Communications Regulation
Communications Regulation
Our Communications attorneys provide comprehensive strategic counsel and representation on a wide array of regulatory matters to communications, information and technology companies ranging from some of the biggest global providers to startups and emerging enterprises.

We devise innovative and practical solutions to the regulatory obstacles our clients face, facilitate the development and marketing of their services and help bring new technologies and communications services to the marketplace while keeping pace with the evolving competitive, legal and regulatory climate.

Policy and Legislation

Our Communications attorneys have earned a reputation for integrity and credibility through years of advocating before policymakers at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state public utility commissions, National Telecommunications and Information Administration and other agencies.  We represent clients before federal and state agencies, the White House and on Capitol Hill, to shape policy and regulations.  We build multi-stakeholder coalitions and work with numerous trade associations to secure positive and cost-effective results.

Compliance

We help U.S. and foreign wireless and wireline carriers, communications and information service companies navigate this dynamic and heavily regulated industry, which can involve a range of federal and state laws, regulations and obligations, including those in the following areas:

  • Federal Universal Service Fund (Low-Income/Lifeline, E-Rate/Schools & Libraries, High-Cost/Connect America, Rural Healthcare)

  • Privacy and Information Security/Cybersecurity

  • Customer Proprietary Network Information Obligations

  • Open Internet

  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act

  • Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

  • Disability Access

  • E-Rate

  • Numbering

  • Interconnection and Intercarrier Compensation

  • State and Federal Tax

  • Foreign Ownership

Audits and Investigations

Where compliance is in question, we represent companies in regulatory inquiries, investigations, audits and enforcement proceedings before the FCC’s Office of Inspector General and Enforcement Bureau, the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), state commissions and state attorneys general and other regulatory bodies, including the FTC.

Licensing and Registration

We help clients navigate the complex process of obtaining the requisite federal authorizations from the FCC and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., as well as state licenses for market entry and transactions across all 50 states and U.S. territories.  We advise submarine cable system operators and satellite system operators on FCC licensing requirements, and guide an array of communications companies on spectrum allocations, equipment authorization and a host of other federal and state sector-specific regulations.

Lifeline

Our Communications attorneys are the go-to regulatory and compliance resource for eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs)—both companies that are established and those that seek to be—vendors, consultants and other providers who participate in the FCC’s Lifeline Program.  We helped shape the rulemaking process that resulted in the FCC’s 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order, working on behalf of a coalition of large and small Lifeline ETCs to moderate the minimum service standards that had been proposed and secured a limit to automatic benefit transfers to improve customer retention.  Our industry standard summary of the order and the implications for participants in the Lifeline space is the definitive resource on the current Lifeline Program.  We assist providers with implementation requirements, including compliance with minimum service standards, Lifeline Broadband Provider designation, the National Verifier, benefit port freezes, qualification programs, recertification and non-usage rules, and the compliance plan process, including preparing for meetings with FCC staff and advocating for approvals.  We assist clients with petitions for ETC designation at the FCC and before state commissions.

E-Rate

Our attorneys know and understand the E-Rate Program (formally the Schools and Libraries program).  As E-Rate has evolved, we’ve stayed current with its changes, and assist both applicants and service providers to understand the intricacies and impact of changes to the E-Rate rules.

We help schools and libraries ensure successful participation in the E-Rate program, beginning with understanding the Eligible Services List and what services are eligible for discounts and which entities are eligible to provide them.  We work with applicants to respond to USAC Program Integrity Assurance reviews and ultimately to obtain funding approval, including appeals of funding denials on behalf of applicants or affected service providers, and advise on compliance with E-rate rules and gift rule restrictions.   We advise service providers that provide eligible E-Rate services in meeting all applicable USAC guidelines, as well as the BEAR and SPI processes of invoicing.  We provide compliance training for service provider personnel, and advise clients on competitive bidding requirements in order to conduct a fair and open competitive bidding process—in particular, in drawing the line between permitted and prohibited interactions between applicants and service providers in a competitive bidding environment.

 
 

Overview

Our Communications attorneys provide comprehensive strategic counsel and representation on a wide array of regulatory matters to communications, information and technology companies ranging from some of the biggest global providers to startups and emerging enterprises.

We devise innovative and practical solutions to the regulatory obstacles our clients face, facilitate the development and marketing of their services and help bring new technologies and communications services to the marketplace while keeping pace with the evolving competitive, legal and regulatory climate.

Policy and Legislation

Our Communications attorneys have earned a reputation for integrity and credibility through years of advocating before policymakers at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), state public utility commissions, National Telecommunications and Information Administration and other agencies.  We represent clients before federal and state agencies, the White House and on Capitol Hill, to shape policy and regulations.  We build multi-stakeholder coalitions and work with numerous trade associations to secure positive and cost-effective results.

Compliance

We help U.S. and foreign wireless and wireline carriers, communications and information service companies navigate this dynamic and heavily regulated industry, which can involve a range of federal and state laws, regulations and obligations, including those in the following areas:

  • Federal Universal Service Fund (Low-Income/Lifeline, E-Rate/Schools & Libraries, High-Cost/Connect America, Rural Healthcare)

  • Privacy and Information Security/Cybersecurity

  • Customer Proprietary Network Information Obligations

  • Open Internet

  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act

  • Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act

  • Disability Access

  • E-Rate

  • Numbering

  • Interconnection and Intercarrier Compensation

  • State and Federal Tax

  • Foreign Ownership

Audits and Investigations

Where compliance is in question, we represent companies in regulatory inquiries, investigations, audits and enforcement proceedings before the FCC’s Office of Inspector General and Enforcement Bureau, the Universal Service Administration Company (USAC), state commissions and state attorneys general and other regulatory bodies, including the FTC.

