James Tomlinson

Jim Tomlinson draws on 30 years of experience in the communications industry and 20 years of experience as a communications lawyer to help clients with a wide range of telecommunications and cable issues, including federal, state, and local regulatory matters, programming network issues, and contract negotiation and enforcement. Jim’s clients include wireless carriers, VoIP providers, competitive local exchange carriers (CLECs), and cable and broadband providers. As a former senior in-house counsel for an international telecommunications provider, Jim has extensive practical experience with commercial and regulatory legal issues for telecommunications clients. Prior to practicing law, Jim was a systems engineer, corporate account manager and network planner with a large telecommunications company, giving him an in-depth understanding of broadband networks and business issues facing communications companies.

Jim is a core member of DWT’s Lifeline program team, which advises eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) on a wide variety of the arcane legal and business operational issues involving the federal Lifeline program. Jim regularly assists top-10 ETCs and smaller carriers obtain state and federal ETC designations; respond to regulatory inquiries, maintain regulatory compliance and advocate their positions with key Lifeline decision-makers at the FCC. In addition, Jim is a “go to” lawyer for helping clients respond to Lifeline audits conducted by USAC and other regulatory bodies.

Jim is an active member of the firm’s E-Rate Program team. He counsels school districts and E-Rate service providers—both cable operators and telecom providers—about E-Rate compliance, contract/competitive bidding disputes, appeals, waivers, and audits.

Jim advises cable television, telecommunications, and wireless providers on outside plant deployment issues. Jim regularly performs complex pole attachment rate calculations and analysis. Jim has negotiated numerous pole attachment and conduit agreements and represents communications companies before the FCC and state regulatory agencies in regulatory litigation and rulemakings involving pole attachments.

Jim also counsels competitive telecommunications, VoIP and broadband service providers on a wide range of telecommunications competition and broadband policy matters, including market entry, licensing and tariff obligations, commercial disputes, and subscriber privacy issues under federal and state communications law. His work in this area involves drafting subscriber agreements, privacy policies, acceptable use policies, and other related documents for communications entities.

Jim posts frequent updates on DWT’s communications law blogs, including Broadband Deployment Law Advisor, Open Internet Law Advisor, Lifeline Law Advisor, and E-Rate Law Advisor.

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