Communications

Franchising and Rights-of-Way Access Issues

We have extensive experience counseling clients on a wide variety of cable franchising and rights-of-way access matters. Our seasoned attorneys can help you navigate the broad range of franchising laws and regulations that may affect your business, including those related to customer service, notice, consumer protection issues, and local competition, and evaluate and negotiate the terms of access. 

We also advise cable and telecom operators on franchise renewals, rights-of-way access, and related transactions, represent clients in connection with franchise transfers and franchise fee audits, and advocate on behalf of our clients before the Federal Communications Commission, federal and state courts, and state and local regulatory bodies on the permissible limits and terms of cable franchises and rights-of-way agreements and fees.  We have considerable experience representing cable companies that encounter regulatory overreach by local franchising authorities that seek to impose franchising and fee obligations on advanced services provided over their cable system facilities.

Representative Experience

  • Advising a large, multisystem cable operator on state regulatory compliance concerning issues such as customer notice, consumer protection, and product launches.
  • Serving as counsel for a major cable trade organization in litigation and regulatory proceedings concerning franchise fees and local franchise authority.
  • Representing large cable operators seeking franchise transfer approval from state and local authorities in connection with mergers and acquisitions.
  • Advising cable operators on local right-of-way access and competition matters.
  • Represent cable companies facing franchise fee audits and attempts by local governments to impose additional fees on advanced services.