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Net-Neutrality: Past, Present, and Future (Update)

(117 Ratings)

Produced on: September 30, 2016

Course Format On Demand Audio

Taught by


Course Description

Time 60 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

This program, presented by Perkins Coie's Communications Industry Firmwide Chair, Marc Martin, provides an overview of the law, regulation and politics of Net Neutrality. Marc begins by providing an overview of what Net Neutrality is (and what it isn’t), the current legal status of the rules, and the resulting legal consequences. He addresses the roles of the Federal Communications Commission, the Congress, the White House, the courts, and the Federal Trade Commission.

Finally, Marc explains how Net Neutrality came about and its original intentions, how an ill-fated FCC enforcement order put the FCC’s jurisdictional authority in question, and how the DC Circuit Court provided the FCC with a legal roadmap for the agency’s order that it later affirmed. 

Learning Objectives: 

  1. Understand how Net Neutrality came about and its original objectives
  2. Discuss how an FCC enforcement action put Net Neutrality on an uncertain legal path before the FCC began to adopt final rules
  3. Understand the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order
  4. Know why the DC Circuit affirmed the FCC’s Open Internet Order
  5. Learn about the spin-off implications, including the Broadband Privacy proposed rules and implications for FTC jurisdiction over common carriers
  6. Consider where Net Neutrality is likely headed as it continues to navigate the shoals of Washington and the courts
  7. Apply what it may mean to various industries and business models


Marc S. Martin

Perkins Coie

Communications and technology law attorney Marc S. Martin provides regulatory compliance advice and transactional guidance to companies, entrepreneurs and investors in the Telecom, Media & Technology (TMT) sector. He structures and negotiates agreements in the areas of technology and content licensing, procurement, mobile applications and distribution platforms. Marc serves as chair of the firm’s Communications industry group.


Marc's regulatory counsel includes advocacy before the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, the executive branch and the courts regarding TMT transactions, spectrum issues and auctions, FCC rulemakings, enforcements, privacy, commercial disputes and related issues.


Guiding clients from the inception of FCC spectrum auctions through the net neutrality era , Marc has advised and counseled market-leading mobile wireless operators, streaming music providers, online gaming software companies, broadcasters, OTT video programming networks, entertainment companies and others in their regulatory compliance and critical mergers, acquisitions, ventures and agreements.


Marc previously served as an attorney in the FCC's Office of Plans and Policy and in the predecessor to the FCC's Wireless Telecommunications Bureau as well as the chief legal officer of several companies, including Convera,, LLC and the telecom subsidiary of Capital One Financial Corporation. 


Chambers USA has ranked Marc in its recognition of telecom, broadcast and satellite practitioners. In their evaluations about Marc, commentators described him as a proactive advisor who is "organized and detail-oriented" with a "creative, practical understanding of commercial realities ... a valued part of our team." Marc was selected as a "Top Washington Lawyer" finalist for Tech Transactions by the Washington Business Journal and frequently writes and speaks to organizations interested in TMT issues. 


Representative Experience

  • Represent leading nationwide mobile wireless operator in connection with its participation in the H Block spectrum auction; successfully argued for changes to the FCC’s proposed auction design.
  • Represent companies, including a leading online music service and a leading mobile wireless network operator, in investigating and writing shareholder citizenship reports for purposes of determining compliance with the Communications Act in the context of mergers and acquisitions subject to FCC consent.
  • Advised a leading nationwide mobile wireless operator in the FCC’s rulemaking establishing the rules for the AWS-4 band and the allocation and adjacent interference rules for the H Block.
  • Represent a leading online gaming software and hardware company in connection with obtaining FCC equipment authorizations.
  • Represent a leading nationwide mobile wireless operator in the FCC’s rulemaking proposing spectrum aggregation rules.
  • Represented Sprint obtaining its 9-figure monetary recovery from DISH Network as reimbursement for Sprint’s prior clearance of incumbent licensees from certain 2 GHz spectrum as the result of multiple federal court and FCC proceedings.
  • Represent an industry leading wireless device manufacturer in its global enterprise telecom and technology transactions.
  • Represent a start-up developer of advanced wireless technology in obtaining FCC device certification.


Brendan S.

Clear and thorough.

Julie A. B.

Timely topic with content knowledgeably delivered. Appreciated the 700-page supplement for review and consideration post-program.

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