Douglas G. Bonner

Partner

Washington D.C.

(202) 230-5175 phone
(202) 842-8465 fax

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.  

Representative Matters

 

Douglas has won a number of significant litigation and arbitration cases on behalf of his clients in federal and state court, before the FCC and state regulatory agencies, and in arbitration. Examples include:

  • Following an evidentiary hearing, won a  Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission decision in favor of a national wireless carrier, concluding that the wireless carrier did not breach its interconnection agreement with an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) by refusing to pay US$4.5 million of access charges for predominantly local wireless traffic terminating to third-party carriers.
  • As lead litigation counsel for a national wireless carrier, won a US$8.575 million AAA arbitration award against a Bell Operating Company for reimbursement of payments of unlawfully tariffed SS7 messaging charges. Following opposing petitions to confirm and vacate the award, in 2008 a district court entered judgment in favor of his client for nearly US$8.9 million.
  • On behalf of a large national wireless carrier, filed the only significant petition for limited waiver of the FCC’s Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) rules. The petition sought a six-month extension of the deadline to implement all CPNI carrier rules, or until June 30, 2008, so that the carrier could complete the already pending implementation of a new uniform billing platform. The petition drew no opposition.
  • As MFS’ lead arbitration and appellate counsel, briefed and argued the first interconnection appeal under the ‘96 Act before a U.S. Court of Appeals, resulting in upholding the arbitrated interconnection agreement in its entirety. US West Communications Inc. vs. MFS Intelenet, Inc., 193 F.3rd 1112 (9th Cir. 1999), cert. den. 120 S. Ct. 2471 (2000).
  • In an FCC complaint proceeding against a major long distance carrier, established FCC precedent that competitive access charges that exceed the local access charges of the corresponding ILEC are not, per se, unreasonable.
  • Filed federal district court action on behalf of the owner and operator of Ricochet wireless mobile data technology against the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), which resulted in lifting of LIPA’s then-existing moratorium on new pole attachment agreements. The litigation resulted in the signing of the first new pole attachment agreement by LIPA since its inception. 

Publications

10/03/2013
PLI
Telecommunications Law Answer Book 2014
07/17/2013
Client Alert
FCC Declares Information on Mobile Devices May Qualify as CPNI
01/17/2013
Client Alert
California Attorney General Releases “Privacy On The Go” Best Practices for Mobile Business Applications
05/23/2012
Global Legal Group
The International Comparative Legal Guide to: Telecommunications Laws and Regulations 2012 – A practical cross-border insight into telecommunication laws and regulations
08/01/2008
E-Commerce Law Reports, Vol. 8, Issue 2
“Network Management - in Free Press and Public Knowledge v Comcast Corporation; the Federal Communications Commission orders Comcast Corporation to Discontinue Discriminatory Network Management Practices Against Peer-To-Peer Content"

Speaking Engagements

09/20/2013
NJCCA 11th Annual CLE Conference
Health-Related Mobile Apps: Navigating the Regulatory Complexities
12/12/2012
Drinker Biddle Webinar
Mobile Health Applications: Regulatory, Privacy & Data Security Issues
04/12/2012
Law Seminars International, 17th Annual Conference on Telecommunications Law
04/07/2010
LSI Telebriefing
09/17/2009
LSI Telebriefing
05/11/2009
Federal Communications Commission
04/16/2009
LSI Speaking Engagement—Telecommunications Case Decisions
03/09/2009
Catholic University Law School
04/07/2007
University of Maryland Robert H. Smith School of Business

 

Douglas has won a number of significant litigation and arbitration cases on behalf of his clients in federal and state court, before the FCC and state regulatory agencies, and in arbitration. Examples include:

  • Following an evidentiary hearing, won a  Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission decision in favor of a national wireless carrier, concluding that the wireless carrier did not breach its interconnection agreement with an incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) by refusing to pay US$4.5 million of access charges for predominantly local wireless traffic terminating to third-party carriers.
  • As lead litigation counsel for a national wireless carrier, won a US$8.575 million AAA arbitration award against a Bell Operating Company for reimbursement of payments of unlawfully tariffed SS7 messaging charges. Following opposing petitions to confirm and vacate the award, in 2008 a district court entered judgment in favor of his client for nearly US$8.9 million.
  • On behalf of a large national wireless carrier, filed the only significant petition for limited waiver of the FCC’s Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) rules. The petition sought a six-month extension of the deadline to implement all CPNI carrier rules, or until June 30, 2008, so that the carrier could complete the already pending implementation of a new uniform billing platform. The petition drew no opposition.
  • As MFS’ lead arbitration and appellate counsel, briefed and argued the first interconnection appeal under the ‘96 Act before a U.S. Court of Appeals, resulting in upholding the arbitrated interconnection agreement in its entirety. US West Communications Inc. vs. MFS Intelenet, Inc., 193 F.3rd 1112 (9th Cir. 1999), cert. den. 120 S. Ct. 2471 (2000).
  • In an FCC complaint proceeding against a major long distance carrier, established FCC precedent that competitive access charges that exceed the local access charges of the corresponding ILEC are not, per se, unreasonable.
  • Filed federal district court action on behalf of the owner and operator of Ricochet wireless mobile data technology against the Long Island Power Authority (LIPA), which resulted in lifting of LIPA’s then-existing moratorium on new pole attachment agreements. The litigation resulted in the signing of the first new pole attachment agreement by LIPA since its inception.