Thursday, February 4, 2010

Fletcher Heald & Hildreth: Assisting the Industry Since 1936

Since 1936, WCAI member Fletcher Heald & Hildreth (FHH) has assisted clients in matters involving the Federal Communications Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. Copyright Office, the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the Department of State, state regulatory commissions, and Federal courts of all levels, including the United States Supreme Court.

FHH is well known for its representation of EBS and BRS licensees and lessees. The lawyers who now form its wireless group filed some of the first ever ITFS license applications in the 1960s and pioneered the licensing of BRS (then MDS) in the 1970s, when single channel MDS was struggling to compete with cable TV. They have been involved since then in every major development in the wireless industry, including authoring the comments relied upon by the FCC to permit the flexible use of the BRS and EBS spectrum, participating in cellular radio licensing and rulemaking from its inception through each successive generation, as well as participating in proceedings leading to the approval of broadband over power lines, the expansion of satellite-delivered communications, and the explosion in authorized use of unlicensed spectrum.

Members of the FHH wireless group have represented the full range of industry participants, from single channel licensees filing ownership reports to Nextel in the purchase of the bulk of its BRS and EBS spectrum in the bankruptcy proceedings of Nucentrix and WorldCom. They represented AT&T in the $300 million sale of BellSouth’s EBS and BRS spectrum and operations to Clearwire, and also represented major national EBS licensees in the largest EBS leasing transaction ever negotiated. Its attorneys serve as special counsel to over 70 educational institutions across the country, assisting in regulatory matters before the FCC, and negotiating spectrum lease agreements.

FHH lawyers work closely with telecommunications infrastructure providers such as fixed microwave backhaul networks and equipment manufacturers on equipment certification issues. They represent entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of technology, such as a new process allowing the integration of television broadcasting and broadband services, and pioneers exploring the potential of the farthest reaches of millimeterwave frequencies.

FHH's lawyers understand that the financing of communications ventures is as important as the regulatory component, and they therefore assist clients in workouts, credit facilities, bankruptcies, securing federal funding, and investment strategies. They have also been deeply involved in advising applicants in the quest for broadband stimulus money in round 1, with the expectation of significant further involvement in round 2.

FHH assists a broad range of trade association clients with their specialized legal needs. Its lawyers serve as general counsel to several associations, included the Fixed Wireless Communications Coalition, the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Community Broadcasters Association, the Spanish Broadcasters Association, Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, the Hearing Industries Association, and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials, not to mention serving as Washington, DC counsel to a dozen state broadcasting associations and other leading industry representatives. Its attorneys have been honored to sit as board members of numerous trade associations, including the Library of American Broadcasting, the Spanish Broadcasters Association, and the National Association of Minority Media Executives, to name but a few.

For more information about FHH, please visit or contact Donald J. Evans at

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