Our Communications attorneys know, understand and work with them all.
Whether the matter is a consumer protection inquiry, a whistleblower investigation, “waste, fraud and abuse” oversight, or the result of a publicized incident, chances are good that Kelley Drye has faced the situation before. We regularly represent clients in audits and investigations relating to the receipt of federal funds, including the $8 billion per year federal Universal Service Fund. We also handle consumer protection matters before both federal and state commissions and state attorneys general. We have handled multiple high-profile investigations that involve an agency, an Inspector General and the DOJ in potential civil and/or criminal enforcement actions.
We have a keen understanding of the nuances associated with the enforcement processes of whatever entity is conducting the investigation and a reputation for integrity and credibility with these agencies, earned through decades of experience. We are not afraid to push back against overly zealous inquiries and generate workable results for our clients.
Federal Communications Commission, Office of Inspector General and Federal Trade Commission
Investigations into carrier compliance conducted by the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau, and USF Strike Force, with assistance from substantive Bureaus
Office of Inspector General investigations into program compliance and alleged fraudulent practices
Failures to pay contributions to USF and other FCC programs
Carrier marketing and billing practices, including TCPA compliance, cramming and outage reporting
Universal Service Administrative Company
Universal Service contributor audits and appeals
Lifeline program compliance audits, PQAs and investigations
E-rate funding commitments, invoicing and compliance matters
High-Cost program compliance audits
USF beneficiary withholding matters
State Public Utilities Commissions and Attorneys General
Multistate investigations into consumer protection matters
State PUC investigations of carrier broadband buildout requirements
State PUC investigations of ETC compliance and oversight of agents
Defended and advised multiple clients in the Office of Inspector General, Department of Justice and State Attorneys General investigations related to the USF Lifeline program.
Represented a Lifeline service provider in the largest fine proposed by the FCC at that time and in related whistleblower, OIG and state PUC investigations occurring simultaneously.
Represented a Lifeline service provider in an investigation of a whistleblower tip regarding Lifeline practices. The investigation was closed with no action after Kelley Drye’s presentation following an internal investigation.
Represented telecommunications carriers in over a dozen USF contribution audits, conducted by USAC and by contract third party audit firms.
Represented a large CLEC in an audit and appeal of over $1.5 billion in revenues reported on the Form 499-A. This appeal led to two clarification orders from the Commission and two remands to USAC for further evaluation.
Represented over a dozen carriers in consumer protection enforcement actions dating back to the 1990s, including slamming, cramming and “fat finger dialing” cases.
Represented the leading provider of 911 and emergency communications infrastructure, systems and services in an investigation of a multistate 911 outage in 2014.
Represented an American telecommunications holding company that provides wireless services and is a major global Internet carrier in a multiagency investigation of the carrier’s third-party billing practices for premium SMS messaging services.
Represented a dial-around long distance carrier in an FCC enforcement action proposing several million dollars in fines for allegedly deceptive marketing. The FCC let the statute of limitations expire without imposing a fine.
Represented several prepaid calling card providers in FCC investigations of their marketing disclosures to consumers. Two of the investigations were closed without the FCC taking action. Two proceeded to forfeitures (fines), and were settled or abandoned in ensuing collection actions.
Represented a conferencing provider in an enforcement action for failing to file CPNI certifications. Successfully challenged the FCC’s authority to issue a fine, given its classification of audio bridging services.
Represented a school district in an investigation of alleged competitive bidding violations involving their e-rate service provider. The investigation closed with no e-rate funding reclaimed by USAC.
Represented several carriers in investigations of their failure to pay USF assessments or of late payment of USF assessments. We have negotiated settlements and payment plans on multiple occasions.
Represented a nationwide provider of telecommunications relay services for the deaf in investigations of billing errors and reimbursement revisions relating to their provision of TRS services.
Represented competitive service provider in cross-venue litigation regarding access charges and VoIP communications.