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Broadband encompasses any and all companies that are providing internet transport/transmission, internet access services and/or infrastructure. Companies deploying or operating broadband network services, offering internet data transport & transmission, or internet access services may fall under a federal or state legal classification applicable to broadband providers, thereby subjecting themselves to a variety of legal, regulatory and tax considerations.
While providers of certain broadband services or facilities confront "light touch" regulation by governmental bodies, others may face the same high-level of regulatory oversight experienced by providers of traditional telecommunications. In the rapidly evolving area of broadband networks and services, the facts matter!
Because there are a number of ways to transmit data through the various telecommunications and broadband network infrastructures and mediums, it follows that there are different legal classifications that may apply to various broadband companies and the services they provide. Each classification subjects a company to different types of regulation, taxation, privacy law, and other legal considerations, responsibilities, and risks.
For example, enterprise broadband services (a business data service) may be regulated, taxed, and subject to different legal requirements at the various levels of government (local, state and federal), than mass market Broadband Internet Access Services (aka, BIAS) services.
In addition to different service and service provider classifications being derived from the network medium or nature of the consumer and its use of the medium, other facts may also factor into the regulatory, tax and other legal implications, such as the protocol used, the degree to which disparate services are intertwined ("inextricably intertwined" or loosely?) and integrated into service bundles, and more.
We can help determine if your services or networks are subject to a particular regulatory, tax or other legal classification applicable to broadband and what sort of compliance obligations arise under the applicable (or most likely) classification.
Not everything businesses might commonly think of as an "Internet Access" service is actually treated the way they've been conditioned to think an Internet Access service is treated for regulatory and tax purposes. The regulatory and tax classifications of the following services are materially distinct. Make sure you are getting it right, because if you aren't correct, your exposure can be material in either direction -- Under Compliant (and costing you money) or Over Compliant (and costing you competitive pricing and positioning):
Whether adjusting to meet regulatory requirements, entering the broadband market, or navigating the shifting broadband regulatory landscape, companies need experienced counsel to help deconstruct, decipher, appropriately classify and optimize their offerings to achieve maximum compliance while minimizing the regulatory, commercial and other legal impacts.
Award-winning practice with unparalleled experience in the telecommunications sector, our clients include VoIP, wireless and traditional telecom companies, SaaS and cloud technologists, and nearly every imaginable business driving the digital revolution.
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