Telecommunications Law

To get the job done efficiently, count on attorneys who know the lay of the land.

Recognized for decades as one of the premier telecommunications practices in northern New England, Downs Rachlin Martin’s telecommunications lawyers provide exceptional legal services to a wide array of clients:

  • Wireless communications carriers
  • Telecommunications providers
  • Broadband providers
  • Tower and communications infrastructure developers
  • Cable television and video companies
  • Electrical distribution and transmission utilities
  • First responders and public safety communications users
  • Telecommunications customers
  • Lenders and investors in communications technology
  • Technology and environmental consultants

Legal ingenuity broadcast throughout telecommunications.

Our team includes leaders in the field of telecommunications law – creative, dedicated attorneys who have developed a strong reputation for their depth of industry knowledge, project management skills, transaction experience, and commitment to providing personal, responsive attention to clients. Ultimately, it is our ability to guide regulatory strategies and obtain approvals that sets us apart from our competition.

Excellent coverage in your service areas.

To better serve our clients, we focus our telecommunications services on specific industry sectors and issues:

Wireless communications. We provide five-bar service for wireless carriers, tower developers, utilities and public safety agencies in multiple capacities for wireless telecommunications in Vermont and New Hampshire, with capabilities to assist in the I-87 corridor of upstate New York, including:

  • Site acquisition and permitting
  • Network development (construction agreements, strategic partnerships)
  • Environmental compliance and permitting
  • Regulatory approvals and compliances
  • Governmental affairs support
  • Wireless service level agreements
  • Litigation
  • Communications site portfolio acquisition
  • Commercial lending transactions for wireless licensees / tower developers

Telecommunications providers and users.  We provide strategic regulatory and transactional support and advice to wireline and wireless telecommunications carriers, broadband providers, cable television and video companies, and telecommunications customers, investors and lenders. We represent clients before state and federal regulatory boards and commissions, and assist clients to negotiate and close transactions, including:

  • Certification, license and registration requirements and proceedings
  • Regulatory approvals and compliance
  • Financing, loan and investment transactions
  • Mergers and acquisitions transactions and approvals
  • Interconnection agreements
  • Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designation
  • Environmental compliance and permitting
  • Real estate acquisition and due diligence
  • Land use / regulatory compliance
  • Litigation
  • Insurance coverage
  • Equipment purchase, telecommunications service and IRU agreements, and RFPs
  • Contract, lease and joint venture agreements

Read more about how our telecommunications team has helped bring reliable cellular and wireless broadband Internet service to different parts of Vermont. Case Studies: Bringing Service to the Molly Stark Scenic Byway and Keeping Cobble Hill Scenic While Improving Service.

Recent Accomplishments

Downs Rachlin Martin's Telecommunications team has been helping a broad range of clients achieve their goals. Here are some examples:

  • Acquired permits and accompanying regulatory approval for more than 80 new towers in Vermont and New Hampshire since 2010, including through appearances and presentations at municipal and state hearings, and by revolutionizing telecommunications siting practice at the Vermont Public Utility Commission.
  • Managed projects to obtain accelerated approvals for more than 60 new existing structure collocations, and more than 200 site modifications since 2010.
  • Negotiated the network expansion agreement to implement SmartGrid distribution network for Vermont's largest electric utility.
  • Obtained approval of acquisition of one of Vermont's most extensive telephone exchanges.
  • Obtained franchise renewals for Vermont's largest cable television systems.
  • Developed tower construction agreements for difficult-to-permit locations that include economical cost-sharing among public utilities, emergency service providers, and carriers.
  • Resolved developer / landowner controversies regarding scopes of easements and leasehold rights to enable upgrades and replacements of existing infrastructure.
  • Obtained Eligible Telecommunications Carrier (ETC) designations for wireless provider to enable participation in FCC auction for deploying mobile and broadband services to under-served areas.
  • Successfully litigated to Vermont Supreme Court order on issue of first impression concerning adjoining property owner requirements of intervention in land use siting proceeding for new towers.
  • Secured ruling from state courts regarding preemption of 1,500 feet setback rules for wireless facilities in Vermont, and scope of height limitation / vegetative buffer ordinances in New Hampshire.
  • Assisted governmental affairs specialists to pass, protect, and enhance collocation / modification acceleration statutes in New Hampshire, and Public Utility Commission siting requirements in Vermont.
  • Obtained numerous certifications, registrations, and approvals for telecommunications providers throughout New England.
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