Communications & IT
We assist clients with the full breadth of regulatory agencies that govern these areas whether it be the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA), the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy (OSTP), or the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
We engage our clients on Capitol Hill with the relevant committees of oversight, authorization and appropriation in these industry areas, including, but not limited to, the House and Senate Commerce, Judiciary, Science, Homeland, and Government Reform Committees. These Committees exert significant influence over these federal agencies and policy centers by virtue of their authorization and appropriations power and, thus, are important points of engagement for our clients.
In addition, we are well versed on the growing funding sources available to our clients in areas of public safety communications, broadband deployment, universal service and e-rate funding, health IT, cybersecurity, among other programs.
Whether a client is seeking a federal grant, loan or other means of government support, we can help navigate the maze of federal agency funding and develop creative and compelling ways to position the client’s funding request for a favorable outcome.
A small venture-backed Bay Area data security company retained us in an effort to gain visibility in Washington on Capitol Hill and to engage federal regulators. The company provided major financial services, healthcare and other large corporations with a turn-key data security solution specifically designed to enable these companies to guard against the danger of “insider threat” and “data leakage.” Over the course of our multi-year representation, we provided access for the client among top lawmakers on Capitol Hill and their staff to demonstrate support for pending data security legislation. Building political awareness and brand name for the company led to several company appearances before key committees at which the client CEO testified as to the nature of data security exposure in the private and public sector. Concomitantly, we introduced the client to the full breadth of federal regulators charged with safeguarding personal and national security sensitive information. Meetings with the regulatory community heightened awareness of the importance of “insider threat” and the effectiveness of our client’s IT solution currently available in the commercial marketplace. The company in turn leveraged its growing profile and validation in Washington into a successful sales and marketing program with established corporate clients, and ultimately was acquired by a leading data security company for close to $350 million.
A small angel-backed PCS telephone company bid successfully at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) C-Block auction for nine wireless telephone licenses covering large coverage territories in North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The C-Block rules enabled qualifying small businesses to participate exclusively in these auctions and allowed the winning bidders to pay back the federal government for their winning bid amounts as they met certain build-out benchmarks over time. The company’s subsequent difficulty in securing private investment capital (a challenge for most of the other C Block winning bidders as well) led to a forced surrender of the nine FCC licenses when the company was unable to meet the FCC’s build-out schedule. The PCS company retained us in an effort to recapture these wireless licenses from the FCC as it sought to raise the necessary capital to build out its wireless telephone system. We provided access to the FCC Chairman and staff as well as Members of Congress on key committees of FCC oversight and educated lawmakers and their staff as to the prevailing private investment constraints facing all of the winning small businesses. The growing awareness and sensitivity to the plight of these small businesses ultimately led to congressional hearings at which our client’s CEO and others testified as to the reasons for the failure in attracting and securing C Block private investment. The oversight hearings provided political cover for the FCC to return some of the C Block licenses to the winning bidders, including those of our client. The company subsequently resold the licenses to three larger regional wireless telephone companies, providing a return on investment of over 300% to the company’s private investors.
A national, non-profit internet backbone provider serving the research and education community retained us for purposes of securing federal funding for broadband deployment. With $7.4 billion available in economic stimulus funding, we pursued a strategy on behalf of our client designed to position the non-profit organization for a successful broadband grant at the Department of Commerce (DoC). Working with an ad hoc coalition of schools, hospitals and libraries, we engaged agency staff at the National Telecommunications & Information Agency (NTIA) within the DoC and the Office of Science & Technology within the White House in support of grant funding rules that emphasized service to these community anchors. We coupled these efforts with commissioner and staff discussions at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) toward successful inclusion of a policy recommendation in the National Broadband Plan in support of establishing a unified community anchor network providing broadband service to the nation’s schools, hospitals and libraries. Simultaneous with these efforts, we lobbied key Members of Congress in favor of the need to deploy an equitable portion of the $7.4 billion toward serving these uniquely public institutions. The broadband grant rules ultimately reflected these same objectives, and our client partnered with another national non-profit backbone provider to win a $65.5 million grant to fund a national community anchor network.
On behalf of a small, start up defense-oriented communications technology company we have developed a series of strategies dedicated to assisting the company in winning direct R & D grants from the US government that will be used to advance and improve their technology and its application to the DOD’s needs in remote and isolated areas of the globe. The DOD’s support for Congressional funding of a demonstration program is resulting in the Client deploying its technology on behalf of the intelligence operations of the US government in Afghanistan as well as in Alaska, California and Florida over the next several years. This new relationship between the Client and the DOD now has the support within the government to grow well beyond its present level.