Experience List
DWT
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James W. Tomlinson

TomlinsonJames
Associate
T202.973.4253
F202.973.4499
Jim Tomlinson draws on more than 25 years of experience in the communications industry to help clients with a wide range of telecommunications and cable issues, including federal, state, and local regulatory matters, programming network issues, and contract negotiation and enforcement. Jim’s clients include wireless carriers, VoIP providers, competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), cable and broadband providers, and cable programming networks. As a former senior in-house counsel for an international telecommunications provider, Jim has extensive practical experience with commercial and regulatory legal issues for telecommunications clients. Prior to practicing law, Jim was a systems engineer, corporate account manager and network planner with a large telecommunications company, giving him an in-depth understanding of broadband networks and business issues facing communications companies.

Jim is a core member of DWT’s Lifeline program team, which advises eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) on a wide variety of legal and business operational issues involving the federal Lifeline program. Jim regularly assists top-10 ETCs and smaller carriers obtain state and federal ETC designations; respond to audits and regulatory inquiries, maintain regulatory compliance and advocate their positions with key Lifeline decision-makers at the FCC.

Jim counsels competitive telecommunications, VoIP and broadband service providers on a wide range of telecommunications competition and broadband policy matters, including market entry, licensing and tariff obligations, commercial disputes, and subscriber privacy issues under federal and state communications law. His work in this area involves drafting subscriber agreements, privacy policies, acceptable use policies and other related documents for communications entities.

Jim also advises cable television, telecommunications, and wireless providers on outside plant deployment issues. Jim regularly performs complex pole attachment rate calculations and analysis. Jim has negotiated numerous pole attachment and conduit agreements and represents communications companies before the FCC and state regulatory agencies in regulatory litigation and rulemakings involving pole attachments.

Representative Experience

Lifeline Program

ETC designation and FCC compliance plans

Acts as national counsel for Lifeline providers and coordinates with a network of local firms, as needed. Extensive experience preparing FCC compliance plans for ETCs. (Ongoing)

Regulatory compliance

Guides clients through the maze of FCC Lifeline regulations, which affect all aspects of a Lifeline provider’s business, including marketing, service plans, customer eligibility and enrollment, service terms and conditions, customer service, and handset distribution. (Ongoing)

Audits and regulatory inquiries

Assist client with responding to Lifeline-related regulatory inquiries and audits, including those from the FCC and the administrator of the Lifeline program (USAC). (Ongoing)

Advocacy

Assists Lifeline clients shape the direction of federal or state Lifeline rules by preparing comments or by meeting directly with key Lifeline decision-makers. (Ongoing)

Communications Regulatory

FCC rulemakings for communications companies

Represented communications companies in a number of FCC rulemakings including those relating to intercarrier compensation, numbering, local number portability and telemarketing.

Cable broadcast signal carriage disputes for cable operators and cable networks

Represented cable operators and cable networks in FCC complaint and rulemaking proceedings concerning must carry and retransmission consent rules.

Pole Attachments

Pole attachment and conduit rate analysis for cable television, broadband and wireless providers

Assisted clients with complex pole attachment and conduit rate analysis using formulas prescribed by the FCC and various state commissions. Performed detailed analysis and critique of pole attachment and conduit rate calculations prepared by pole owners. (Ongoing) 

Pole attachment agreements for cable television, broadband and wireless providers

Negotiate agreements on behalf of broadband and wireless clients, including state broadband and cable associations, for pole attachments and help to resolve disputes concerning pole attachment agreement rates, terms and conditions of carriage. (Ongoing)

Pole attachment and conduit rulemakings for cable television, broadband and wireless providers

Assist clients with participation in federal and state pole attachment and conduit rulemakings to ensure that communications clients obtain access to essential outside plant infrastructure on just and reasonable rates, terms and conditions. (Ongoing)

Litigation

Rohn v. Cingular Wireless, LLC, et al.

Obtained dismissal for defendant wireless telephone carrier, Centennial de Puerto Rico, of class action alleging violation of federal number portability requirements.

Additional Qualifications

  • Assistant General Counsel, Primus Telecommunications Group, Inc., 2000-2002
  • Associate, Cole, Raywid & Braverman, LLP, 1996-1999
  • Corporate Account Manager, Verizon Communications (Large Business Marketing Department), 1993-1994
  • Systems Engineer, Verizon Communications (Large Business Marketing Department), 1989-1992, 1995
  • Engineer, Network Planner, Verizon Communications (Network Operations Department), 1986-1988

Professional & Community Activities

  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Volunteer Attorney, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
  • Member, Board of Directors and Chair, Tennis Committee, Tuckahoe Recreation Club, McLean, Virginia