Broadband, Spectrum, Utilities, and Communications Infrastructure

Lerman Senter addresses the spectrum, infrastructure, transactional, and regulatory needs of broadband service providers, electric, gas, and oil utilities, public and educational communications users, and other entities that operate commercial and internal communications networks. We assist with licensing and compliance, spectrum transactions, system sales and leases, tower leasing, universal service, and enforcement matters for owners and operators of communications systems, broadband networks, and utilities. We draft customer agreements and handle issues affecting new technologies and spectrum allocations.

Lerman Senter attorneys provide a broad variety of broadband and spectrum-related services, including:

Regulatory Compliance

  • Advising on ownership, technical, and operational rules and requirements.
  • Counseling broadband providers on internet governance, privacy, cybersecurity, and law enforcement obligations.
  • Representing clients in enforcement proceedings before the FCC, including negotiating enforcement solutions.
  • Advising utilities on legal and regulatory issues involved in becoming broadband providers.
  • Advising on RF exposure and safety laws and regulations governing wireless equipment.
  • Counseling on laws and regulations regarding the use of drones for critical infrastructure asset management.

Spectrum

  • Helping acquire spectrum rights and licenses to support and expand broadband and utility operations.
  • Negotiating spectrum purchase and lease agreements.
  • Advocating for clients in proceedings before the FCC, state utility commissions, and other agencies.

Pole Attachments and Joint Use

  • Negotiating agreements on behalf of utilities for attachment of equipment to utility poles and conduit by telecommunications providers, wireless carriers, cable operators, and other entities.
  • Representing utilities in pole attachment cases before the FCC and in federal and state courts.
  • Advising utilities on federal and state legislative activity affecting utility infrastructure.

Towers and Communications Infrastructure

  • Assisting in obtaining state and local zoning approvals for siting and constructing communications towers and collocating communications equipment.
  • Advising on federal laws and regulations that govern environmental compliance and historic preservation.
  • Counseling on regulations governing the construction, marking and lighting of communications towers.
  • Negotiating tower leases.

Customer Agreements

  • Drafting terms of service, acceptable use policies, open internet disclosure statements, and other customer-facing agreements and documents.
  • Drafting service-level agreements between broadband providers and enterprises.

Subsidy Programs

  • Counseling clients on federal broadband support programs.
  • Advocating before the FCC on Connect America Fund rulemaking proceedings.

Representative Matters

  • Represented trade association in achieving successful Congressional and regulatory results on significant spectrum policy, Internet governance, and federal subsidy issues.
  • Represented multi-national telecommunications company and other public and private companies in acquisitions and sales of wireless broadband systems.
  • Represented rural telecommunications cooperative before federal and state agencies and Congress in successfully opposing major satellite merger.
  • Represented investment banking syndicates in public equity and debt offerings for fixed wireless companies, drafting registration statements, and providing risk assessment.
  • Devised and implemented regulatory plan to expedite and convert wireless video systems for digital and two-way services.
  • Negotiated spectrum lease, bandwidth, and management agreements for Internet service providers, multi-channel video, cellular, and satellite companies.
  • Represented a trade association of investor-owned utilities in filing an amicus curiae brief with the United States Supreme Court in support of an appeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s pole attachment rules.
  • Assisted electric utilities in negotiating agreements for small cell deployments on electric distribution poles and infrastructure.
  • Assisted utility with a major upgrade of its communications system, including obtaining FCC licensing approvals for an integrated statewide radio system, cross-border frequency coordination, waivers to utilize frequencies for private use, and demonstrating compliance with construction requirements.
  • Assisted utility with obtaining approvals from the Federal Aviation Administration for construction of new and modified towers, and wireless communications facilities, under the FCC’s environmental and historic preservation review.
  • Assisted utility with purchasing spectrum through an FCC auction and obtaining a waiver from the FCC to incorporate frequencies into its private, internal radio system.
  • Represented various electric utilities in proceedings before the FCC and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission regarding utility communications needs.
  • Represented electric utilities in pole attachment complaint proceedings before the FCC Enforcement Bureau and in a formal hearing proceeding.

We welcome you to contact us for more information about our broadband, spectrum, utilities, and communications infrastructure practice.

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