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Telecommunications and Networking
Bracewell’s telecommunications lawyers, many of whom have advanced engineering degrees and industry experience, represent companies at the leading edge of the telecommunications and networking fields. Our clients are at the forefront of development of roaming and billing systems for the worldwide wireless industry, building systems to provide broadband over power lines, establishing WiMAX in the United States and abroad, and developing other "fourth generation" wireless broadband services.
Bracewell attorneys have worked on a variety of wireless networks including wireless LANs, carrier-provided WAN networks and long-range wireless networks, network protocols, network security, network switching and routing, optical networks, and application gateways.
In the intellectual property arena, our patent attorneys, most of whom have science or engineering backgrounds, prepare and prosecute patent applications in this ever-evolving technical area.
We also represent traditional telecommunications companies, including local exchange carriers, long distance carriers, wireless carriers, cable television operators, Internet service providers, broadcasters, industry associations, governmental entities, electric utility companies, and large users of telecommunications services.
Some of our attorneys have served as in-house counsel and in regulatory agencies. Through their business experience and our deep telecommunications regulatory knowledge, we help clients balance marketplace demands with local, state and federal statutes in matters ranging from rate and interconnection issues to mergers and acquisitions. We also represent U.S. telecommunications companies abroad and foreign carriers in the United States.
Our telecom lawyers advise and represent clients in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals throughout the U.S. In all telecommunications regulatory settings, we provide licensing, rulemaking and enforcement advice and counsel.
We guide clients through the state regulatory commissions on such issues as interconnection, universal service, quality of service, ratemaking, reciprocal compensation, tax, and pricing. We represent client interests at all stages in the drafting and approval of legislation and regulation. Our attorneys participate actively in industry coalitions and state-sponsored committees that study industry issues and prepare legislation and administrative rules addressing telecommunications services and products.
Bracewell’s telecom lawyers structure and negotiate the full range of landline and wireless telecommunications transactions, from agreements supporting daily operations to billion-dollar asset sales. Our operational experience spans all major technologies, and includes focused industry agreements for:
- Interconnection, resale and unbundling
- Franchise rights
- Network infrastructure
- Technology purchases and licenses
- Pole attachments
- Roamer issues
We represent wireless companies nationwide in development and land-use issues involved with siting and building wireless communication towers. We provide advice on negotiating long-term site leases, and on other real-estate related matters such as condemnation and prescriptive easement proceedings.
On the operational side, Bracewell attorneys structure contracts and agreements covering outsourcing, marketing alliances, the provision of wholesale and retail services, and programming content. We help set up competitive arrangements for billing systems, including agreements for software and systems integration, and assist clients with major corporate transactions, including project financings, asset acquisitions and dispositions, and mergers.
Our attorneys have successfully prosecuted and defended numerous industry lawsuits. These disputes involve telecom-related intellectual property rights, wireless telephone health claims and other products liability issues, zoning, and class actions involving contract and billing practices, among other issues. We also defend telecommunications clients against consumer complaints lodged with state Public Service Commissions, litigate to prevent the improper imposition of taxes, fees and other extractions by counties and municipalities, and represent telecom companies in litigation and arbitration with subcontractors.
Bracewell's clients operate and develop telecommunications systems worldwide, and we have significant telecommunications regulatory experience in Europe and Latin America. Our team includes attorneys who are admitted to practice in countries such as Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. We help local and international clients address virtually all competition-related issues, from privatization to the introduction of meaningful competition in Latin American markets. For example, Bracewell recently advised a major Spanish power company on the nearly half-billion-dollar sale of its Chilean mobile telecom unit to Mexico’s telecom giant América Móvil. We also represented the largest telephone company in Brazil in a series of regulatory and competition related matters and advised a large new Latin American provider of phone cards and funds transfer services.
We help clients build systems in less-developed countries, manage relationships with regulators, draft regulations, develop financial structures, and negotiate a broad range of contracts in competitive markets. We also represent clients providing roaming, billing, financial clearing, and software services to operators around the world.