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Bennett Ross Discusses FCC Enforcement Process Concerns

Law360
January 27, 2016

Bennett L. Ross, chair of Wiley Rein’s Telephony & Information Technology Practice, was quoted in a January 21 Law360 article about the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) enforcement process.

Law360 analyzed data provided by the FCC to Congress, which indicates that between April 14, 2011, and November 2, 2015, the FCC issued 79 Notices of Apparent Liability (NALs) to companies, proposing fines of more than $100,000. Of those NALs, 46 are still pending, as they have not been resolved through forfeiture orders or consent decrees.

“There really is no rhyme or reason to the way the FCC moves an NAL to the next step in an enforcement process,” Mr. Ross said. “You see in some cases an NAL is issued and four years later, a forfeiture order comes out. In some other cases, the time in between an NAL and forfeiture order is one year or six months. I think that’s one of the reasons why, from a process standpoint, there have been calls to require the commission to act within specific periods of time.”

An NAL is a type of indictment, and “it’s in some respects a travesty a company is indicted and the case is not resolved for years or, in some cases, not at all,” Mr. Ross added.

The Law360 article can be found here.