Wired Communications

Wilkinson Barker Knauer offers clients extensive experience on a broad array of matters relating to telecommunications policy and common carrier regulation. Our clients include not only wireline local exchange and interexchange carriers, but also mobile and fixed wireless providers, IP-based service providers, prepaid providers, and vendors of telecommunications network infrastructure, all of whom now face issues once relevant only to traditional telephone companies. We also represent trade association clients with interests in this area.

In recent years, Wilkinson Barker attorneys have been involved in matters regarding virtually every aspect of Title II of the Communications Act, which governs common carriers. For example, we have actively participated in industry-wide rulemakings addressing reform of the Universal Service Fund and the intercarrier compensation regimes, interconnection rights, the availability of unbundled network elements, the rates charged by incumbent providers for “special access” services, the circumstances and conditions under which telecommunications providers may obtain access to competitors’ poles, conduits, and rights-of-way, numbering, the Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act ("CALEA"), E-911 obligations, and other matters. In addition, we have represented clients in connection with numerous petitions and applications requesting forbearance from FCC regulation, seeking Eligible Telecommunications Carrier status, and advancing new interpretations of various Title II provisions. Clients regularly call upon us to offer counsel on their various rights and duties under the Communications Act, including issues ranging from the proper regulatory classification of new service offerings and the proper treatment of revenues for Universal Service contribution purposes to obligations under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, CALEA, and the Communication’s Act customer proprietary network information requirements.

In an age of convergence, Wilkinson Barker’s wireline practice routinely intersects with other aspects of the firm’s practice. Numerous Title II requirements now apply to wireless providers, cable providers offering voice service, and interconnected voice over IP providers. Moreover, the firm is frequently engaged in enforcement matters focused on the application of Title II obligations, and routinely represents wireline clients in connection with proposed transactions, appellate litigation, or other matters raising regulatory questions. Likewise, our wireline practice has expanded in scope as rules once applicable only to telephone networks are repurposed for application to digital broadband networks.