Telecommunications

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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