May 13, 2019
Telecommunications: FCC Changes to Cable Franchising
2019 finds local governments fighting to preserve their property rights and management authority over use of their rights of way. One example of this struggle can be seen at the FCC where local governments are in a battle to preserve non-financial obligations found in cable franchises negotiated locally or pursuant to state laws. The FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that, if adopted, would permit a cable operator to reduce its franchise fees in an amount equivalent to what the cable operator values those services and use a cable franchise as the legal justification for deploying non-cable assets in your rights-of-way. Estimated franchise fee range from 30 to 70 percent, depending on the number of cable operators that are in your community.
Speaker: Gerard Lederer and Nancy Werner
Gerard Lavery Lederer’s unique background as a nationally recognized telecommunications, cable and small cell lawyer combined with his experiences as a registered federal lobbyist provides clients unparalleled service in seeking both legislative and transactional solutions. Prior to joining Best Best & Krieger LLP as a partner in the Municipal Law practice group in Washington, D.C., Gerry was an attorney with Miller & Van Eaton, a highly regarded local government rights of way law firm.
Gerry advocates for public and private property owners regarding issues of law and policy arising from federal and state communications legislation and regulation. He is also one of the nation’s leading authorities on marketplace solutions for the seamless integration of cable and wireless technology into communities. He authored “Critical Connections” and “Wired for Profit,” two leading guides on the integration of telecommunications technology into the built environment. He developed the first model license agreements for access to buildings and rooftops to promote cooperative relations between telecommunications service providers and property owners, while protecting both parties’ interests.
Gerry serves as legislative counsel and lead Washington advocate for TeleCommUnity, a collection of local governments dedicated to ensuring respect for local rights in federal legislative and regulatory activity.
Since arriving in Washington, D.C. in 1985 as the City of Philadelphia’s Washington advocate, Gerry has served as Washington legislative counsel to a number of local governments and agencies, including as lead advocate for local governments on infrastructure issues and as general counsel of the United States Conference of Mayors. He has also served as executive director of advocacy and research advancement for the Building Owners and Managers Association, International and executive director of government affairs for the United States Telephone Association. Prior to his career in Washington, he served as the chief deputy city commissioner for the City of Philadelphia. This position oversees the city’s voter registration and election day. He is a member of the Federal Communications Bar Association.
Gerry is admitted to practice law in the State of New Jersey and the District of Columbia, and is an inactive member of the bar of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Nancy Werner is General Counsel of the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors. Prior to joining NATOA, Nancy was Of Counsel at the law firm of Beery, Elsner & Hammond, LLP in Portland, Oregon, where she represented local government with a focus on communications law, right of way management and utility franchises. She has represented clients in state and federal court on issues including cable franchise renewals, telecommunications law, right of way regulations and fees and home rule authority. Nancy previously was a litigator at Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago and O'Melveny & Myers in Los Angeles. Nancy is a graduate of the University of Southern California Law School, where she was on the staff of the USC Law Review.