Douglas G. Bonner is a partner in the firm’s Government & Regulatory Affairs Practice Group, and focuses his practice on regulatory issues relating to all communications services and the Internet and litigation matters relating to the communications industry.
Communications. Douglas represents wireline and wireless carriers, VoIP providers, communications license holders and their financial investors, in federal and state regulatory proceedings and in legislative matters affecting the communications industry. Douglas is also a recognized litigator who has represented carrier clients and new entrants deploying new technologies, particularly involving issues relating to the Telecommunications Act of 1996 (’96 Act) and federal rules implementing the act.
Deeply involved in issues relating to competitive entry in communications markets, Douglas also represents and advises competitive carriers and license holders on a broad range of federal and state regulatory issues affecting their ability to offer services, and is instrumental in resolution of their disputes. He frequently assists carriers in negotiating and arbitrating interconnection agreements, on regulatory issues such as universal service and intercarrier compensation reform, and in negotiating services contracts with wholesale communications and Internet service providers on behalf of enterprise customers.
Broadband Funding. Douglas has represented clients seeking to qualify for broadband stimulus funding under the American Recovery and Reinstatement Act of 2009 and under Universal Service reforms under way under the National Broadband Plan. In July 2010, one of his clients won Commerce Department funding for the $27.6 million Iowa Healthcare Plus Broadband Extension Project, the first broadband infrastructure project funded in Iowa under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program. In 2010-2011, he represented the first tribally owned wireless carrier, in being declared a competitive Eligible Telecommunication Carrier, eligible for high cost federal universal service fund support throughout all areas of its Reservation.
Regulatory Issues. Douglas advises companies acquiring assets or being acquired with respect to necessary regulatory approvals, and obtains regulatory approvals for capital financing for telecommunications acquisitions or investments. He also represents clients before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) as well as most of the state commissions in the country. To date, Douglas has negotiated or arbitrated and obtained regulatory approval for several hundred interconnection agreements in more than 40 states on behalf of competitive carriers. He also negotiates programming agreements between broadcast networks and programming providers.
Associations and Coalitions. In 2011, he helped form Car Connectivity Consortium LLC, an international organization of automobile manufacturers, automotive infotainment system manufacturers and smartphone manufacturers, which is developing a standard specification for the integration of smartphone applications in the automotive environment. From 2002 to 2007, Douglas served as corporate counsel to a wireless industry coalition made up of national wireless carriers in the US to offer directory assistance services to wireless subscribers on an exclusively opt-in basis.
Douglas has been named in Chambers USA as a “Leading Lawyer in Telecom, Broadcast and Satellite in the District of Columbia” in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. He is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association and is a frequent industry speaker on issues affecting the communications industry. Douglas was Vice President of the Bannockburn Citizens Association in Bethesda, Md., from 2003 to 2008, and served on the Montgomery County, Maryland, Infill Development Task Force, whose recommendations to the Montgomery County Council for residential development reforms led to the enactment of new zoning legislation in 2008. He also serves on the Board of Directors of his community association.