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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)
  • 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

Viewpoints

Viewpoint General
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.
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Viewpoint General
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.

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Viewpoint General
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.
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Do you manufacture, import, or market personal hygiene and wellness devices sold in drugstores? If so, you may be focused on U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compliance, but may not have considered the requirements of another Federal regulatory agency: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Manufacturing, importing, and/or marketing non-compliant personal hygiene, wellness and similar devices may violate the FCC’s rules.
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Viewpoint General
This article covers an immediate FAA rule change requiring markings for small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, commonly known as drones). Beginning February 25, 2019, every UAS must have its registration number displayed and visible on the external surface of the aircraft.
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Viewpoint General
Read about two FAA draft proposals concerning the commercial operations of small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, or drones, and how they could impact the industry and how drones are used.
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Viewpoint General
Emerging medical imaging technologies being developed for the terahertz spectrum may face regulatory hurdles from an unexpected Federal agency: the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). While the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has jurisdiction over medical devices with respect to safety and effectiveness – including premarket approval, inspection of manufacturing facilities, and monitoring of post-market adverse events – the FCC has jurisdiction over certain technical and spectrum use requirements for medical devices that operate on radiofrequency (RF) spectrum. Medical device developers need to be aware of the current state of play at the FCC in these areas.
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Viewpoint General
This alert provides a list of 10 important new directives to the FAA that should soon allow drones to be used for a broader array of commercial operations, including package deliveries, and hasten the integration of UAS into national airspace.
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Manufacturers of wireless devices used for Internet of Things (IoT) applications should take heed of new Trump Administration proposals aimed at reducing the cybersecurity threats from botnets and other automated and distributed attacks.
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking public comment on a proposal by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA) to adopt service rules for the use of 5030-5091 MHz by small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS). 
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News & Press

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.

Mintz Adds Wireless Tech Expert In DC

February 1, 2018 | Law360

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.
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.

Events

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