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Above 95 – FCC Hits the Stratosphere

The FCC voted today to issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Order looking toward issuing licenses for frequencies above 95 GHz. That’s GigaHertz, not MegaHertz – way up there, beyond the highest frequencies that are commonly used today, at least by the private sector. Historically, frequencies this high were not considered useful for communication … Continue Reading

FCC Officially Publishes Net Neutrality Rollback Rule; Will Take Effect on April 23

Well, it’s official: the Open Internet rule, better known as Net Neutrality, will go bye-bye starting April 23. Today, the hotly debated final notice of the Open Internet Rule (better known as Net Neutrality) was published in the Federal Register. Net neutrality goes away as of April 23 except for certain provisions that require review … Continue Reading

White House Deliberates Centralized 5G Network Proposal

Telecommunications companies today got a rude awakening when Axios broke news that the Trump administration is considering a recommendation to centralize and build a 5G wireless network. According to multiple news outlets, members of the U.S. National Security Council (NSC) presented senior White House officials with recommendations to centralize the United States’ 5G network in … Continue Reading

The FCC’s Open Internet Order – Which Freedom?  

The fight over the Open Internet (better known as net neutrality) continued Thursday with the Federal Communications Commission voting to reverse the 2015 Title II Order, which reclassified broadband Internet access as a “telecommunications service.” This decision means that the Internet will return to its pre-2015 Title I “information service” classification (For a history of how … Continue Reading

New European Privacy Laws Going Into Effect Mean ALL Companies Need to Review their Data Collection

Our websites are global, our e-commerce offerings reach customers around the world, our Internet radio broadcasts elicit responses from listeners around the globe and our consultants often hail from London to New Delhi. Whether people pay us, whether we pay them, or whether we just correspond with people interested in our products, services and programs, … Continue Reading

Limited Registration Period for .RADIO Domain Names Ends Oct.31, 2017 – The Time to Register Is Now!

Now until Oct. 31, 2017, the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) is offering a “Special Limited Registration Period” – a pre-launch opportunity for the registration of .RADIO domain names by radio broadcasters, radio professional, radio amateurs, Internet radios, and radio-related companies. Call letters, corporate names, on-air personality names, and even slogans can all be registered as … Continue Reading

FCC Activates DIRS for Second Time in Two Weeks as Irma Approaches

Just a week after Hurricane Harvey wreaked havoc in Texas and Louisiana, Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, has already hit parts of the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. This is a major storm, with wind gusts measured at 155 mph in Barbuda. This weekend Irma is set to make its way into Florida … Continue Reading

FCC Releases Annual Regulatory Fee Order – Payments Due Sept. 26, 2017

Now that summer and beach season is over, the Commission has finally released the final listing of regulatory fees for 2017 and their due date. While it might not be as big of news as a Taylor Swift release, this is an important time for the Commission which has announced the final amounts due for … Continue Reading

Last of Citizens Broadband Radio Service Rules Become Final

The FCC’s rules for Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) have become final, after many years in the works. No, it’s not your grandfather’s “Ten-four, good buddy” citizens band, but a high-end, super-Wi-Fi-type service that someday will serve your portable devices with fast digital signals. But don’t run down to Best Buy quite yet. The engineers are … Continue Reading

Independent Decisionmakers Reduce SESAC’s Commercial Radio License Rate by Tens of Millions of Dollars

(Stations will pay 60% less than old SESAC rate card) While the fight between the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) has captured music licensing headlines in 2016 and 2017 (including here at Commlawblog), it has previously been RMLC v. SESAC which stole the show.  (Recall that until GMR came on … Continue Reading

Countdown Clock Ticking on Digital Millennium Copyright Act Designated Agent Registrations

(Registered agent contact information must be ELECTRONICALLY filed with the Copyright Office by December 31, 2017) How much is peace of mind worth to you? Does $6.00 and less than an hour of your time sound about right? What if I told you that this alone would significantly reduce the likelihood that you will be … Continue Reading

NTIA Seeks Comments on Cybersecurity Threats

We’ve previously reported on a drone-related multistakeholder process convened by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), which is part of the Department of Commerce and is responsible for telecommunications and technology policy. For several years, NTIA has considered important policy issues related to emerging technologies through these “multistakeholder processes,” which bring together industry, public … Continue Reading

FCC Begins Rollback of Net Neutrality Rules

On May 23, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing the reversal of the agency’s 2015 Title II Order which subjected Internet service providers (ISPs) to regulation as telecommunications services pursuant to Title II of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. In a 2-1 vote along partisan lines, … Continue Reading

FCC Temporarily Waives International Traffic Reporting Requirements

The Federal Communications Commission recently issued a temporary waiver of its international traffic and revenue reporting requirements while it contemplates a more permanent scaling-back of regulatory burdens associated with international telecommunications services. Long-time readers of our blog may recall that we reported on FCC “reductions” to international reporting obligations a few years ago – but … Continue Reading

.RADIO Domain Names Available Soon, But Many Unanswered Questions about Availability

After many years of preparation, the roll-out of .RADIO domain names will finally be underway shortly. The news has potential for broadcasters worldwide (for example, you could have as your URL.) Yet there are many unanswered questions about how .RADIO domain names will be allocated and what happens when multiple parties want the same … Continue Reading

Webcaster Wake Up Call!

SoundExchange reports, payments due soon On February 2nd the groundhog best known as “Punxsutawney Phil” will be plucked from the comfort of his underground lair and ceremoniously asked to “predict” the end of winter.  Of course, this tradition was memorably portrayed in the 1993 movie “Groundhog Day” in which Bill Murray’s Phil Connors relives a … Continue Reading

Merry Christmas to the Licensee Community from New York! Appeals Court Holds No New York Performance Right in Sound Recordings

In what comes as an early Christmas gift for those who play “oldies” music – think Sirius XM Radio, radio broadcasters, and webcasters – and coal in the stockings of the owners of those recordings, New York’s highest state court ruled today that New York does not recognize a public performance right in sound recordings. … Continue Reading

New Privacy Rules Going Into Effect Apply to All Telecom Carriers

An Enhanced Version of CPNI — But Will the New Administration “Undo” The New Rules? Attentive readers of this Blog know that in October, the FCC adopted new rules primarily designed to enhance the privacy and data security requirements imposed on providers of Broadband Internet Access Service (“BIAS”). Some of the new rules have been … Continue Reading

Noncommercial Broadcasters Receive Welcome Reporting News

Copyright Royalty Judges Reinstate Reporting Relief for Most Noncommercial Broadcasters You may recall that in August 2016, we reported that the Copyright Royalty Judges had proposed to modify the rules governing how noncommercial broadcasters are supposed to report the sound recordings that they stream to SoundExchange. That proposal was published at the urging of the … Continue Reading

GMR Strikes Back

We previously informed you about the Radio Music License Committee’s (RMLC) antitrust lawsuit filed against the “fourth” performing rights organization (“PRO”), Global Music Rights (“GMR”) for engaging in anticompetitive conduct designed to drive up music licensing prices.  Now, GMR has filed an antitrust lawsuit of its own in a different federal court against the RMLC. … Continue Reading

DC Circuit Vacates FCC OTT VoIP Order on End Office Access Charges

A recent D.C. Circuit Court decision may significantly impact the access charges billed by over-the-top VoIP carriers. In 2015 the Commission issued a declaratory ruling (In re Connect America Fund, 30 FCC Rcd. 1587 (2015) regarding the classification of end office local switching when internet service providers (“ISPs”) collaborate with over-the-top VoIP providers to complete interexchange … Continue Reading