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

Category Archives: General

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Rosenworcel Nominated for New FCC Term

Posted in General

On June 13, the White House announced that Jessica Rosenworcel, who served as an FCC commissioner from 2012 until her term expired on Dec. 31, 2016, will be nominated to a new term at the agency. Rosenworcel, a Democrat, has been a strong supporter of the E-rate program, and of broader efforts to close the… Continue Reading

FCC Identifies Areas Eligible for Support Under Connect America Fund Phase II Auction

Posted in DWT Advisory, General

Orange is the new green – well that’s one way to think of the FCC’s latest announcement of areas eligible for support (subsidies) for providers delivering broadband to unserved areas in connection with the upcoming Connect America Fund (“CAF”) Phase II reverse auction. Last week the agency issued a Public Notice identifying a preliminary list… Continue Reading

Open Internet Webinar

Posted in General, Pole Attachments, Privacy and Cybersecurity

Wednesday, December 16, 2015 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. EST Please join us for an interactive, end-of-year discussion about developments in the FCC’s Open Internet (a.k.a. “net neutrality”) rules.  Will the rules survive judicial challenge?  Will Congress act?  How will the rules impact your business in 2016? Agenda: Judicial challenge oral arguments, presented by John… Continue Reading

Congress Grabs Reins on Spectrum

Posted in General, Wireless

Editor’s Note by Jim Smith:  Guest Commentator Steve Perry, a veteran Congressional expert and Managing Principal of Grayling, offers his perspective on upcoming legislative efforts to free additional spectrum for broadband deployment. Nowhere is the opportunity greater to promote broadband deployment than in the wireless sector.  As our society increasingly goes mobile, devices that were… Continue Reading

Open Internet Webinar

Posted in General

June 11, 2015 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM EDT CLE   Please join us for an interactive discussion on the FCC’s new “Open Internet” (a.k.a. net neutrality) rules on the eve of their effective date to learn how these sweeping new regulations may impact your business operations. Agenda Overview & June 12 Highlights – Chris… Continue Reading

Five Key Principles to Consider for Successful Broadband Deployments

Posted in General

LinkedIn CEO, Jeff Weiner, gave a talk at this year’s Launch Festival in San Francisco. As reported online by Business Insider, he listed what he believes to be the five key principles that make a world class tech product or service. They are as follows: Deliver a singular value proposition Anticipate customer needs Exceed expectations… Continue Reading

Is Dark Fiber a Regulated Service?

Posted in Fiber Networks, General

It may come as a surprise to know that the FCC (and the courts) have determined that dark fiber can be a regulated service. The FCC has found that leasing dark fiber is “wire communications” subject to its jurisdiction under Title II of the Communications Act because it “permits the transmission of information” and because… Continue Reading

Are REITs a Viable Strategy for Communications Companies?

Posted in Fiber Networks, General

Windstream Holdings, Inc. recently announced plans to spin off its copper, fiber and other fixed real estate assets into an independent publicly traded real estate investment trust (REIT).  Windstream received a private letter ruling from the IRS confirming the tax-free nature of the spin-off and the qualification of the network assets as real property for… Continue Reading

Areas Eligible for Rural Broadband Experiments Funding Announced

Posted in Fiber Networks, General, Wireless

On July 25, the FCC released the list of eligible areas for its $100 Million Rural Broadband Experiments program, the details of which are summarized in our recent Advisory. The list includes the following key information: the state and county of each census block, along with its tract and block identification numbers; the number of… Continue Reading

Leveraging Next Generation Networks To Change The Healthcare Model

Posted in Fiber Networks, General

Davis Wright Tremaine is conducting a series of webinars under the heading “Reinventing the Hospital.”  The purpose of the series is to address “disruptive changes in healthcare” that “are transforming the way hospitals do business” by discussing “the latest developments” to show “where innovation is thriving” and to “offer a blueprint for where hospitals can… Continue Reading

NTIA and the FCC Seeking Input on “Model City” to Explore Advanced Spectrum Sharing Technology

Posted in General, Wireless

Building on recommendations in the National Broadband Plan to make more spectrum available for mobile broadband and the July 2012 report from the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (“PCAST Report”), the NTIA and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Office of Engineering and Technology issued a Joint Public Notice on July 11, 2012… Continue Reading

FCC Allocates $100 Million for Rural Broadband Experiments –Agency Will Reward Providers That Can Deliver Broadband at Speeds up to 25 Mbps (up) / 5 Mbps (down)

Posted in Fiber Networks, General, Wireless

On Friday, July 11, 2014 the FCC adopted an order implementing its planned “Rural Broadband Experiments”—a test-case program for disbursing subsidies to competitive providers that can deploy broadband to unserved areas. Our prior advisory provides additional background for interested readers. The order has not yet been released by the FCC, but according to an agency… Continue Reading

FCC Turns Up the Heat (and the Risk of Overbuilds) With Start of Process to Disburse $9 Billion in Broadband Subsidies Under CAF Phase II

Posted in Fiber Networks, General

The dog days of summer are here, but this is no time for broadband providers to escape to the shore or mountains for an extended vacation because the FCC is set to begin the process of handing out $9 billion (over five years) in subsidies to bring broadband to unserved areas. The initial disbursements of… Continue Reading

Guidance Issued for Connect America Fund Phase II Challenge Process

Posted in Fiber Networks, General

On June 20, the FCC Wireline Competition Bureau released a Public Notice providing additional guidance on the Connect America Fund Phase II challenge process, which we described in a prior DWT advisory.  Noting that a lack of similar guidance during the Phase I challenge process led to a process favoring existing providers, the Bureau now… Continue Reading

Competitive Providers One Step Closer to Support for Rural Broadband Deployment Following Latest FCC CAF Phase II Order

Posted in Fiber Networks, General

Yesterday, the FCC released its long-awaited order establishing a framework for competitors to obtain broadband subsidies (support) through Phase II of the Connect America Fund (CAF).  The 212-page Order and Further NPRM sets forth the framework for competitive providers (including cable operators, CLECs, and fixed wireless ISPs) to bid for support to deploy broadband and… Continue Reading

Protecting Against the Ill Effects of a Default

Posted in Fiber Networks, General

It is a bit unsettling to think that part way through a broadband deployment, you can be left high and dry because the vendor can no longer sustain its operations.  Yet, it seems like many broadband deployment transactions have as a concern the financial health of the vendor.  There are, however, a few tools to… 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

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

Twitter Account for Broadband Deployment Law Advisor Launched

Posted in General

Broadband Deployment Law Advisor recently launched its new Twitter account:  @BDLawAdvisorDWT. Be sure to follow us to stay connected to insight and commentary on the deployment of communications infrastructure from the Communications Regulatory practice group of Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

Is An IRU Really An IRU?

Posted in Fiber Networks, General

Everyone talks about indefeasible rights of use, or IRUs, as if they are unique or special.  Reams of FCC and state regulatory orders have been written on them as have fiber agreements, both large and small.  Those statements, however, usually take IRUs for granted.  In other words, they assume  that everyone knows what they are and… 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