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Telecommunications, Internet & Media Law

Clark Hill communications attorneys and other professionals possess a broad perspective of the communications industry and are among the most experienced and respected in the country. Our attorneys represent telecommunications service providers, cable operators, wireless carriers, broadcasters, broadband providers, trade associations, franchising authorities, and large corporate, institutional, and educational users of telecommunications services. This breadth in perspective and depth of experience is rare among firms; it is increasingly important, however, as companies develop new hybrid communications products and face new competitive and regulatory challenges.

Our clients are on the leading edge of a radical transformation in the communications industry. Telecommunications service providers, cable operators and wireless carriers are competing against each other in nearly all product categories. Traditional distinctions between products are also blurring as hybrid services like VoIP, high speed Internet access, VoWiFi,IPVideo, and Internet Radio continue to emerge. Deregulation, competition and the "age of broadband," mean that our clients will be confronted by more challenges -- and presented with more opportunities -- than at any other time in the history of the industry.

Panoramic Perspective

As hybrid communications products are developed and traditional lines between competitors become blurred, a panoramic perspective of the industry is increasingly important. Clark Hill's communications attorneys possess backgrounds that form such a perspective. Among our Communications Practice Group attorneys, one member is the author of the United States chapter of BNA's International Telecommunications Law, which analyzes the development of the industry and its regulations since the invention of the telephone. Another member is a former member of Congress.  Another member held legal and government affairs positions with several cable operators. Other members of the practice group have served as former Assistant Michigan Attorneys General; as a result of this experience, our attorneys can share the perspective of the regulator directly with our clients. Since 1985, Clark Hill attorneys have also published the Michigan Telecommunications Report, a comprehensive biweekly publication which keeps subscribers informed on activities affecting telecommunications in the state of Michigan. This panoramic perspective means that our communications attorneys are able to spot issues, understand policy implications, and develop creative solutions.

Depth of Experience

In addition to bringing a panoramic perspective, Clark Hill's communication attorneys are also among the most experienced in the country. Over the years, for example, Clark Hill has helped more than 100 telecommunications service providers in their efforts to secure licenses, negotiate or arbitrate interconnection agreements, seek approval of tariffs, and commence service in various states. Clark Hill's communications attorneys have also assisted clients with the construction of telecommunications facilities in the rights-of-way, the procurement of local permits, access to multiple-dwelling units, and development contracts for smart buildings. In addition, Clark Hill regularly assists clients in line sharing matters, total service long-run incremental cost (TSLERIC or TELRIC) studies, service quality, local number portability, creation and filing of tariffs, slamming and cramming proceedings before state and federal commissions, and a wide variety of other telephony-related issues. In addition to telephony matters, our communications practice group is also experienced in issues that affect cable operators. Over the last decade, counsel has been provided in nearly 500 franchise renewals and over 1,000 franchise transfers throughout the country. Our communications group attorneys can also assist in rate regulation and franchise fee audits, issues surrounding competitive strategy and overbuilds, pole attachments and permitting matters. Clark Hill attorneys have filed numerous broadcast license applications and modifications with the Federal Communications Commission.  Clark Hill attorneys have assisted with almost every facet of communications law, from lobbying to administrative proceedings before local, state, and federal regulatory agencies, to state and federal appellate litigation.

Experience

Representation of a major telecommunications company in the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy case commenced in the United States. Among other things, assisted the company's efforts to secure various forms of emergency relief upon the filing of its bankruptcy case and advised corporate executives in resolving the myriad crises the company faced during the initial stages of its reorganization.