Whether working with start-ups or established services providers, Keller and Heckman follows a systematic approach to understand a client’s target customers, its service offerings and applicable regulatory requirements, focusing on the following considerations:
(1) the nature of the services being offered, (wireless, broadband Internet access service, VoIP or international satellite communications );
(2) the facilities that will be deployed (fixed wireless or cable (fiber)) or whether a cloud-based or resale model will be pursued;
(3) the manner in which the provider intends to offer services (as a telecommunications carrier or as a private carrier);
(4) the jurisdictional nature of the proposed service(s); and
(5) whether a prospective services provider or purchaser of an established company has a “reportable foreign ownership interest,”
This information enables Keller and Heckman to advise on appropriate regulatory classification(s), market entry (Section 214 and state agency approvals) obligations, required authorizations (radio licenses or cable landing licenses), and ongoing compliance and reporting obligations, including CALEA, Form 477 Reports and “Consumer Facing Regulations”, as well as providing the basis for due diligence reviews.
In addition, entities having a “reportable foreign ownership interest,” seeking initial or transfers of international Section 214 authorizations and submarine cable landing licenses, and petitions for §310(b) foreign ownership declaratory rulings of common carrier wireless and satellite earth station licenses are subject to review by “Team Telecom” (comprised of representatives from the Department of Justice, the Department of Homeland Security, and the FBI). Also, an entity having significant foreign ownership proposing a substantial investment in a US-based telecommunications provider may require approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (“CFIUS”)