The National Communications Commission (NCC) has initiated a public consultation on 5G spectrum planning and auction preparation. Industry stakeholders and interested parties are invited to give comments in written form by 29 June 2018. NCC Chair Nicole Chan stated that the commission will be submitting its final analysis of the public consultation to the Executive Yuan in July 2018. The premier will then issue a further decision on 5G spectrum.
An Illinois federal court recently declared that a fax sent to verify the contact information of recipients constituted an 'advertisement' within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act because it had declared the commercial availability of the defendant's services on its face. As an alternative holding, the court found that the fax served as a pretext to an advertisement as it had required the plaintiff to access a website advertising the defendant's services in order to stop such faxes.
The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) recently issued its Notice on the Formal Commercialisation of Mobile Communications Resale Services, under which private enterprises, state-owned enterprises and foreign-invested enterprises may apply to undertake mobile communications resale services. Applicants must apply to the MIIT or their regional communications administration for the corresponding telecoms business licence and submit contracts signed by the major telecoms companies.
The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit has affirmed summary judgment in favour of two Telephone Consumer Protection Act defendants that the panel found were not vicariously liable for calls made by telemarketers promoting their products. The court found that the defendants had not ratified the allegedly illegal activity cited in the plaintiffs' complaint and could not be held liable under the statute. The decision offers a roadmap for parties seeking to avoid vicarious liability under the act.
The New York attorney general's false advertising suit challenging Time Warner Cable's (TWC's) speed claims is not pre-empted by Federal Communications Commission regulations, a New York federal judge has ruled. In a complaint filed in February 2017, Attorney General Eric T Schneiderman claimed that TWC and Spectrum had deliberately and systematically defrauded New York consumers by promising services that they knew they could not deliver.
The National Communications Commission (NCC) released its 2017 Taiwan Communications Market Report in April 2018. The report disclosed the progress being made in preparation for the 5G spectrum auction, during which the NCC will identify that the 28 gigahertz (GHz) band, as well as the 3.4GHz and 3.6GHz bands, should be available for auction in 2020, aiming for large-scale 5G application.
An Illinois federal district judge handed Yahoo! a rare defence victory when it decertified the class of plaintiffs in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act lawsuit involving text messages sent from a user messaging platform based on evidence obtained from a phone carrier during the class member identification process. This case serves as a lesson to engage in precertification discovery, particularly if certification seems likely.
In a recent ruling, the Fourth Circuit has followed its sister circuits in holding that district courts must follow the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC's) interpretations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The Hobbs Act dictates that courts must apply the 2006 FCC rule in interpreting the TCPA and that rule, in turn, tells courts what constitutes an 'advertisement' within the meaning of the statute.
The Federal Institute of Telecommunications recently approved the final programme for the functional separation of Mexico's fixed incumbent companies as a consequence of the asymmetric regulation imposed on the América Movil Group (AMX). However, AMX has informed the Mexican Stock Exchange that it will challenge the approval of the programme and there has been some scepticism as to the results and practical consequences of the separation.
The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit has released a hotly anticipated decision which will affect a wide range of industries, including financial services, retail and healthcare. The court set aside the Federal Communications Commission's overly expansive definition of 'automatic telephone dialling system' and its ruling on reassigned telephone numbers, but declined to set aside its rulings on revocation of consent and the scope of the exigent healthcare exemption applicable to wireless calls.
Finding that the telephone system used by the defendant was not an automatic telephone dialling system (ATDS), a Florida federal court recently dismissed a putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action. This decision adds to the growing body of cases that take a practical approach to the ATDS question by evaluating the level of human intervention used to place the calls and provides further guidance on evaluating whether a system might be deemed an ATDS.
The Federal Institute of Telecommunications recently announced the auction of the 2.5 GHz band. The auction's purpose is to assign the commercial use and exploitation of 120 MHz of the 2,500 to 2,690 MHz band for the provision of wireless services. Four companies and one consortium are interested in formally participating in the auction process, which is expected to be completed by November 2018.
The states have taken matters into their own hands as the battle over net neutrality continues, even after the Federal Communications Commission's vote to repeal the rules. Attorney generals from 21 states and the District of Columbia recently filed a placeholder lawsuit asking that the repeal order be invalidated. In addition to the lawsuit, some states are also enacting their own versions of net neutrality.
A Connecticut judge has denied a motion to dismiss a putative Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action, ruling that whether the faxes at issue were unsolicited remains in dispute. The decision illustrates the difficulty of having a Telephone Consumer Protection Act action dismissed at the pleading stage, even if the defence has evidence of potential consent or an established business relationship.
A text message related to a transaction initiated by the plaintiff could not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a California federal court held in dismissing a putative class action. The court was not persuaded by the plaintiff's argument that the inclusion of a link to view dinner specials transformed the restaurant's text message from a simple confirmation of a dinner reservation into an advertisement. However, if the text had gone beyond a simple link, the decision could have gone another way.
A Pennsylvania federal court recently refused to allow a plaintiff to rummage around in the defendant's records of all fax communications that it had sent within the past four years, noting that discovery cannot be used as a way of potentially putting together a separate and unrelated class action for other Telephone Consumer Protection Act violations. The court may have allowed the discovery had there been evidence of other faxes sent in the relevant period.
Chunghwa Telecom recently announced that it will make a 5G pre-commercial system available in Taipei in 2020. The National Communications Commission has welcomed the move. It has also stated that its legislative proposal on the Telecommunications Act will take a proactive approach in responding to the significant need for flexible frequency sharing and network use.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently passed the Restoring Internet Freedom Order (RIFO), repealing the FCC's 2015 net neutrality rules and shifting the responsibility for regulating the conduct of internet service providers to the Federal Trade Commission. While the RIFO's effect on video streaming seems to be at the top of most consumers' minds, telehealth experts are concerned that the decision could raise the costs of providing telehealth services.
The recent controversial Restoring Internet Freedom Order has essentially changed net neutrality from a regime based on rules to one based on enforcement. The Federal Trade Commission's role will be to protect against potential consumer and competitor harm and state attorney generals are expected to be just as involved in enforcement efforts. With the order's structure now based on transparency, the onus will shift to enforcers to ensure that internet service providers deliver what they promise.
A $61 million judgment in a Telephone Consumer Protection Act class action will stand after a federal court judge denied Dish Network's motion to reduce or set aside the trebled damages award. The plaintiff had originally filed suit against Dish Network, alleging that he received dozens of calls on its behalf despite the fact that his number was registered on the national Do Not Call Registry. Although Dish filed a motion to set aside the verdict based on res judicata, the court was not persuaded.