Wiley Rein has one of the largest and most diverse telecommunications practices in the nation. Consistently ranked by Chambers USA in its top tier, the Group is recognized as a “market leader” that “fields a deep bench of experts” with “excellent substantive knowledge” (2013) and are regularly praised for being “a very strong regulatory firm,” and having “terrific expertise in all FCC matters.” (2014). Our Telecommunications Group assists a broad range of clients in understanding Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state and international regulatory requirements, developing business plans, and advocating particular regulatory and legislative results. As Chambers notes, the Group has “depth and breadth that attracts clients of the highest caliber” (2012). “The practice offers expertise in transactional, appellate, litigation, and global policy matters, making Wiley Rein a firm of choice for a number of the market’s most prominent names” (2012).
The Legal 500 US lauds the Group for “acting on some of the most significant transactions in the sector” (2013) and states that clients consider our “market-leading telecoms team ‘by far the best firm for FCC matters,’” noting that the Group is appreciated for “providing excellent strategic guidance” (2012). We have helped customers negotiate contracts for network services, assisted entities in structuring new services to minimize regulation, gained approval of major mergers (and also opposed mergers on behalf of affected clients), and performed regulatory due diligence on countless transactions. We have extensive legal and technical expertise in all aspects of U.S. and international spectrum policies, allocation, and licensing matters.
Our federal experience extends to:
- Local exchange competition, pricing, and deregulation issues, including negotiation of interconnection agreements and resolution of intercarrier disputes.
- All aspects of rate regulation.
- Negotiation of service agreements on behalf of enterprise customers.
- Handling all manner and size of mergers and acquisitions involving regulated entities.
- Regulatory initiatives affecting information services (including all manner of Internet services).
- Access charge pricing and rules and universal service funding.
- Administrative and court litigation regarding compliance with FCC regulations.
- Safeguarding carriers and customers in the event of telecommunications bankruptcies.
- Advice on common carrier developments and their implications for financial institutions and other investors.
We also have extensive experience dealing with state regulatory bodies in the following areas:
- Structuring operations to minimize regulation where desirable and possible.
- Arbitrating interconnection agreements.
- State certification and tariffing requirements for facilities-based carriers and resellers.
- Federal/state jurisdictional and preemption issues.
- State approval requirements for mergers and acquisitions involving telecommunications entities.
At the international level, the firm's common carrier attorneys are thoroughly knowledgeable in the following areas:
- Foreign ownership limitations.
- International resale and facilities certification requirements.
- Intelsat and Inmarsat issues.
- World Administrative Radio Conference activities.
- Privatization of foreign postal, telegraph, & telephone companies (PTTs) and telecommunications companies.
- Transborder data flow issues.
- International trade, export, and import rules.
Wiley Rein's Communications Practice Group also has extensive experience in appellate litigation in both federal and state courts. Finally, our Telecommunications lawyers work frequently with the firm's Public Policy Group to provide effective representation before Congress and at the White House.
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By Scott D. Delacourt and Mark B. Sweet
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By Megan L. Brown and Brett A. Shumate
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By Bennett L. Ross and Brett A. Shumate
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