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The lawyers in our Telecommunications, Media and Technology team have substantial experience in providing legal and policy counseling and advice to educational institutions, including public school districts, colleges and universities. This advice relates to licenses issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and in structuring technology-related solutions involving third-party contracting and spectrum leasing. Our lawyers also provide counseling and advice on a wide range of other communications laws, programs and regulations that can affect the educational community.

Our broadcast lawyers provide a wide range of services to noncommercial broadcast stations, including prosecuting applications for new stations and acquisitions/sales of stations, day-to-day counseling on operational/regulatory issues and facilities changes. These lawyers also assist clients with participation in FCC rulemakings on the reconfiguration of spectrum and with the substance and process issues posed by adoption of technical and service parameters governing such systems. Issues that often arise include FAA tower issues and nonprofit compliance advice and counseling.

Because information is delivered over a wide variety of broadband and narrowband technologies such as satellite, broadcast radio and television, telephone, cable, the Internet, and a range of wireless technologies such as cellular, PCS, paging and wireless broadband services, our education clients are increasingly becoming conversant in and involved with communications issues and federal and state programs that can advance their interests and mission. We understand the rules and policies under which current communications systems operate and provide insight into rules, policies and governmental programs and support educational attainment. This includes advice and support in obtaining funding from the FCC in connection with the E-Rate program, and navigating broader policy challenges with ConnectEd initiatives.

In addition, the offering of goods or services to prospective students may implicate legal and regulatory requirements under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). We counsel clients on compliance with the involved sets of rules and requirements in this area as well as with other communications programs and practices, including telecommunications contracting, easements and procurement. For more information, please visit our blog at www.tcpablog.com. We also negotiate contracts for the provision of services to provide wireless systems for campus settings; and the negotiation of lease capacity agreements for flexible use, fixed and mobile, broadband wireless systems. In addition, we have experience with federal grant program requirements for broadband system build-outs.

Telecommunications and Broadcasting

Our experience includes:

  • Represented a university and several teaching hospitals in the formation of a communications joint venture to provide telephone and other communication services to participating institutions and their affiliates.
  • Advised postsecondary institutions on TCPA compliance and enforcement matters.
  • Represented the following schools regarding their noncommercial broadcast stations:  Emerson College (WERS-FM, Boston), Fitchburg State University, Bethune-Cookman University, Salisbury University Foundation, Butler Community College, Rockland, Mass. public schools, Miles College (WMWI(FM), Demopolis, Ala.), and the University of Massachusetts (WUMD and WUML, in Dartmouth and Lowell, Mass., respectively).
  • Represented the following institutions with respect to leasing of wireless broadband spectrum:  Gratiot Isabella RESD, Black Hills State University, and the University of Maryland University System.