way), Intercarrier Compensation, Mobile Broadband, Navigation Devices, Privacy and Cybersecurity, Spectrum Initiatives, Tribal Communities

 On Dec. 23, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released its Report and Order (R&O), and the text of the net neutrality rules it adopted on Dec. 21, 2010. The rules are summarized in our prior advisory, but the R&O contains many important details and nuances. (For the full text of the order, see Report and Order).   Transparency… Continue Reading

FCC Adopts Net Neutrality Rules; Relies on Title I Ancillary Jurisdiction

Posted in Accessibility (Persons with Disabilities), Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment, E-rate, High-Cost Universal Service, Infrastructure (Poles, Conduit and Rights of Way), Intercarrier Compensation, Mobile Broadband, Navigation Devices, Privacy and Cybersecurity, Spectrum Initiatives, Tribal Communities

This morning at its monthly open meeting, the Federal Communications Commission adopted net neutrality rules which largely adopt existing Internet traffic and management practices, impose new non-discrimination and transparency rules, but leave room for specialized or managed services and usage based billing. The order is notable for basing jurisdiction mostly on Title I and ancillary… Continue Reading

Notes on Chairman’s Open Internet Remarks – Rules Will Preserve Reasonable Network Management Practices; Distinguish Between Mobile and Fixed Broadband; No Reclassification of Broadband Services

Posted in Accessibility (Persons with Disabilities), Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment, Consumer Disclosure Requirements, E-rate, High-Cost Universal Service, Infrastructure (Poles, Conduit and Rights of Way), Intercarrier Compensation, Mobile Broadband, Navigation Devices, Privacy and Cybersecurity, Spectrum Initiatives, Tribal Communities

Earlier today, Chairman Genachowski held a press conference to deliver his remarks on his proposed Open Internet rules, which are scheduled for vote at the FCC’s December 21 open meeting.  The Chairman prefaced his summary of the rules by noting that they are in principle rooted in policy statements of past "Republican" Chairmen Powell and… Continue Reading

FCC to Release Order on “Open Internet” Rules at December Meeting; Chairman To Discuss Issue Today at 10:30 am

Posted in Accessibility (Persons with Disabilities), Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment, Consumer Disclosure Requirements, E-rate, High-Cost Universal Service, Infrastructure (Poles, Conduit and Rights of Way), Intercarrier Compensation, Mobile Broadband, Navigation Devices, Privacy and Cybersecurity, Spectrum Initiatives, Tribal Communities

Last night the FCC released its tentative agenda for its next open meeting to be held December 21.  Two items are scheduled for consideration, the first being an Order (not a rulemaking or inquiry) adopting Open Internet rules, also known as net neutrality.  The text summarizing the agenda item is as follows: Open Internet Order:… Continue Reading

GAO Releases Report on Broadband in Developed Countries; Finds Deployment Comparable to US But Adoption Rates Vary

Posted in Broadband Adoption, Broadband Deployment

On October 12, the U.S. Government Accountability Office released its report on the state of broadband in developed countries.  According to the report, the GAO was asked to address: The status of broadband deployment and adoption in developed countries, Actions selected countries have taken to increase deployment and adoption, and How recommendations in the National Broadband Plan… Continue Reading