Telecommunications

Taft’s Telecommunications and Technology Industry Practice Group has decades of experience in the constantly evolving field of telecommunications.  We assist property owners and businesses with agreements relating to telecommunications service; represent telecommunications and information services providers in litigation, regulatory proceedings, and contract negotiations nationwide; advise on compliance with telemarketing laws; and advocate before state and federal agencies.

The breadth and depth of our telecommunications practice is evident from a few case studies:

  • The owner of a professional sports stadium needed a telecommunications solution that could accommodate dozens of thousands of fans simultaneously using their phones.  Taft’s attorneys negotiated agreements allowing the use of a Distributed Antenna System—a network of antennas that can provide coverage at a massive scale.
  • A private equity firm with offices in several locations in the U.S. and Europe was retaining a new company for its IT, data processing, telephony, and related needs.  Taft’s attorneys helped the private equity firm negotiate a master services agreement and service schedules ensuring that the firm’s communications were reliable and secure.
  • Taft lawyers represent large telecommunications providers in complex litigation in federal courts across the U.S., on issues such as payment obligations for calls dialed to international destinations.
  • A regional provider of internet services was being acquired.  Taft’s attorneys analyzed federal and state regulatory compliance issues, and represented the company in proceedings before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission, so that its licenses and certificates of authority would remain in good standing after the acquisition.
  • The installation of broadband facilities on the poles of a municipally-owned electric system led to disputes between the broadband provider, the municipality, the local telephone company, and others.  Taft’s attorneys, using their multidisciplinary experience with federal and state regulatory requirements, broadband subsidy programs, and municipal law, guided the client through complex multi-party negotiations.
  • Taft’s attorneys were part of a team that secured victory, litigated from the U.S. District Court to the U.S. Supreme Court, on the first test of state legislative authority over wireless rates and business practices.

     

Our telecommunications experience is broad and deep, and our clients range from start-ups to Fortune 1000 companies.  Our team has extensive experience with regulatory litigation.  We have been a pioneer in the developing area of universal service, successfully obtaining designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier (“ETC”) for numerous clients and developing regulatory compliance initiatives relating to universal service programs.  We serve as Minnesota regulatory counsel for various telecommunications providers and have participated in numerous rulemaking proceedings, agency investigations, and appeals of regulatory decisions to appellate courts.

 

Related Practices

Related Industries

Notable Matters

• Negotiated numerous agreements for IT and telecommunications services.

• Drafted, negotiated and administrated requests for proposals and agreements for distributed antenna systems serving professional sports facilities and convention centers.

• On behalf of apartment building developer, negotiated telecommunications right-of-entry agreements with providers of telecommunications services.

• Represented communications providers in federal courts in many states in disputes involving complex regulatory and network issues.

• Advised and assisted on pole attachments and right-of-way matters, including the development, negotiation and administration of pole license agreements, NESC compliance, and administration of right-of-way ordinances.

• Minnesota counsel for Minnesota Public Utilities Commission’s approval of merger of two large wireless carriers.

• Advised start-up provider of business telephone services as to federal and state regulatory compliance obligations.

• Advised clients on compliance with federal telemarketing, Telephone Consumer Practices Act (“TCPA”), and do-not-call requirements, and on compliance with all 50 states’ telemarketing and autodialing laws.

• Represented long-distance company in federal court proceedings regarding intercarrier compensation dispute for Voice over Internet Protocol traffic.

• Successfully helped a client respond to an investigatory subpoena issued by the Federal Communications Commission.

• Represented a long-distance company in obtaining an injunction for a tribal court from adjudicating a tribal telephone company’s collection action.

• Represented clients in public utility commission proceedings in over 30 states.

• Obtained order from federal district court in California sanctioning plaintiff for spoliation of forensic evidence and ordering adverse jury instructions in complex litigation between telecommunications providers.

• Represented wireless carriers in obtaining and maintaining ETC designation from the FCC and various state public utility commissions.

All Telecommunications Professionals

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