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Laura A. Stefani

Of Counsel

[email protected]

+1.202.434.7387

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Laura works at the intersection of law, policy and technology, providing clients with creative regulatory solutions to bring new wireless technologies to market. Areas of focus include unlicensed and licensed wireless technologies, unmanned aircraft, satellite, medical devices, and the Internet of Things.

Before joining Mintz, Laura was a partner at a DC-area firm that serves technology, telecommunications, and media clients. She counseled clients on licensing, regulatory matters, and spectrum allocation issues and represented them before the Federal Communications Commission, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, and other federal agencies. She also previously advised clients on wireless, broadband, internet, satellite, and telecommunications issues and worked on legislative matters at another DC-based telecommunications law firm.

Before turning her focus to telecommunications law, Laura practiced as a litigator for several years, primarily handling employment disputes and administrative law actions.

Education

  • George Washington University (JD)
  • Lawrence University (BA)

Experience

Medical Devices

  • Counsel manufacturers on the choice of frequency range and FCC service rules for wireless medical devices and obtain waivers of the FCC’s rules to allow for the marketing of new wireless medical devices in the United States.
  • Represent medical device manufacturers in FCC rulemaking proceedings related to specialized medical spectrum use and in FCC spectrum proceedings having the potential to affect their ability to use shared spectrum.
  • Represent medical device trade associations before the FCC.

Unlicensed Devices

  • Assist with U.S. market entry and FCC regulatory compliance relating to wireless devices used on unlicensed frequencies.

Unmanned Systems

  • Advised clients (broadcasters, trade associations, energy companies) on state and local laws regarding privacy, trespass, and other limitations imposed on the operations of small unmanned aircraft (sUAS), and the implications of possible federal preemption of state and local jurisdiction. Also, monitored legislation regarding grant of additional preemption authority to the Federal Aviation Administration.
  • Advised client on potential FAA waivers to allow sUAS used for taking RF measurements of communications towers to fly within the DCFRZ and in controlled airspace on a nationwide basis.
  • Advised energy client on use of sUAS to inspect and monitor facilities, assisting the client in understanding the parameters of lawful use and the possibility of a waiver of the beyond-line-of-sight rule.
  • Prepared Section 333 Exemption of FAA rules to allow for operations of sUAS.
  • Counseled client on U.S. market entry for UAS detection system.

FCC Regulation

  • Advised robotics manufacturer on FCC spectrum and operational requirements for indoor millimeter Wave frequency operations.
  • Obtained waiver of Federal Communications Commission rules to allow robotics manufacturer to bring new consumer device to market.

Internet of Things

  • Advise and advocate for clients on pre-market testing, device approval, and the use and allocation of spectrum related to the Internet of Things (IoT).

Radar Systems

  • Advise on FCC licensing and regulatory scheme for short and long distance radar devices, and obtain regulatory relief.

Recognition & Awards

  • Best Lawyers in America: Communications Law (2019 – 2020)
  • Recommended by the Legal 500 United States for Telecom & Broadcast: Regulatory (2019-2020)
  • 2018 Distinguished Service Award, Federal Communications Bar Association

Involvement

  • Member, Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Co-chair, Internet of Things Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Past Co-chair, Continuing Legal Education Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Past Co-chair, Engineering and Technical Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Past Co-chair, International Telecommunications Committee, Federal Communications Bar Association

Recent Insights

News & Press

Viewpoints

Health Care Viewpoints Thumbnail
We’ve written previously about the role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in regulating wireless medical devices, chiefly in determining the operating frequency and certain technical rules that ensure co-existence with other devices and wireless users. As part of that process, manufacturers must submit prototypes of new devices for testing and review by independent third party test labs and certification bodies (TCBs). The FCC prohibits responsible parties, such as manufacturers and resellers, from importing, marketing, or selling any device subject to this equipment approval process prior to obtaining approval from a TCB, which comes in the form of a grant of equipment certification.
Read more
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The Future of the Internet of Things and Sports

April 3, 2020 | Blog | By Laura Stefani

As the NFL and other sports leagues contemplate how to resume operations in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, the availability of data has taken heightened importance as teams conduct activities such as free agency. The Internet of Things (IoT) already has overtaken the sports world, where most professional teams, and many other athletes, rely on wearables and other wireless devices to track athletes’ movements, training, and game day performance.
Read more
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Wireless Charging for Electric Vehicles

March 30, 2020 | Blog | By Laura Stefani

Demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has been growing as more and more models and are coming to market, some from new automakers. One barrier to widespread adoption of EVs is the amount of charging time that is required, especially when using home or other charging systems where users must charge their vehicles overnight to obtain a full charge. This is a technical issue that the industry is in the process of resolving, chiefly by improving upon today’s much-used “plug-in” charging systems.
Read more
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Key FCC Regulations Impacting Companies in 2020

