Chris Savage, CIPP/US, focuses on helping telecom, cable, and internet companies navigate the heavily regulated communications industry. He negotiates complex agreements related to interconnected networks, negotiates, arbitrates, and litigates disputes for wired and wireless communications companies arising under those agreements and under state and federal communications laws, and helps shape and interpret state and federal communications regulatory rules and policies.
Chris also teaches a course on Information Privacy Law at The Columbus School of Law at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Multiple Lifeline providers
Persuaded the FCC to continue funding for Lifeline service providers (at times over objections of agency Bureaus) during the pendency of investigations of the companies’ compliance with various Universal Service program rules. Federal Communications Commission, WC Docket Nos. 03-109 & 11-42 (2011 and 2014)
Petition of Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico LLC for arbitration of an interconnection agreement with Puerto Rico Telephone Company
Section 251/252 federal negotiation/arbitration (for Liberty Cablevision) of interconnection agreement. Prevailed for Liberty on all issues, including issues of first impression regarding IP-based interconnection and the Section 251/252 interconnection rights of cable-based VoIP providers. Puerto Rico Telecommunications Regulatory Board, JRT-2012-AR-0001 (2012)
Puerto Rico Telephone Company, Inc. v. T-Mobile Puerto Rico LLC
Appeal (for T-Mobile) of federal district court decision imposing multi-million-dollar liability on T-Mobile arising from pricing dispute for telecom services provided by Puerto Rico Telephone Company. 1st Circuit reversed the district court and directed that judgment be entered for T-Mobile. 678 F.3d 49 (1st. Cir. 2012)
Worked with USAC Board of Directors to avoid proposed Lifeline audit findings
Persuaded the USAC Board of Directors to reject proposed staff audit findings adverse to client, thereby negating need to follow normal practice of appealing negative audit findings to the FCC. Developed and (in conjunction with other DWT attorneys) successfully executed an unusual strategy to advocate to USAC Board members directly, pointing out deficiencies in USAC staff analysis. (2012)
Confidential settlement negotiation
Developed legal theory and factual analysis to support competitive local exchange carrier (CLEC) in negotiations with incumbent local exchange carrier (ILEC) regarding multi-million-dollar overcharges by ILEC, over nearly a decade, for essential services provided under two interconnection agreements; dispute settled on terms favorable to CLEC. (2012-2013)
Bright House Networks Information Services (Florida) LLC v. Verizon Florida, LLC et al.
State PSC complaint (for Bright House) against long distance carriers to collect cable-VoIP provider’s access charges for calls to VoIP services. Prevailed against long distance carriers’ motion to dismiss, leading to settlement of case. Florida PSC, Docket No. 110056-TP (2011)
Centennial Puerto Rico License Corp. v. Telecommunications Regulatory Board of Puerto Rico
Handled (for Centennial) defense of appeal of federal district court ruling arising from Section 251/252 federal interconnection arbitration with Puerto Rico Telephone Company (PRTC); prevailed on issues regarding contract provisions to encourage accurate billing by PRTC and PRTC obligation to facilitate interconnection between Centennial and PRTC’s wireless services division. 634 F.3d 17 (1st Cir. 2011)
Exchange access tariff re-write
Rewrote national competitive carrier’s interstate and intrastate access tariffs to enable unconventional nationwide consolidated tandem service and facilitate integration of IP-based and other non-traditional switching technologies into exchange access service. (2011)
Intercarrier compensation reform
Wrote and filed comments and handled numerous ex parte meetings and filings with FCC staff for cable-VoIP provider explaining the importance of equal, symmetrical treatment in intercarrier compensation (access charges and local interconnection) of traffic that begins or ends on VoIP services as compared to traditional telephone services. In the Matter of Connect America Fund, et al., WC Docket Nos. 10-90, et al. (2011)
In the matter of preserving the open Internet; broadband industry practices
In comments for Bright House Networks, developed innovative economic analysis of Internet ecosystem in support of reasonable regulatory treatment of "specialized services" (services with special traffic management requirements) within the FCC’s network neutrality framework. FCC GN Docket No. 09-191, WC Docket No. 07-52 (2010)
Petition for arbitration of certain terms and conditions of an interconnection agreement with Verizon Florida, LLC by Bright House Networks Information Services (Florida), LLC
Section 251/252 federal negotiation/arbitration (for Bright House) of interconnection agreement with Verizon Florida. Negotiated and arbitrated numerous issues involving interconnection architecture, charges for services, and business terms. Florida PSC, Docket No. 090501-TP (2010)
Verizon Florida, LLC v. FCC
Represented Bright House Networks before the FCC and the D.C. Circuit in dispute with Verizon over Verizon’s misuse of confidential information about telephone customers Bright House won from Verizon, to try to keep those customers from switching to Bright House; Bright House and co-plaintiffs before the FCC prevailed on all points. Verizon Florida, LLC v. FCC, 555 F.3d 270 (D.C. Cir. 2009), affirming Bright House Networks, LLC v. Verizon California, Inc., 23 FCC Rcd 10704 (2008)
Centennial Communications – High-cost ETC status in the US Virgin Islands
Navigated complex political and regulatory issues to obtain certification of Centennial Communications’ wireless operation as an Eligible Telecommunications Carrier in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Obtaining successful result required simultaneous regulatory advocacy before the FCC and the USVI Public Service Commission, as well as advocating for and obtaining a change in USVI legislation to clarify the USVI PSC’s authority to act, submission of an appropriate network build-out plan, and other actions. (2007-2008)
Administrative litigation and private arbitration against Verizon Communications
Two private arbitrations of claim by competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs) against Verizon, under Section 251/252 interconnection agreements, regarding appropriate charges (if any) for including CLECs’ customers in Verizon's printed telephone directories and directory assistance databases.
Administrative litigation for competitive local exchange carrier
Successfully prosecuted administrative litigation for competitive local exchange carrier, arguing that the telecommunications-service affiliate of a government-owned power company is subject to regulation as a telecommunications carrier by state-level regulatory body.
Appeal of USAC rulings to the FCC
Handled intra-agency appeals of adverse decisions by the Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC) regarding disbursements of universal service funding under the interstate common line support (ICLS) program; handled appeal of USAC rulings to the FCC.
Drafted comments on 'automatic roaming' for wireless carrier clients
Drafted comments on proposed Federal Communications Commission rules requiring 'automatic roaming' arrangements among technically compatible wireless carriers; successfully lobbied FCC to adopt client's position on automatic roaming.
Obtained 'eligible telecommunications carrier' status for wireless carrier
Helped obtain favorable legislation, then conducted administrative litigation under that legislation to obtain designation for wireless carrier as an 'eligible telecommunications carrier' in the United States Virgin Islands.