Maria Browne advises clients on matters pertaining to federal and state communications laws, including laws impacting broadband infrastructure deployment and regulations implementing the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, which requires that communications and video distributors, program content owners and equipment manufacturers make their services and products accessible to persons with disabilities.
Maria provides compliance advice, and also represents clients in disputed cases before the FCC and other federal, state and local regulatory agencies. She has appeared before state regulatory bodies in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Washington, D.C., Vermont, Virginia, and Florida. Maria also assists clients in obtaining FCC licenses for RF devices and in state and federal procurement matters.
Maria's current and past clients include Armstrong Utilities, Bright House Networks, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, Fibertech Technologies Networks, Harron Communications, Mobilitie, Niitek, Time Warner Cable, and Troy Cablevision.
Advise communications network providers regarding federal and state laws governing pole attachment rates, terms and conditions
Review and analyze pole attachment rates, terms and conditions and advise clients concerning the legality of such rates, terms and conditions under federal and state laws; negotiate legally compliant rates, terms and conditions; represent clients before the FCC and state public service commissions in disputes concerning pole attachment rates, terms and conditions. (Ongoing)
Assist entities in filing Accessibility Compliance Certifications and establishing recordkeeping processes
Advises clients concerning the CVAA and FCC rules requiring communications providers to make services and equipment accessibility to persons with disabilities, to keep records concerning efforts to comply with rules, and annual compliance certification to the FCC. (Ongoing)
Consult communications clients regarding closed captioning, video description, voice, email and website accessibility
Assist clients in ensuring that video programming services and equipment, and real time communications services (such as telecommunications, VoIP and email) are accessible to persons with disabilities to the extent required by state and federal laws. (Ongoing)
Cox Communications Hampton Roads, LLC v. Dominion Virginia Power
Represent Cox before the Federal Communications Commission in case related to Section 224(i) of the Communications Act. (Ongoing)
Cox Communications Las Vegas, Inc. v. NV Energy, Inc.
Represent Cox before the Federal Communications Commission in a case related to NVE’s imposition of Grade B construction standards in a manner that prevents Cox from deploying network until after existing Grade C poles are upgraded. (Ongoing)
Duke Energy Indiana v. Comcast of Indianapolis, LLC
Defending Comcast in federal district court in Indiana in a suit relating to a dispute about pole attachment make-ready work. (Ongoing)
Procurement for cable operators and equipment manufacturers
Advise clients on state and federal procurement requirements. (Ongoing)
CL&P pole attachment rate case
Represented New England Cable Television Association in case before the Connecticut Public Utility Regulatory Authority concerning CL&P’s pole attachment rental rates. (2014)
Comcast v. NOVEC
Represented Comcast before the Virginia State Corporation Commission in case of first impression under amended state law requiring cooperative pole owner rents to be cost based and reasonable. (2014)
Gulf Power Company v. Comcast of the South, Inc.
Defended Comcast against Gulf Power claims relating to back rent owed based upon pole attachment audit. (2014)
Fibertech v. Baltimore Gas and Electric Company
Represented Fibertech before the Federal Communications Commission in a case challenging BGE’s imposition of Grade B construction standards in a manner that prevented Fibertech from deploying network until after existing Grade C poles were upgraded. (2013)
Fiber Technologies Networks LLC v. Verizon New England and the Narragansett Electric Company d/b/a National Grid
Represented Fibertech in matter related to pole owners’ failure to provide timely access to poles and particularly addressing pole attachment make-ready timeframes and temporary construction techniques. (2012)
New Hampshire Public Utility Commission proceeding for Time Warner Cable, Inc.
Represented cable operator client in dispute before the PUC concerning the appropriate amount of Public Service Company of New Hampshire pole attachment rental rates. (2012)
New Jersey Board of Public Utilities proceeding for Fiber Technologies Networks LLC
Represented Fiber Technologies Inc. in case against Verizon concerning Verizon charges for make-ready work in connection with pole attachments. (2012)
Connecticut proceeding for New England Cable Television Association
Consulting and developing testimony and related filings in Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control proceeding regarding Connecticut Light and Power proposed pole attachment rental rate increase and new terms and conditions of attachment, and negotiating interim pole attachment agreement to govern until final agreement adopted in proceeding. (2011)
Virginia State Corporation Commission pole attachment proceeding
Represented cable operator in proceeding before the Virginia State Corporation Commission concerning the appropriate formula for calculating pole attachment rental rates for electric cooperative pole owners. (2011)
Armstrong Utilities, Inc. v. United Telephone Company of Pennsylvania d/b/a Embarq Pennsylvania
Represented Armstrong in matter relating to denial of access to poles. (2008)
Fibertech Technologies Networks LLC v. Verizon Maryland Inc. and Potomac Electric Power Company
Represented Fibertech in matter related to pole owners failure to provide timely access to pole (2008)
Pole attachments for Florida Cable Telecommunications Association Inc.
Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) rulemaking and related proceedings concerning electric utility storm hardening plans. Successfully limited PSC oversight of the standards and procedures governing third-party attachments to utility poles. (2008)
New York proceeding governing pole attachments
Participated in cross industry workshops leading to 2004 Order governing pole attachment terms and conditions for the state of New York. (2004)