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Telecom Alert: FBI, CISA Warn about Ransomware Attacks; Form 477 Deadline Extended; Court Rules Against Locast Broadcast Streaming Service; EBB Imposter Website [Vol. XVIII, Issue 36]

FBI and CISA Warn Businesses to be Vigilant about Ransomware Attacks

On August 31, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency issued a joint cybersecurity advisory cautioning U.S. entities to remain alert and protect against the rising incidence of ransomware attacks over holidays and weekends. The advisory summarizes recent ransomware attacks, describes some of the tactics, techniques, and procedures commonly used by attackers, and offers best practices and mitigation strategies for ransomware attacks and other types of security incidents.  Click here to read a detailed summary of the joint cybersecurity advisory and best practices on Keller and Heckman’s Consumer Protection Connection blog. 

Form 477 Deadline Extended

Last week, the FCC issued a Public Notice extending the September 1 deadline for the submission of Form 477 data due to the effects of Hurricane Ida. Facilities-based broadband providers are required to file Form 477 twice a year with information such as service speed and subscriber information.  The new filing deadline for providers affected by Hurricane Ida in Louisiana and Mississippi is October 1, 2021, and the new deadline for all other filers is September 15, 2021.  

Court Rules Against Locast Broadcast Streaming Service

Last week, the major television broadcast networks won a closely watched court challenge against Locast, a non-profit streaming service that carries local TV stations without a retransmission consent agreement from the broadcasters.  The decision by the federal District Court for the Southern District of New York held that Locast did not qualify for a narrow copyright-law exemption available to non-profit entities.  In response to the ruling, Locast, which claims three million subscribers, has announced that it is suspending operations indefinitely.  

Emergency Broadband Program Imposter Website

The FCC issued an advisory on August 27 warning consumers of a fake website designed to look like the Commission’s Emergency Broadband Benefit (“EBB”) Program enrollment website. The website is run by WiFi Freedom USA and claims to provide free devices and broadband service through the EBB Program.  The Commission has taken steps to have the website and related social media pages taken down.  Those who provided personal information on the website are urged to report the incident and get help with a recovery plan. 

© 2022 Keller and Heckman LLPNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 251
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About this Author

Tracy Marshall, Keller Heckman, regulatory attorney, for-profit company lawyer
Partner

Tracy Marshall assists clients with a range of business and regulatory matters.

In the business and transactional area, Ms. Marshall advises for-profit and non-profit clients on corporate organization, operations, and governance matters, and assists clients with structuring and negotiating a variety of transactions, including purchase and sale, marketing, outsourcing, and e-commerce agreements.

In the privacy, data security, and advertising areas, she helps clients comply with privacy, data security, and consumer protection laws, including laws governing telemarketing and...

202-434-4234
Wesley K. Wright, Keller Heckman, Telecommunications Lawyer, FCC Enforcement Attorney, DC
Partner

Wesley Wright joined Keller and Heckman in 2006 and practices in the areas of telecommunications law.  He assists corporate clients and trade associations with various legal and regulatory matters before the Federal Communications Commission, Federal Aviation Administration, courts and state agencies.

Mr. Wright’s practice includes private wireless licensing, FCC enforcement, and related transactional matters.  He counsels clients on internal operations and governance matters and has drafted and negotiated asset purchase agreements,...

202.434.4239
Sean Stokes Communications Attorney Keller and Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

Sean Stokes represents clients nationally on a wide range of communications matters including broadband, cable television, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole attachments, barriers to community broadband initiatives, and public-private partnerships. He counsels clients in developing and negotiating agreements involving access to poles, ducts, conduits, dark fiber, and towers. He has represented municipal utilities and local governments in complex negotiations developing city-wide fiber-to-the-home networks and wireless small cell siting agreements.

Sean has...

202-434-4193
Jim Baller Communications Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

James (Jim) Baller represents clients across the U.S. in a broad range of communications matters including high-capacity broadband network projects, public-private broadband partnerships, telecommunications, wireless facility siting, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Jim was the founder and president of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, a diverse group of more than 160 communications service providers, high technology companies, labor unions, public interest and consumer groups, state and local government entities,...

202-434-4175
Casey Lide Communication Attorney Keller & Heckman Washington, DC
Partner

Casey Lide represents clients on a broad range of communications matters including telecommunications, cable television, broadband Internet access service, wireless communications, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

Casey counsels public- and private-sector clients on contract drafting and negotiation matters, including fiber optic IRUs and leases, easements, franchises, attachment agreements, ISP service agreements, interconnection and collocation agreements, strategic MoUs and others.   

He collaborates...

202-434-4186
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