Tuesday, May 26, 2015

TLP's Mike Lazarus Testifies Before Copyright Office on Device Unlocking

Contact: Lucy Tutwiler
(202) 449-9866

CCA Urges Copyright Office to Permit Device Unlocking

Washington, DC – May 26, 2015 – Today, Michael Lazarus, Managing Member of Telecommunications Law Professionals PLLC testified on behalf of Competitive Carriers Association (CCA) before the United States Copyright Office in support of allowing consumers to have the ability to legally unlock their wireless devices.  Consumers should be allowed to take the device of their choosing to the carrier that best meets their needs and desires, and CCA urged the Copyright Office to permit legal unlocking under appropriate circumstances by exempting unlocking circumvention measures pursuant to Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  

In opening remarks, Lazarus said, “CCA strongly supports an exemption allowing consumers to unlock all of their devices that connect to a wireless network, to associate a wireless device with the network of their choosing, which CCA originally proposed through its Petition and comments in the record.  This protection should apply not only to handsets and tablets, but to all wireless devices that have the potential to connect to a telecommunications or information network.  Because this proceeding is forward-looking, an exemption should allow consumers the ability to unlock any relevant device, and not be subservient to the will of any one carrier or manufacturer.  In addition, as directed by Congress, the exemption should not limit who may provide assistance to unlock a device, and therefore should allow an agent of the consumer, whether it be another person or a wireless provider, to perform the unlocking procedure, just as a locksmith may unlock an individual’s car or home when they do not have the necessary key.”

In a statement, CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry said, “The decision to extend the unlocking exemption should be an easy one for the Copyright Office.  Congress demonstrated its support for unlocking by passing a bill that the President signed last year.  There has been near universal support for the exemption, and unlocking clearly benefits consumers and competitive carriers, especially smaller carriers who still have trouble accessing the latest devices.  I encourage the Copyright Office to recommend to the Librarian of Congress adoption of the unlocking exemptions proposed by CCA.”

FCC Seeking Comment on Initial Clearing Target Optimization Simulations

The FCC has released the results of several initial clearing target optimization simulations completed by the Incentive Auction Task Force.  The simulations reflect three different illustrative broadcaster participation scenarios: (1) participation between 40 and 50 percent of broadcast stations; (2) participation between 50 and 60 percent; and (3) participation between 60 and 70 percent.  Resulting spectrum availability for the forward auction may be reviewed in Appendix A.  The Commission anticipates that this data will enable interested parties to analyze issues relating to the selection of an initial spectrum clearing target.

The simulations indicate the following initial clearing targets:  
  • an initial clearing target of 84 megahertz in a scenario where 40 to 50 percent of broadcasters participate in the reverse auction (Scenario 1);
  • an initial clearing target of 114 megahertz in a scenario where 50 to 60 percent participate (Scenario 2); and
  • an initial clearing target of 126 megahertz in a scenario where 60 to 70 percent participate (Scenario 3).

Under each scenario, the vast majority of the licenses offered in the band plan associated with each clearing target are Category 1 licenses.  The FCC also finds that in lower broadcaster participation scenarios, excluding stations altogether from the duplex gap would increase the number of Category 2 licenses and heavily impaired licenses that the Commission proposed not to offer in the incentive auction.

Comments on this data and analysis are due on June 3, 2015.

Please do not hesitate to contact TLP if you have any questions.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Enforcement Advisory on Broadband CPNI

Public Notice has been released providing guidance to broadband providers on how the Enforcement Bureau plans to enforce Section 222 of the Act (CPNI Obligations) with regards to broadband Internet access service.  As you may recall, Section 222 will apply to broadband providers once the Open Internet Order goes into effect.  During the time between the effective date of the Open Internet Order and subsequent Commission guidance on Section 222, the Enforcement Bureau intends to focus on whether providers are taking reasonable, good-faith steps to comply, rather than on technical details.  By doing so, the Enforcement Bureau intends that broadband providers should employ effective privacy protections in line with their privacy policies.  

In addition, broadband providers may request advisory opinions on their future conduct to ensure compliance with the Open Internet Order.  

Please do not hesitate to contact TLP if you have any questions.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

TLP Ranked as "Leading Firm" in Chambers USA 2015

TLP is proud to have been ranked in Chambers USA 2015 as a "Leading Firm".  The list, which may be found on the Chambers and Partners' Website, ranks TLP in Band 4 for Telecom, Broadcast, and Satellite in Washington, D.C.