Varnum's telecommunications group has a broad range of experience in representing business, municipal and institutional clients on telecommunications law.
We have assisted clients with establishing their own fiber networks and worked through the regulatory implications of owning broadband telecom facilities. Our team is experienced in cable/video, broadband, regulatory and local rights of way issues, including substantial experience with Michigan's METRO Act governing the use of public rights-of-way by telecommunications providers, as well as cable franchising and related issues, both in-state and nationally.
We have also assisted a court-appointed receiver in assuming control of an AM radio station, bringing it back into compliance with FCC regulations, addressing outstanding violations and negotiating down the penalties and seeing it through the process of sale to a new owner. We also assist clients in the transfer of ownership of various FCC-licenses.
On the regulatory side, our team works regularly with the Michigan Public Service Commission and has had significant public policy involvement in the development of Michigan’s telecommunications regulatory structure, including playing a key role in re-writing Michigan's telecommunications statute in 2001 - 2002.
We have a significant cell tower practice, representing property owners across the country on cell tower leases—in particular on the sale of more than 70 cell tower leases and future leasing rights—as well as on initial leases, renewals and extensions.
Our representation of broadcast media clients includes telecommunications work such as must-carry elections and the establishment of "211" services and related memoranda of understanding.