John Heitmann is a partner in Kelley Drye & Warren LLP’s Washington, D.C. office and is chair of the firm’s Communications practice group and a member of the firm’s Privacy and Information Security practice group. Both practice groups are recognized as leading practices by Chambers USA. Mr. Heitmann is recommended by US Legal 500 in the categories of Data Protection & Privacy and Telecommunications Regulatory. Mr. Heitmann also has been recognized as a Client Service All-Star by BTI Consulting, ranked as a leading practitioner in the Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite and Data Protection & Privacy fields by Chambers USA and named as a “Trailblazer” by the National Law Journal.
Mr. Heitmann has over twenty years of experience representing wireline and wireless carriers, broadband, Internet and information service providers, Voice over IP (VoIP) providers and other enterprises on regulatory policy, litigation, dispute resolution and enforcement matters before federal and state regulatory agencies, and in state, federal and appellate court litigation. He also counsels extensively on compliance policies and issues arising from the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Act, and numerous other federal and state laws governing privacy, information security and telecommunications.
Mr. Heitmann has extensive experience in representing competitive eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) with respect to all facets of the federal Lifeline program, including policy, compliance, audits, enforcement and investigations. Mr. Heitmann also has extensive experience in other telecommunications regulatory issues, including other federal universal service fund (USF) programs such as the Connect America Fund and E-Rate, interconnection, intercarrier compensation, collocation and unbundling. He has negotiated and/or arbitrated interconnection and traffic exchange agreements on behalf of more than a dozen competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) and multi system operators (MSOs) with dozens of incumbent local exchange carriers (ILECs) and wireless carriers.
Mr. Heitmann excels in regulatory enforcement and litigation matters and has successfully led numerous carrier coalitions in pursuing Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state public utility commission (PUC) public policy decisions favorable to competitive providers' business plans on a wide array of issues including privacy/customer proprietary network information (CPNI) regulation, the federal USF and merger reviews.
Mr. Heitmann also advises clients on regulatory issues arising in the context of mergers and acquisitions, product development and strategic planning, as well as on transactional matters involving the sale and procurement of telecommunications, broadband capacity, collocation and fiber facilities, and on regulatory issues arising in the context of mergers and acquisitions, product development and strategic planning.
Focusing on privacy and security issues for telecommunications sector clients, Mr. Heitmann advises those clients on the development and maintenance of public-facing and internal privacy programs, policies and processes. He also counsels regularly on compliance, product development and marketing issues stemming from myriad federal and state laws and regulations, including the FCC's privacy rules, FTC actions, case law and guidance, the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the CAN-SPAM Act, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), and numerous state data protection and data breach laws and regulations.
Through the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), Mr. Heitmann is a Certified Information Privacy Professional (CIPP). He also is co-chair of the Federal Communications Bar Association's (FCBA) Privacy and Data Security Committee and has served as co-chair of the FCBA's State and Local Practice Committee.
Obtaining compliance plan approval and ETC designation for Lifeline service providers.
Defending clients in FCC and other regulatory agency enforcement actions and in Office of Inspector General and State Attorneys General investigations.
Counseling mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) and VoIP technology users on business start-up strategy, regulatory compliance and product design.
Developing comprehensive privacy programs, privacy statements and other privacy-related policies for telecommunications users and clients,
Counseling clients on practicing "privacy-by-design" in product development and on privacy compliance issues raised by traditional and new media marketing programs.
Representing MSOs and CLECs in the negotiation and arbitration of interconnection agreements with incumbent landline providers, including rural providers.
Counseling with respect to interconnection and other intercarrier agreement implementation and dispute resolution, including representation in FCC and state enforcement actions.
Representing clients in complex interconnection agreement-based litigation and appeals before U.S. Courts of Appeal, federal district courts and multiple state PUCs.
Representing clients on a wide range of financing, merger and asset transfer transactions, including negotiating intercarrier service arrangements as well as filing applications and securing approvals from the FCC and state PUCs.
Representing wireless service providers, landline providers, industry associations and others in rulemaking and other proceedings before the FCC, FTC and state PUCs.
Counseling clients on compliance, business strategy, litigation risk, policy development, training and product development with respect to telecom-regulatory and privacy/data security contractual requirements.
Negotiating and drafting telecommunications-related contracts for clients, including mutual traffic exchange agreements with wireless providers, commercial agreements, pole attachment agreements, indefeasible rights of use (IRUs) and backhaul/facility/capacity agreements.
Representing clients in state commission certification and ETC designation proceedings.
Advising clients with respect to and drafting Red Flags Rule, acceptable use and network management policies.
Memberships & Associations
American Bar Association, Antitrust Section
Federal Communications Bar Association, Co-Chair Privacy and Data Security Committee
Federal Communications Bar Association, Former Co-Chair State and Local Practice Committee
IAPP, Certified Information Privacy Professional
TelecomHUB, Board of Directors
Honors & Awards
Recognized as a Trailblazer in Regulatory & Compliance by National Law Journal, 2015
Ranked as a leading practitioner in the Privacy & Data Security area by Chambers Global, 2014-2015.
Selected as a Leading Attorney by the International Who's Who of Telecom and Media Lawyers, 2014.
Ranked by Chambers USA as a leading practitioner in the Telecom, Broadcast & Satellite area, 2012-2016, and in the Privacy & Data Security area, 2013-2014.
Recommended in US Legal 500 for his work in the areas of Telecoms & Broadcast – Regulatory, 2011-2016 and Data Protection & Privacy, 2011-2013, 2015-2016.
Selected as one of The Best Lawyers in America© in the Communications Law area, 2016.
Recognized as a leading attorney in Communications / Media and Advertising / Technology Transactions and Consumer Law practice areas by Washington D.C. Super Lawyers, 2016.
Selected as a 2011 Client Service All-Star by BTI Consulting.