Legal intelligence for telecom, tech and media professionals

Biography for Adam Bender

Adam Bender, Senior Editor, is the state and local telecommunications reporter for Communications Daily, where he also has covered Congress and the Federal Communications Commission. He has won awards for his Warren Communications News reporting from the Society of Professional Journalists, Specialized Information Publishers Association and the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing. Bender studied print journalism at American University and is the author of dystopian science-fiction novels. You can follow Bender at and @WatchAdam on Twitter.

Recent Articles by Adam Bender

Washington state’s argument for taxing federal Lifeline support depends on the Washington Supreme Court agreeing that the Universal Service Administrative Co. is not the U.S. government’s instrumentality, agreed Deputy Solicitor General Cynthia Alexander, representing the state revenue department, at oral argument Thursday. State justices zeroed in on this question -- and practical impacts -- as they weighed whether federal Lifeline funds subsidizing low-income consumers’ phone lines are subject to the state’s retail sales tax.Read More >>

T-Mobile faced tough questions Tuesday from a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals panel on the carrier’s argument that states must align with the FCC’s revenue-based USF contribution mechanism. The court heard T-Mobile and subsidiaries’ challenge to a U.S. District Court for Northern California March 31 decision not to block the California Public Utilities Commission’s April 1 change to a connections-based method.Read More >>

The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission properly decided that FirstEnergy charged unlawfully high pole-attachment rates to Verizon, a Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court majority decided Thursday. The PUC also appropriately determined the length of retroactive relief, despite Verizon’s arguments that refunds should go further back.Read More >>

The narrow targeting of Maryland’s so-called tax on digital ad revenue may suggest it’s primarily a punishment that federal courts are permitted to review under the U.S. Tax Injunction Act (TIA), 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Julius Richardson said at oral argument Wednesday. The 4th Circuit is reviewing an appeal by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce of the March 2022 decision by the U.S. District Court in Baltimore to dismiss the Chamber’s challenge of the tax, plus the district court’s December dismissal of the Chamber’s challenge to the tax’s pass-through ban (case 22-2275). The 4th Circuit should remand all counts back to district court, argued the Chamber’s attorney Michael Kimberly of McDermott Will.Read More >>

A big question about subject-matter jurisdiction will require more briefs in a case on whether cities are entitled to franchise fees from streaming TV providers, said 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Frank Easterbrook. At oral argument Tuesday in City of East St. Louis v. Netflix (case 22-2905), judges also voiced skepticism about the merits of the Illinois city’s arguments.Read More >>