Telecommunications: Helping a Dark Fiber Provider Bring High-Speed Broadband to Rural Maine
Many of Maine’s rural areas do not have adequate access to high-speed broadband services. In 2008-09, a group of Internet providers and CLECs joined with state officials to map out a plan to install 1110 miles of high capacity dark fiber in three rings across rural Maine – known as “Three Ring Binder.” The project required a substantial grant under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and a private match. Verrill joined the team in 2009 and advised the lead applicant regarding government and public outreach as well as communications with other businesses and telecommunications providers in Maine.
In late 2009, US Commerce Secretary Gary Locke flew to Maine to announce a $25 million ARRA grant from the National Telecommunications Information Agency, the first such award in the country. A major success for Maine.
In 2010, we helped pass necessary legislation to create a new telecommunications entity in Maine, a “Dark Fiber Provider,” which was necessary to allow the new venture to attach their fiber to utility poles in the public right of way. The legislation was bitterly opposed by competitors and their unions, but was ultimately passed after months of negotiations with stakeholders, the Governor’s office, the US Department of Commerce, and a range of state agencies. Once passed, we assisted the new Dark Fiber Provider obtain a certificate to do business from the Maine PUC and work with pole owners in Maine to obtain reasonable access to their facilities.
In 2011, a US Chamber of Commerce study listed Maine as the top infrastructure state in the nation, in large part because of the establishment of the Three Ring Binder. And businesses in rural parts of Maine are increasingly seeing the benefits of middle-mile fiber.
Verrill’s Telecommunications Group, and its Government and Public Relations team, are proud to have had a part in helping rural Mainers get high-speed access to the Internet, and to help Maine grow.
Major Wireless Telecommunications Company: Integration of Acquired Competitor
We represented a major wireless telecommunications company in a reconfiguration of telecommunications infrastructure to allow the integration of recently acquired competitor. We provided leasing, title, environmental and zoning work relating to reconfiguration on expedited basis of approximately 160 telecommunications sites in connection with acquisition of competitor.
Major Wireless Telecommunications Company: Network Build-Outs
We represented a major wireless telecommunications company in network build-outs in Maine. We provided leasing, title, zoning and environmental work associated with acquisition, permitting and build out of 200+ telecommunications sites.
Patent Litigation: VoIP
Defended three telecommunications networking companies in E.D. Tex. against accusation of infringement of patents relating to VoIP technology; lead responsibility for witness who testified at trial about key prior art; case settled the next day for a fraction of the original demand.
Patent Litigation: Telecommunications
Defended large telecommunication company in patent litigation in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas brought by a competitor over eight patents relating to encryption, unified communications, messaging, and audio and video codecs; filed four petitions for Inter Partes Review with the Patent Office, and obtained institution on all of them; case settled favorably shortly thereafter.
Patent Litigation: Telecommunications
Defended three major telecommunications companies against patent claims relating to VoIP technology in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas; took lead in preparing pretrial filings and assisted with trial witness preparation; case was settled after the third day of trial for a fraction of the original demand.
Trade Secret & Unfair Competition Litigation: Telecommunications
Represented large international manufacturer and seller of telecommunications equipment to all major wireless providers against a supplier in a breach of contract, theft of trade secrets and unfair competition action brought in the Commercial Division of the New York State Supreme Court, a case in which the plaintiff brought two separate preliminary injunction motions to stop our client from selling key hardware and software that is instrumental in sending data over Code-Division Multiple Access (CDMA) wireless networks; the case was settled favorably during a hearing on second preliminary injunction when it became clear that plaintiffs motion was unlikely to succeed.