Tom Davidson, Greg Guice Talk TMT and the New Regulatory Environment with Metro Corp Counsel

Akin Gump’s national communications and information technology practice head Tom Davidson and public law and policy senior counsel Greg Guice were interviewed by Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, the resulting article titled “Buckle Up! Regulatory Turbulence Ahead for TMT: Profound changes could include bumpy ride for net neutrality.”

Davidson, whose practice focuses on clients in the domestic and international telecoms and high-tech industries, and Guice, who worked on Capitol Hill and the Federal Communications Commission, covered a wide range of topics in telecommunications, media and technology (TMT), among them:

  • Client concerns since the presidential election: “Not surprisingly, net neutrality and broadband privacy are two key issues that clients care about. In the media space, the potential for deregulation of the multiple ownership rules, which would include changes to the joint sales agreement attribution rules, rescission of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) recent decision to eliminate the Ultra High Frequency discount, and other media ownership rules are on top of the shortlist of agenda items for broadcasters.” (Davidson)
  • Outlook for net neutrality: “There are some indications of bipartisan interest in Congress in figuring out what a net neutrality framework should look like if legislation moves forward. Given some of the hurdles that the agency has to go through, there might be some desire in Congress to push that out a bit further. There might be congressional action before there’s agency action.” (Guice)
  • Privacy protection for broadband customers: “It seems that this is an area where the FCC, under new leadership, may decide to walk back some of the requirements [privacy rules adopted on November 2]. Under the Congressional Review Act, Congress may decide to eliminate the requirements. It’s clear that the issue of privacy is far from settled despite the order the FCC adopted.” (Guice)
  • The prospects for FTC oversight on unfair trade practices: “It would take an act of Congress to provide the FTC with jurisdiction over unfair trade practices by telecom companies. That’s because the common carrier exception has a statutory limitation on the FTC’s authority. A Republican controlled FCC could not simply decide to prevent the FCC from taking action in this area, though it could, as a matter of policy, refrain from further attempts to expand its jurisdiction beyond traditional telecom companies. I don’t think congressional action on the common carrier exception is going be a high priority, but it’s certainly something that could be integrated into overall telecom deregulation, which is something I think we’ll see in the next couple of years.” (Davidson)

To read the full interview, please click here.