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Admitted to Practice

  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • District of Columbia, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals Federal Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. District Court District of Columbia

T. Scott Thompson

Scott Scott ThompsonT. Scott
Scott Thompson represents telecommunications industry clients before the FCC, state public service commissions, local governments, and the courts. He has successfully litigated numerous cases to protect the rights of communications providers to deploy their networks and facilities from trial level all the way to the United States Supreme Court. Scott is nationally-recognized for his knowledge on deployment of wireless infrastructure and services. He works with leading wireless and wireline communications companies to develop successful national deployment and regulatory strategies and when necessary litigate to protect the companies’ legal rights. He is also experienced in a variety of matters, from commercial and regulatory disputes to access issues to policy, regulatory, and competition matters.

Scott's clients include: T-Mobile, Crown Castle (f/k/a NextG Networks), ExteNet, and Skyway Towers.

Representative Experience

Implementation of Federal “Collocation By Right” Statute

Advises multiple wireless industry participants in developing strategy for deployment of facilities under Section 6409(a) of the Middle Class Taxpayer Relief and Jobs Creation Act of 2012 (aka the "collocation by right" statute). (Ongoing)

National wireless carrier

Representing a national wireless carrier before various local governments on matters relating to local regulation of wireless facility siting. (Ongoing)

NextG Networks of Cal., Inc. v. City of Huntington Beach

Lead counsel for distributed antenna system (DAS) operator, NextG, in federal and state court litigation challenging municipal regulation of wireless deployment in public rights of way. SACV 07-1471 ABC (RNBx) (C.D. Cal. Ongoing) Read more

Telecommunications regulatory for multiple DAS providers

Representing DAS providers in obtaining state regulatory authority certificates in more than 30 states. (Ongoing)

T-Mobile South LLC v. City of Roswell

Obtained reversal of 11th Circuit decision upholding municipality’s denial (without any reasoned explanation) of a wireless provider’s application to install a wireless facility.  135 S. Ct. 808 (2015)

Crown Castle NG East, Inc. v. Town of Greenburgh

Lead counsel for Crown Castle before district court and 2nd Circuit in successful challenge to Town’s denial of application to install Distributed Antenna System in public rights of way. Case established right of DAS company to provide service and resulted in court order requiring Town to approve permits. 2013 U.S. Dist. Lexis 93699 (S.D.N.Y. 2013), aff’d, 552 Fed. Appx. 47 (2d Cir. 2014)

T-Mobile West LLC, Crown Castle NG West LLC, & ExteNet California v. City and County of San Francisc

Counsel for three wireless industry companies in challenge to City ordinance imposing complex permitting process on wireless installations in public rights of way. Developed initial case strategy, coordinated plaintiff coalition, argued summary judgment, and co-chaired three-week bench trial leading to court ruling that City rules violate federal “collocation by right” statute and California law regarding wireless permit terms. (S.F. County (Cal.) Super. Ct. 2014)

T-Mobile Central LLC v. Charter Township of West Bloomfield

Lead counsel for T-Mobile before 6th Circuit in successful challenge to local government denial of wireless tower application. In case of first impression for 6th Circuit, court established standard for "effective prohibition" claims under 47 U.S.C. § 332(c)(7)(B)(i)(II) and positively clarified standard for "substantial evidence" claims under Section 332(c)(7)(B)(iii). Case resulted in court order for Township to issue permit granting tower application. 691 F.3d 794 (6th Cir. 2012)

T-Mobile Northeast, LLC v. City of Newport News

Lead counsel for T-Mobile before 4th Circuit in successful challenge to City denial of application for wireless tower. 674 F.3d 480 (4th Cir. 2012)

Implementation of Section 224 of the Act; Amendment of the Commission's Rules and Policies Governing Pole Attachments for NextG Networks, Inc.

Represented distributed antenna system (DAS) provider submitting comments in rulemaking regarding FCC policies and rules governing utility pole attachment rates, and terms and conditions, leading to landmark 2011 order by FCC establishing pole attachment rules. WC Docket No. 07-245 (2011)

Dianet Communications v. City of New York et al.

Successfully defended case challenging the City of New York's grant of a franchise to our client, NextG Networks. (2009)

NextG Networks of NY, Inc. v. RCN Communications

Represented NextG in complaint against telecommunications provider, RCN, for denial of access to underground conduits in Massachusetts. (2009)

Sprint Telephony PCS v. San Diego County

Filed amicus curiae brief on behalf of NextG Networks and The DAS Forum in support of petition for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court and during 9th Circuit rehearing en banc, addressing the application of Section 253 of the Communications Act to county wireless zoning requirements. (2009) Read more

Wireless zoning for national wireless carrier

Lead counsel for a national wireless carrier in precedent-setting wireless siting litigation before the 9th Circuit and District Court. Successfully obtained District Court order finding city’s denial of the client's wireless siting application violated Section 332(c)(7) of the federal Communications Act, and obtained order of 9th Circuit affirming District Court. (2008-2009) Read more

CTIA v. Federal Communications Commission

Represented telecommunications provider in successful D.C. Circuit appeal of FCC decision imposing back-up power requirements on all telephone company and wireless facilities. Nos. 07-1475, 07-1477, 07-1480 (D.C. Cir. 2008) Read more

NextG Networks of NY, Inc. v. City of New York

Lead counsel for NextG in federal court challenge to City of New York franchise and regulation of wireless deployment in public rights of way. Including successful 2nd Circuit appeal reversing District Court grant of summary judgment to defendant city on NextG's claims that the city's franchise requirements violate Section 253 of the federal Communications Act. Pending on remand at the District Court. 513 F.3d 49 (2d Cir. 2008) Read more

In re Application of Verizon Virginia, Inc. for Retail Services Deregulation and Detariffing

Represented competitive carrier in opposition to Verizon deregulation request. Case No. PUC-2007-00008 (Va. SCC 2007)

NextG Networks of Calif., Inc. v. County of Los Angeles

Order granting preliminary injunction prohibiting defendant county from enforcing its wireless zoning code against NextG on the grounds that the code is pre-empted by Section 253 of the Federal Communications Act. 522 F. Supp. 2d 1240 (C.D. Cal. 2007) Read more

Office of Consumer Council v. Southern New England Tel. Co.

Order granting plaintiff's summary judgment; establishing that AT&T video programming service is cable service and that AT&T is a “cable operator” providing service over a “cable system” subject to franchising requirements applicable under the Federal Cable Act. (Vacated as moot after new legislation applied new franchise requirements to AT&T.) 515 F. Supp. 2d 269 (D. Conn. 2007) Read more

NextG Networks of Calif., Inc. v. City & County of San Francisco

Order granting judgment and permanent injunction for NextG, preempting pursuant to Section 253 of federal Communications Act the defendant city's requirements for deployment of wireless facilities in public rights-of-way. 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36101 (N.D. Cal. 2006; 9th Cir. 2006)

Professional & Community Activities

  • Advisory Board, Pike and Fischer’s “Telecom Land Management Law Report” and "Communications Environmental and Land Use Law Report"
  • Forum on Communications Law, American Bar Association
  • Federal Communications Bar Association
  • Advocacy Committee, PCIA DAS Forum, 2007-present

Professional Recognition

  • Selected for the Client Choice Awards, International Law Office, 2012-2013