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Industries & Practices

Telecommunications, Internet & Media

Disruption in media has led to greater competition and a need to evolve quickly while also complying with changing regulations. The Telecommunications, Internet, and Media team at Clark Hill provides experienced counsel for companies as they face increasing competitive challenges and new consumer demands.

We 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.  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. Our communications attorneys possess backgrounds that form such a perspective. Among our communications 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 held legal and government affairs positions with several cable operators. Another member of the practice group has served as a former Assistant Michigan Attorney General. As a result of this experience, our attorneys can share the perspective of the regulator directly with our clients. This panoramic perspective means that our communications attorneys are able to spot issues, understand policy implications, and develop creative solutions.

Depth of Experience

We have 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. We 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, we regularly assist 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. 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 more than 1,000 franchise transfers throughout the country. Our communications group can also assist in rate regulation and franchise fee audits, issues surrounding competitive strategy and overbuilds, pole attachments, and permitting matters. Our attorneys have filed numerous broadcast license applications and modifications with the Federal Communications Commission. Our 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.