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Maria T. Browne

BrowneMaria
Partner
T202.973.4281
F202.973.4481
Maria Browne advises clients in the areas of broadband and small cell deployment, communications regulation and licensing, telecommunications, accessibility, and information technology.

Maria provides compliance and strategic advice, negotiates infrastructure deals, and represents clients in disputed cases before the FCC and other federal, state and local regulatory bodies, and in court. She has appeared before state regulatory authorities in New Hampshire, New Jersey, Connecticut, New York, Washington, D.C., Vermont, Virginia, California, and Florida.

Maria's current and past clients include Amazon, Armstrong Utilities, Briar Tek, Bright House Networks, Broadband Cable Association of Pennsylvania, Cablevision, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, FCTA, Fibertech Networks, MetroCast, Microsoft, Mobilitie, NCTA, NECTA, Niitek, Time Warner Cable, T-Mobile, and Troy Cablevision.

Representative Experience

Advise clients regarding federal and state laws requiring accessible communications, information technology and video programming

Consult clients concerning federal and state laws requiring communications, information technology, websites, and video programming to be accessible to persons with disabilities, including the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, state disabilities laws, and FCC rules, including rules relating to advanced communications services, closed captioning and video description. (Ongoing)

Advise communications network providers regarding federal and state laws governing deployment of facilities on existing utility infrastructure

Negotiate pole attachment agreements with investor owned utilities, cooperatively and municipally owned power companies, and phone companies; review and analyze rates, terms and conditions of attachment; represent clients before the FCC and state public service commissions in regulatory matters and 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)

Defending complaints to FCC

Fending complaints to Federal Communications Commission. (Ongoing)

FCC licensing

Represent clients in obtaining experimental licenses and special temporary authority to operate Part 15 devices. (Ongoing)

FCC regulatory compliance for broadband and wireless clients

Represent broadband clients in disputes before the FCC and state public service commissions. Provide advice to clients concerning compliance with FCC regulatory requirements including pole attachment regulations, closed captioning, commercial leased access, access to multiple dwelling units, digital transition issues, must carry, PEG and inside wiring. (Ongoing)

MDU access rights for broadband clients

Represent cable operators in disputes with building owners concerning the rates, terms and conditions of access to building residents and the ownership of wiring and equipment and related right of way matters. (Ongoing) Read more

Pole attachment matters for Fibertech Networks

Representation of Fibertech Networks before the FCC and New Jersey Board of Public Utilities on pole attachment matters. (Ongoing)

Pole attachments for broadband and wireless clients

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

Pole attachments for New England Cable & Telecommunications Association

Vermont proceeding concerning adoption of rules and regulations concerning pole attachments and conforming tariff proceedings. (Ongoing)

Procurement for cable operators and equipment manufacturers

Advise clients on state and federal procurement requirements. (Ongoing)

Public service commission testimony for New England Cable Television Association

Provided expert testimony in Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control proceeding regarding electric utility proposed pole attachment rents and best practices for terms and conditions of contract. (Ongoing)

Represent clients in negotiations with state and local regulators

Review and negotiate state and local franchise agreements, infrastructure deployment terms, and ROW usage terms and conditions. Advise clients concerning rights to occupy public ROW and private easements, and limitations on local regulatory authority. (Ongoing)

Various cable companies and telecommunications service providers

Assist clients in filing certifications to FCC concerning FCC record keeping requirements governing telecommunications and advanced communications service accessibility. (Ongoing)

Cox Communications Hampton Roads, LLC v. Dominion Virginia Power

Represented Cox before the Federal Communications Commission in case related to Section 224(i) of the Communications Act. (2015)

Cox Communications Las Vegas, Inc. v. NV Energy, Inc.

Represented 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. (2015)

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)

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)

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)

Various cable companies

Filed comments in FCC CG Docket No. 05-231, In the Matter of Closed Captioning of Video Programming, on behalf of Charter, Cablevision, Mediacom, Suddenlink and Time Warner Cable. (2014)

Fibertech Networks v. Baltimore Gas and Electric Company

Represented Fibertech Networks before the Federal Communications Commission in a case challenging BGE’s imposition of Grade B construction standards in a manner that prevented Fibertech Networks from deploying network until after existing Grade C poles were upgraded. (2013)

Fibertech Networks v. Verizon New England and the Narragansett Electric Company d/b/a National Grid

Represented Fibertech Networks 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 Fibertech Networks

Represented Fibertech Networks 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)

National provider of broadband services

Representation of Fibertech Networks in litigation before the FCC, state regulatory bodies, and state court on pole attachment matters. (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)

Negotiation of pole attachment agreement for Florida Cable Television Association

Negotiation of pole attachment agreement with large investor owned utility in Florida on behalf of Florida Cable Television Association and its members, Comcast, Cox, Bright House Networks, and MediaCom. (2010)

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 Networks v. Verizon Maryland Inc. and Potomac Electric Power Company

Represented Fibertech Networks 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)

Pole attachments for New England Cable & Telecommunications Association

New Hampshire proceeding concerning adoption of rules and regulations governing pole attachments. (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)

FCC commercial leased access and closed captioning requirements

Provide ongoing compliance advice and represent clients in disputes before the FCC.

Pole attachments for wireless carriers and distributed antenna service providers

Negotiated agreements on behalf of client with various utilities for attachment of wireless antenna facilities to utility poles. Obtained federally prescribed rates, terms and conditions with significant potential cost savings to carriers.

Professional & Community Activities

  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Women in Cable & Telecommunications
  • Volunteer, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless
  • Team Hoyt Runner/Volunteer
  • KEEN Volunteer
  • Usher, Historic Christ Church, Alexandria, Va.

Professional Recognition

  • Named to "Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll" by the D.C. Court of Appeals and the D.C. Superior Court, 2012-2013 
12 from DWT's D.C office named to Capital Pro Bono Honor Roll, read release
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