Welcome to the Tech & Telecom Weekly, an e-newsletter keeping you apprised of the latest developments in the telecommunications and high-tech industries.

FCC Policy

The FCC will seek comment on its tentative decision to move up the deadline by which “certain small voice service providers” must comply with STIR/SHAKEN. Stating that “evidence demonstrates that a subset of small voice service providers appear to be … generating a high and increasing share of illegal robocalls,” the Commission proposes a compliance deadline of June 30, 2022 – one year sooner than presently required – for these carriers. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce. (WC Docket No. 17-97)

Compliance Alerts

The FCC Enforcement Bureau has entered into a Consent Decree with Global Data Systems, Inc., which admittedly failed, in part, to file its Telecommunications Reporting Worksheets, CPNI Certifications, and Advanced Telecommunications Capability Data (FCC Form 477s) in a timely manner. Pursuant to the Consent Decree, Global Data Systems will make a voluntary payment of $180,000 and adhere to a compliance plan. For more information about STIR/SHAKEN and USAC, please contact Katherine Barker Marshall. (DA 21-536, File No. EB-IHD-20-00030638)

In the Courts

The District of Columbia has settled the lawsuit it filed in D.C. Superior Court against AT&T alleging its “knowing failures to comply with the terms of a long-term contract between AT&T” and a purchasing cooperative of which the District is a member. The alleged breach, which resulted in overcharges, occurred from 2012 to 2018. AT&T agreed, without any admission of wrongdoing, to pay the District $1.5 Million. The settlement does not include any non-monetary relief, and the mutual releases do not include potential claims against AT&T under DC criminal or tax law. For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

On May 19, 2021, the Federal Trade Commission, joined by California, Arizona, Indiana, North Carolina, Michigan, and Wisconsin, sued Frontier Communications in federal district court in Los Angeles for deceiving customers about its advertised DSL speeds. Plaintiffs brought suit under Section 5(a) of the FTC Act for deceptive and unfair trade practices, as well under the California Unfair Competition Law and other state unfair trade practice statutes. Frontier provides DSL services over traditional copper lines to about 1.3 Million customers, many in rural areas, in 25 states. According to the FTC, Frontier and several government agencies have been receiving complaints since January 2015 that Frontier is not delivering advertised Internet speeds over its broadband services. The complaint seeks injunction of Frontier’s allegedly deceptive advertising, civil penalties, and restitution to customers for the difference in price between the tier of broadband service purchased and the speed of service actually delivered. For more information, please contact Doug Bonner.

Legislative Affairs
Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Commerce Committee, has sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas regarding the ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline Company. She informed the Secretary that she “will be holding a hearing to further review the federal response to this cyberattack” and to examine how DHS can coordinate with other federal agencies to “better protect our nation’s critical infrastructure.” For more information, please contact Stephanie Joyce.

Note: This publication is distributed with the understanding that the author, publisher and distributor of this publication and/or any linked publication are not rendering legal, accounting, or other professional advice or opinions on specific facts or matters and, accordingly, assume no liability whatsoever in connection with its use. Pursuant to applicable rules of professional conduct, portions of this publication may constitute Attorney Advertising.

Media Contact

Marlene Laro

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