The firm regularly represents clients in the communications, media, and entertainment industries, with a number of attorneys who have served as General Counsel or senior-level counsel at leading communications and media companies as well as at prominent communications practices at national law firms.
The firm’s communications practice combines a depth of experience in FCC and state regulatory issues, corporate transactions and intellectual property with an understanding of the rapidly evolving businesses in which our communications, media, and entertainment clients operate. A key focus of our communications attorneys is representing telecommunications clients who receive universal service support under the $10 Billion federal Universal Service programs, including the High Cost Fund, the E-Rate Program, and Rural HealthCare Program to promote access to critical broadband infrastructure in unserved and underserved areas of the U.S. Our attorneys represent clients in USAC audits of their contributions to and eligibility for support payments from the various USF programs. We also have actively represented health care provider consortia on policy matters relating to the Rural Healthcare Program, particularly on the need to increase the size of the capped $400 Million annual budget. Our attorneys have been successful in winning an 8 figure BTOP grant funding for middle mile broadband networks for an underserved rural health systems, often connecting multiple health care centers with fiber connectivity. We have also represented carriers serving Tribal areas, including assisting wireless and wireline operators in receiving designation as Eligible Telecommunications Carriers, including Tribally-owned carriers. We have experience winning grant funding under the General Mobility Fund reverse auction and are advising clients in the imminent nearly $2 Billion Connect America Fund Phase II auction. We also assist clients with obtaining wireless and broadband connectivity for all healthcare and university campus employees wherever they may be, including negotiation of agreements for distributed antenna system and small cell networks in the campus environment. We represent telecommunications clients in overcoming local zoning/permitting obstacles in deployment of wireless and wireline infrastructure, including moratoria on new infrastructure deployment. Our attorneys also represent cable TV and telecommunications carriers in disputes over unreasonable pole attachment rates and terms that may be discriminatory or frustrate deployment and delivery of new broadband services.
Our attorneys also have substantial expertise in handling telecommunications-related business transactions, including regulatory licensing (U.S. and foreign), technology-related export control, homeland security, and national security issues. We have represented U.S. and foreign-based telecommunications carriers and satellite companies in submarine cable, IRU and other negotiations and disputes. We provide assistance in acquisitions, sales, investments, joint ventures, and access to U.S. and foreign communications markets. We have advised banks and investment firms on regulatory approvals needed from their investment in or acquisition of controlling interests in communications companies and the methods for achieving their investment goals. We have successfully represented new entrant clients in substantial telecommunications litigation, often prevailing against larger incumbent carriers in interconnection, access charge and reciprocal compensation disputes involving the exchange of traffic. One of our communications partners arbitrated before a state commission and then litigated on appeal the first arbitrated interconnection agreement to be reviewed by a U.S. Court of Appeals (the Ninth Circuit) under Section 252 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, winning on all claims.
Our attorneys have represented media and entertainment clients with interests covering a broad range of media and technologies. We have deep experience in publishing, cable and satellite television, IPTV, Internet and mobile video, and satellite radio, as well as the production and multi-platform distribution of television programming, streaming video, and motion pictures. The group assists both newly launched and established players in the media and entertainment industries on a variety of complex transactions, including negotiations of digital content distribution, affiliation, and production agreements, as well as a wide spectrum of entertainment, business, licensing, intellectual property, and talent matters. Our attorneys also advise clients in managing and growing their content partnerships, including exploiting new technologies, complying with MFN obligations, and solving partner disputes. In all of these areas, our past experience as government policymakers, in-house counsel, and in private practice combine to produce a first-rate understanding of the law and policy necessary to provide top rate insight and the highest level of service to clients.