January 21, 2016
Partner Steven A. Augustino was quoted in the Law360 article “Long-Pending Proposed Fines From FCC Prompt Concern.” The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has hit companies with nearly 80 proposed fines of six figures or higher in the past five years, but agency data shows the majority are still lingering in that preliminary state, prompting telecom industry members to question the efficiency and fairness of the enforcement process. Mr. Augustino commented on the FCC’s review of company responses to Notices of Apparent Liability (NALs), “The company has to respond within 30 days. It’s not clear to me why the FCC takes more than year from the NAL to reach a resolution of either a forfeiture order or consent decree, and yet [the list] is littered with cases that are far more than a year old.” He goes on to address the difficulty of reaching an independent review of agency action. “The cases can fall out or get stalled at many different junctures in the process,” Mr. Augustino said. “From a policy perspective, it’s a little bit troubling because the agency can take controversial [positions] and never have judicial review of those decisions.”
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