February 13, 2020 | Video | By Angela Kung, Laura Stefani

Angela Kung and Laura Stefani discuss key areas in which telecommunications touches non-traditional businesses and what companies need to be thinking about in 2020.
Read more
Technology, Communications & Media Thumbnail

FAA Proposes New UAS (Drone) Identification Rules

January 2, 2020 | Alert | By Laura Stefani

Read about the FAA’s proposed rules related to remote identification for Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, which would affect operators, manufacturers, and companies that collect flight information.
Read more
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FCC Simplifies Evaluations of Certain Wireless Medical Devices

December 11, 2019 | Blog | By Laura Stefani

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates wireless medical devices in conjunction with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), with the FCC’s role related to certain technical concerns such as the successful sharing of wireless frequency bands. Another area that FCC regulates is radio frequency (RF) safety – the possible harmful effects to human health from RF energy created by wireless devices. The FCC looks to health and safety agencies such as the FDA, EPA, and OSHA, to provide guidance and recommendations on what level of RF emissions are deemed “safe,” and then sets rules for how responsible parties must evaluate compliance with these limits. These rules on safe emission levels apply generally to devices that produce RF signals. The FCC proposed modifications to its RF safety rules in 2013, and finally on December 4, 2019, issued a decision that adopts many of its proposals.
Read more
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FCC Issues New Radio Frequency Safety Rules, Seeks Comment on Additional Measures

December 5, 2019 | Alert | By Laura Stefani, Angela Kung

This alert highlights key takeaways from the FCC’s recent update to its RF safety rules as well as additional measures for which the agency is seeking comment.
Read more
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Internet of Things Strategies for the Energy Sector

September 18, 2019 | Blog | By Laura Stefani

Whether thinking about managing oil and gas, water or other infrastructure facilities, or considering industrial efficiency, robotics and automation, you may be pondering how the Internet of Things (IoT) can be used to leverage resources. Forward thinking strategies include not just staying on top of regulatory changes that affect the IoT ecosystem, but also influencing them.

Read more
Sports & Entertainment Viewpoints Thumbnail

Drones and Sports? Pro Leagues and NCAA Weigh In

May 7, 2019 | Blog | By Laura Stefani

Recently, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) accepted comments on the future of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (“UAS”), those aircraft under 55 pounds that we commonly refer to as “drones.” The FAA has authorized UAS operations for several years, but many industries have been dissatisfied with the level of allowable use and have pressed the agency to further clarify the circumstances under which operations are allowed. Sports leagues have joined this group.
Read more

News & Press

Press Release Thumbnail
In the latest guide, Mintz garnered rankings as a top national firm in eight practice areas, and 32 firm attorneys were individually recognized.
News Thumbnail
Mintz Member and Chair of the firm’s Privacy & Cybersecurity Practice Cynthia Larose, Of Counsel Laura Stefani, and Associates Jonathan Markman and Elana Safner co-authored this guest post published by Dronelife that addressed how the California Consumer Privacy Act might affect drone operators in the state. The article also provided action items for surveillance and drone companies as they prepare for CCPA implementation.
Laura Stefani, a telecommunications attorney at Mintz, is quoted within this feature article discussing what attorneys need to know as the Federal Communications Commission and other agencies focus on updating regulations to keep up with the demand for commercial drone usage.
Laura Stefani, a telecommunications and technology attorney at Mintz, authored this Law360 column discussing how California’s newly enacted net neutrality law and another new law may add an additional layer of regulation for manufacturers of certain "internet of things" devices.

Press Release Thumbnail
Mintz is pleased to welcome Laura A. Stefani to the firm. Ms. Stefani joins the Communications Section, where she will work with clients on creative regulatory solutions to bring new technologies to market.
The addition of Laura Stefani, a communications and FCC Regulation attorney, was featured in a February 1st Law360 article. Laura brings extensive experience in emerging wireless technologies, including emerging technologies involving internet of things and health care.

Events

Co-chair
Speaker
May
13
2019

Broadband and Cable Industry Law 2019

Practising Law Institute (PLI)

PLI New York - 1177 Avenue Of The Americas, Second Floor, New York, NY

Speaker
May
13
2019

Practising Law Institute - Broadband and Cable Industry 2019

AI, Drones and Internet of Things: The Machines Are Rising!

1177 Avenue Of The Americas Second Floor Entrance on 45th Street New York, NY