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Briggs and Morgan has decades of experience advocating client causes in the evolving field of telecommunications. We assist competitive local exchange and long-distance carriers, wireless service providers and cable television clients on a variety of regulatory issues. We represent both veteran telecommunications companies and new entrants into the market.

In telecommunications, we continually achieve favorable results where competition and advances in technology often propel client needs well ahead of the law. Important changes in legal and public policy have come at a rapid pace since the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, yet we respond efficiently in applying laws and regulations in areas without established precedents. 

The 1996 Act has opened segments of local networks to competition resulting in conflicts over access costs, as well as where and how new entrants can interconnect with incumbent networks. Briggs attorneys have assisted numerous wireless and wireline clients in successfully negotiating, arbitrating and administering interconnection and reciprocal compensation arrangements. 

Our telecommunications attorneys have compiled a distinguished record in cases before the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (MPUC). We have also represented telecommunications clients in federal court and before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), state commissions and regulatory agencies across the country, including Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, Texas, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and other states. We have also represented cable television companies before local municipal franchising bodies throughout the region. 

Serving as Minnesota regulatory counsel for various providers, we have advocated before the MPUC and other regulatory agencies on cost dockets, competitive local exchange (CLEC) applications, rulemaking proceedings affecting wireline and wireless clients and Universal Service Fund rulemaking. This representation includes agency investigations, adjudicative and rulemaking proceedings, certifications, regulatory compliance, appeals of agency decisions, interconnection agreements, complaint proceedings, FCC rulemaking proceedings, federal court declaratory judgment actions and Section 252(e)(6) interconnection appeals.  

Briggs and Morgan has been a pioneer in the developing area of universal service. We have successfully represented numerous clients seeking designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier and developing regulatory compliance initiatives relating to universal service programs involving Lifeline and Link-Up. We advise and assist competitive carriers on public policy initiatives to advocate in federal and state USF rulemakings. We have also assisted clients in transactions with other designated carriers.  

Notable Telecommunications Representation:  

  • Assisting multiple wireless carriers in obtaining designation as an eligible telecommunications carrier in contested cases throughout the country.   
  • Invalidating state laws designed to regulate wireless carriers' rates.  
  • Successfully arbitrating interconnection agreements and cost issues for CLECs and wireless carriers.  
  • Advocating a cable television firm's right to choose to offer just one Internet service provider (ISP) through its cable service, rather than being forced to offer all ISPs who want access.  
  • Prevailing in federal court cases establishing the scope of reciprocal compensation obligations for wireless traffic and dialing parity obligations for calls to wireless numbers.

Representative Matters

  • Represented wireless carriers in state commission interconnection arbitration proceedings under the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
  • Represented wireless carriers in obtaining eligible telecommunications carrier designation from Federal Communications Commission and various state public utility commissions.
  • Advised wireless telecommunications carriers on compliance with federal and state universal service/ETC requirements in numerous states.
  • Advised wireless telecommunications carriers on compliance with federal and state requirements for Lifeline/Link-Up universal service programs in numerous states.
  • Represented telecommunications clients in compliance audits and financial audits conducted by USAC related to universal service disbursements, universal service contributions, Lifeline/Link-Up programs, and connection with appeals of audit filings.
  • Provided advocacy, regulatory advice, and prepared comments for rulemaking proceedings relating to universal service and ETC designation in numerous states.
  • Provided regulatory due diligence analyses of universal service obligations and compliance in corporate merger and acquisition transactions in numerous states.
  • Represented long-distance company in state commission complaint proceeding against company not properly certificated by state commission.
  • Represented wireless carrier in state commission proceeding regarding telephone companies' dialing parity obligations.
  • Represented wireless carrier in state proceedings to challenge application of SS7 signaling charges.
  • Represented wireless companies in federal courts in disputes with local telephone companies regarding compensation for calls between parties' networks in multiple states.
  • Represented wireless company in federal court litigation seeking to enjoin the enforcement of telephone company tariffs.
  • Represented a long-distance company in obtaining an injunction for a tribal court from adjudicating a Tribal Telephone Company's collection action.
  • Represented clients in state public utility commission proceedings to obtain CLEC certificates of authority.
  • Represented telecommunications carriers nationwide in litigation regarding intercarrier compensation.
  • Advised client on compliance with telemarketing laws in all 50 states.
  • Defended against allegations that client violated telemarketing and auto-dialing regulations.
  • Represented long-distance carrier in federal court regarding access charge compensation claims related to calls to chat lines and conference bridges.
  • Represented telecommunications carrier in administrative proceeding and litigation relating to alleged ex parte contacts with state regulatory commission.
  • Represented clients in federal district court proceedings regarding lawfulness of state public utilities commission interconnection arbitration orders.
  • Represented clients before the FCC in intercarrier compensation and notice and comment proceedings.
  • Represented clients in responding to civil investigative demands from an Attorney General related to consumer protection and trade regulation of telecommunications carriers.
  • Represented clients in state public utility commission proceedings on a variety of regulatory matters in numerous states.
  • Represented long-distance company in federal court proceedings regarding intercarrier compensation dispute for Voice over Internet Protocol traffic.
  • Obtained order from federal district court in California sanctioning plaintiff for spoliation of forensic evidence and ordering adverse jury instructions.
  • Defended client against a claim of unauthorized recording of telephone calls.
  • Represented clients in toll fraud litigation.
  • Drafted, negotiated and administrated Request for Proposals and agreements for a distributed antennae system serving Major League Baseball facility and convention center/arena.
  • Advised and assisted on pole attachments and right-of-way matters, including the development, negotiation and administration of pole license agreements, NESC compliance and administration of right-of-way ordinances.
  • On behalf of apartment building developer, negotiated telecommunications right-of-entry agreements with providers of telecommunications services.