Wireline Telecommunications

Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC attorneys represent all types of wireline telecommunications service providers with respect to legal matters at the federal level and in every state in the country.

The firm’s clients include more than eighty (80) independent incumbent local exchange carriers. In addition, FHH attorneys are experienced in addressing the specialized legal and regulatory problems affecting competitive landline service providers, a universe that includes:

  • competitive local exchange carriers;
  • traditional interexchange carriers;
  • private carriers;
  • telecommunications companies;
  • Internet providers;
  • prepaid calling card companies;
  • interconnected voice-over-internet protocol and other VoIP-based service providers;
  • audio-bridging providers;
  • voice messaging companies; and
  • other enhanced service providers.

FHH attorneys assist both incumbent and competitive wireline telecommunications service providers in obtaining federal and state regulatory authorizations to operate as either facilities-based carriers or resellers. These projects range from obtaining authority to operate in only one state to prosecuting applications for authorizations to operate in every state in the U.S. The firm’s attorneys also have extensive experience in efficiently obtaining state and federal approvals for wireline transactions, such as mergers, local exchange sales, corporate acquisitions, and financings.

We assist wireline telecommunications clients in maintaining regulatory compliance at both the state and federal levels. In order to successfully achieve that goal, the firm has shaped new state and federal regulations that advance its clients’ interests. We are propose innovative regulatory approaches and to advocate our clients’ positions in rulemaking proceedings and in meetings with federal and state agencies and legislative bodies. Regulatory issues routinely addressed by our firm’s telecom attorneys include:

  • Access reform issues;
  • Access to buildings and inside wiring;
  • Approvals for fiber optic network construction;
  • Common carrier compliance;
  • Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act;
  • Customer proprietary network information;
  • Intercarrier compensation;
  • Net neutrality;
  • Rate regulation;
  • Rights-of-way;
  • Tariff preparation and cost support;
  • Telecommunications-related surcharges and assessments;
  • Universal Service Fund compliance; and
  • VoIP regulation.

FCC telecom attorneys are also actively engaged in defending local, long distance, and enhanced service providers against customer complaints and regulatory enforcement actions, including on-site audits and investigations by the Federal Communications Commission, Universal Service Administrative Company, Federal Trade Commission, United States Justice Department, state public utility commissions, and state attorneys general.

FHH offers an efficient, cost-effective solution for obtaining profitable interconnection arrangements with other carriers throughout the U.S. The firm’s attorneys have negotiated and/or arbitrated numerous interconnection agreements pursuant to the Telecommunications Act of 1996. The firm has also advised clients on interconnection arrangements for regional health care networks, dark fiber, optic wavelengths within a fiber span, joint venture networks with electric utilities and municipalities, and new fiber builds. Furthermore, FHH is at the forefront of implementing interconnection arrangements involved in the transition of the U.S. landline network to an all internet protocol network.

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