Our Communications attorneys know that sorting out which authorizations are needed and which regulatory obligations apply is a complex and daunting undertaking.
We’ve been helping clients—from start-ups to global brands, both U.S. and foreign-owned—navigate the federal and state regulation of telecommunications in the U.S. for more than 20 years.
Telecommunications and information service providers turn to us for counsel on the full range of issues they face entering and operating in the U.S. market.
We help them obtain the approvals they need, minimize ongoing regulatory obligations, and know, understand and meet their compliance responsibilities.
We represent them in transactions and investments in companies that hold authorizations relating to communications services that touch the U.S.
We advocate for their interests with Team Telecom, CFIUS and other federal and state agencies tasked with national security and monitoring foreign investment in U.S. companies.
We provide strategic business, legal and operational counsel that enables them to quickly and nimbly take advantage of the opportunities that the global telecommunications market offers.
We help international telecoms assess business models and service offerings to determine whether they require FCC Section 214 authority and additional state authorizations to provide services in the U.S. Our attorneys have earned a reputation for credibility and integrity through working with the FCC, Team Telecom, CFIUS and state commissions for more than two decades. We know the process and the people, and can work to secure necessary authorizations quickly and cost-effectively.
Our International Telecoms team provides regulatory, transactional and tax advice to companies building submarine cables. We help them obtain the necessary authorizations from the FCC and other authorities with oversight over these projects. We work with clients to identify when regulatory obligations will be triggered and to avoid the unnecessary assumption of other regulatory obligations through strategic counseling on the differences between common carrier and private carrier business models.
Our attorneys work at the intersection of international business and U.S. regulation, helping providers assess and secure federal and state regulatory approvals needed for cross-border corporate transactions, including mergers, corporate reorganizations, asset transfers, stock purchases and other transfers of control. We provide regulatory due diligence, as well as a full suite of corporate and securities services needed to complete any kind of deal.
Team Telecom and CFIUS
Our International Telecommunications team guides providers through the sensitive and sometimes lengthy review of Section 214 authority and submarine cable landing licenses that involve foreign ownership before Team Telecom—the collection of national security agencies that oversee telecommunications activity. We also represent providers undergoing reviews of transactions involving foreign acquisition of U.S. companies by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS). We’ve negotiated numerous Letters of Assurance and National Security Arrangements that frequently result from Team Telecom review, and assist in developing customized compliance, training and reporting programs required by these agreements.
Regulatory Compliance and Reporting
Our International Telecoms team provides ongoing compliance counseling, reporting and filing support, and strategic advice on regulatory and other legal developments that may impact international providers, including:
Obligations under the Universal Service Fund (USF), including the obligation to contribute, which revenues are subject to contribution and when reseller exemptions from USF surcharges apply; filing the quarterly and annual USF worksheets on FCC Forms 499-Q and 499-A; and Universal Service Administration Company inquiries and audits.
Obligations to contribute to funds supporting the Telecommunications Relay Services, Local Number Portability Administration, and the administration of the North American Numbering Plan.
Obligations related to annual CPNI certifications, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, and 911 emergency calling capabilities.
We also advocate for the interests of providers in rulemakings and other regulatory proceedings, including the preparation of petitions and comments, conducting ex parte meetings with regulators, and defending against investigations, complaints and other enforcement actions.
We assist clients with numerous aspects of their ongoing business operations in addition to their regulatory obligations, such as negotiating their wholesale and retail service agreements, including carrier-to-carrier agreements and enterprise agreements. We also advise clients in developing and implementing their privacy policies and conducting their advertising campaigns, whether using traditional or new media, consistent with applicable legal and regulatory requirements.