Dow Lohnes has the nation’s largest public broadcasting and educational telecommunications practice. The firm represents over 300 noncommercial radio and television stations and many educational institutions that use telecommunications facilities for instructional and administrative purposes.
Dow Lohnes’s work for public broadcasters and educational institutions includes representation before the FCC on all licensing, operational, transactional and content matters, as well as negotiation of agreements ranging from leasing of excess capacity to the creation, licensing and distribution of broadcast programming. Dow Lohnes advises its public broadcasting clients on technical issues such as the conversion to digital television, as well as copyright, trademark, patent, privacy, financing, first amendment and tort liability issues.
Dow Lohnes also has substantial experience in transactions involving both public radio and television stations, including station mergers, sales and acquisitions, management and operating agreements, and shared services agreements. Our attorneys understand the unique legal and business issues associated with transactions involving public agencies, educational institutions and nonprofit entities, as well as the impact of typical state law concerns that come into play for public agencies and institutions.
With respect to educational telecommunications, Dow Lohnes represents government agencies, K-12 schools, colleges and universities, and other educational entities in numerous and diverse distance learning and other telecommunications matters. The firm has long been recognized as having the leading Educational Broadband Service (EBS, formerly called ITFS) practice. Since groundbreaking rule changes in the early 1980’s and more recently in 2005, its attorneys have participated on behalf of educators in every proceeding relating to the development of the EBS service. In representing applicants and licensees of over 600 EBS stations, the firm brings to bear substantial experience in every aspect of EBS operations, including FCC licensing, rule compliance and negotiation and implementation of excess capacity agreements. Dow Lohnes also serves as counsel to the National EBS Association.
Dow Lohnes has a unique understanding of and involvement in education itself. Its Educational Institutions practice represents more than 200 post-secondary colleges and schools, as well as many higher education associations and organizations. The integration of the public broadcasting and educational telecommunications practice with the firm’s Educational Institutions practice particularly enhances the firm’s ability to serve the needs of its clients.
Attorneys in this practice also work with other practices of Dow Lohnes to provide advice in highly specialized areas of the law that increasingly affect public broadcasters and educators. The firm’s experts in taxation of nonprofit entities, pension plans, labor law, litigation, intellectual property and Internet law often work with our communications lawyers to assist the firm’s public broadcasters and educators.