Lee G. Petro represents broadcasters, telephone companies and wireless service providers before the Federal Communications Commission. He has represented broadcasters and fixed wireless broadband service providers in the issues faced by their transition to digital and to two-way broadband service. Lee also works with clients who need counseling on matters of construction benchmarks, build out, rights of way, tower leasing and siting and implementation of services more generally. He lends his expertise to clients seeking to lease their spectrum excess capacity and to transactions designed to accomplish that goal consistent with regulatory requirements. Lee also routinely works on transactional matters for a range of communications clients, including preparation of asset purchase agreements, spectrum leasing arrangements and interference reduction agreements. He also prosecutes trademark applications before the Patent and Trademark Office on behalf of his telecommunications clients, and has represented clients before the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice relating to merger and acquisition issues.
Since 2010, Lee has served as pro bono counsel to the Martha Wright Petitioners in an FCC preceding that has sought to end excessive telephone rates for inmate calling services. Lee is an active member of the Federal Communications Bar Association, and its nonprofit charitable and educational organization, the Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation. Lee has served as Assistant Secretary, Secretary, and Assistant Treasurer of the FCBA, and is currently the Treasurer. Lee also served on the Board of Trustees and as chairman of the FCBA Foundation, and as co-chair of numerous FCBA committees. Lee authors a monthly column in Radio Magazine, and has spoken on panels for the National Association of Broadcasters, state broadcast associations and the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners.
Lee is a regular contributor to and manages Telecom Highlights, a blog about developments in telecommunications law and policy.
- Led a coalition of public interest organizations and the legal team that resulted in the FCC’s adoption of caps on Inmate Calling Service rates and ancillary fees in October 2015. Testified before Federal Communications Commission, U.S. Senate and Maryland House of Delegates.
- Represented rural wireless service providers in acquisition of FCC licenses and spectrum leasing agreements leading to roll-out of broadband wireless data services in Alaska and New Mexico.
- Assisted noncommercial radio broadcasters in acquisition of new spectrum in Noncommercial Educational FM radio and Low Power FM radio filing windows, including post-window administrative litigation in comparative proceedings.
- Counseled television broadcaster on launch of new network service, negotiation of network affiliation agreements for primary and subchannels, and with the expansion of cable and satellite carriage through retransmission consent agreements.
- Served as primary FCC regulatory and transactional attorney for several of the largest, multi-market radio broadcasters.
- Obtained regulatory relief for innovative service provider through the authorization of experimental use of spectrum and RF devices.
- Counseled health care-related entities in use of spectrum and experimental licensing in connection with Telehealth services.
Drinker Biddle First Annual Pro Bono Award – Washington (2013)
Volunteer of the Year Award, Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation (2013)
Awards Methodology (www.drinkerbiddle.com/content/awards)
Lee is a regular contributor to RadioMagOnline, the radio technology leader.
- District of Columbia
- The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law, J.D., CommLaw Conspectus, The Journal of Communications and Law Policy
- James Madison College at Michigan State University, B.A.
- Federal Communications Bar Association
- Constitution and Bylaws Committee (Past Co-Chair)
- Continuing Legal Education Committee (Past Co-Chair)
- Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation (Past Board of Trustees and Chair)