Licensing and Registration

We help clients navigate the complex process of obtaining the requisite federal authorizations from the FCC and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., as well as state licenses for market entry and transactions across all 50 states and U.S. territories.  We advise submarine cable system operators and satellite system operators on FCC licensing requirements, and guide an array of communications companies on spectrum allocations, equipment authorization and a host of other federal and state sector-specific regulations.

Lifeline

Our Communications attorneys are the go-to regulatory and compliance resource for eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs)—both companies that are established and those that seek to be—vendors, consultants and other providers who participate in the FCC’s Lifeline Program.  We helped shape the rulemaking process that resulted in the FCC’s 2016 Lifeline Modernization Order, working on behalf of a coalition of large and small Lifeline ETCs to moderate the minimum service standards that had been proposed and secured a limit to automatic benefit transfers to improve customer retention.  Our industry standard summary of the order and the implications for participants in the Lifeline space is the definitive resource on the current Lifeline Program.  We assist providers with implementation requirements, including compliance with minimum service standards, Lifeline Broadband Provider designation, the National Verifier, benefit port freezes, qualification programs, recertification and non-usage rules, and the compliance plan process, including preparing for meetings with FCC staff and advocating for approvals.  We assist clients with petitions for ETC designation at the FCC and before state commissions.

E-Rate

Our attorneys know and understand the E-Rate Program (formally the Schools and Libraries program).  As E-Rate has evolved, we’ve stayed current with its changes, and assist both applicants and service providers to understand the intricacies and impact of changes to the E-Rate rules.

We help schools and libraries ensure successful participation in the E-Rate program, beginning with understanding the Eligible Services List and what services are eligible for discounts and which entities are eligible to provide them.  We work with applicants to respond to USAC Program Integrity Assurance reviews and ultimately to obtain funding approval, including appeals of funding denials on behalf of applicants or affected service providers, and advise on compliance with E-rate rules and gift rule restrictions.   We advise service providers that provide eligible E-Rate services in meeting all applicable USAC guidelines, as well as the BEAR and SPI processes of invoicing.  We provide compliance training for service provider personnel, and advise clients on competitive bidding requirements in order to conduct a fair and open competitive bidding process—in particular, in drawing the line between permitted and prohibited interactions between applicants and service providers in a competitive bidding environment.

Partner
Email (202) 342-8544(202) 342-8544
John Heitmann, chair of the Communications practice, counsels wireless, wireline and cable broadband and telephony service providers, and other entities, large and small, international and domesti...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8612(202) 342-8612
Steve Augustino’s telecommunications practice is both broad and deep, ranging from regulatory, legislative and administrative law counsel to transactional advice, advocacy and litigation.&nb...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8518(202) 342-8518
Thomas Cohen’s practice focuses on providing legal counsel to further the business interests of entities engaged in the provision of wireline and wireless telecommunications, cable (video) a...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8566(202) 342-8566
Josh Guyan advises providers of wireline, wireless, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and satellite services on domestic and international experimental compliance and licensing, as well as Unive...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8603(202) 342-8603
Alysa Hutnik delivers comprehensive expertise in all areas of privacy, data security and advertising law.  Her experience ranges from counseling to defending clients in FTC and state attorney...
Partner
Email (312) 857-2350(312) 857-2350
Hank Kelly is the managing partner of the firm’s Chicago office. Hank’s practice is focused exclusively on communications, energy and public utility law and regulation, where he p...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7714(212) 808-7714
Bruce Kraus is a partner in the New York corporate practice and chair of the Corporate Finance and Securities practice group. A leading practitioner in mergers & acquisitions, corporate financ...
Partner
Email (212) 808-7697(212) 808-7697
Marisa Lorenzo is a litigator who focuses on investigations, enforcement actions and lawsuits involving the communications industry.  Marisa works with clients, including communication service...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8576(202) 342-8576
Gonzalo Mon’s practice is focused on marketing and advertising law.  He advises a wide range of companies in all aspects of promoting their brands, and works closely with them to find p...
Partner
Email (202) 342-8540(202) 342-8540
Chip Yorkgitis is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.  He focuses his practice on telecommunications. Chip represents clients with interests and concerns related to sp...
Special Counsel
Email (312) 857-7087(312) 857-7087
Michael Dover’s practice focuses on technology litigation and dispute resolution.  Mike has extensive first and second chair experience before various federal courts, state courts and st...
Special Counsel
Email (202) 342-8614(202) 342-8614
Denise Smith represents telecommunications companies, including international service providers, competitive local exchange carriers, interexchange carriers, conference calling service providers a...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8503 (202) 342-8503
Avonne Bell is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. Her practice focuses on telecommunications and technology matters. Prior to joining Kelley Drye, Avonne was a Senior Manage...
Associate
Email (202) 945-6649(202) 945-6649
Winafred Brantl is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.  She focuses her practice on state and federal telecommunications regulatory issues for competitive carriers. ...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8465(202) 342-8465
Brad Currier is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.  His practice focuses on communications matters. Prior to joining Kelley Drye, Brad served as an Assistant ...
Associate
Email (212) 808-7678(212) 808-7678
Jameson Dempsey counsels wireless, wireline, cable and advanced communications service providers on federal and state privacy, information security, and communications issues.  He draws on a ...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8635(202) 342-8635
Ross Slutsky is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. His practice focuses on communications, technology policy, privacy, data security, and emerging technology matters. Throug...
Associate
Email (202) 342-8459 (202) 342-8459
Jenny Wainwright is an associate in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.  Her practice focuses on federal and state regulatory and transactional matters involving communications service ...