Mark F. Dever is a partner in our Communications Practice. He was previously head of the Communications team at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP. He works on major regulatory and transactional matters for the communications industry, calling on nearly 25 years of experience in the field.
In particular, since 1994, Mark guides clients participating in the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) auctions of wireless service spectrum rights, and has worked extensively on the development and application of the FCC’s competitive bidding regulations. This work includes direction in structuring communications industry investments involving complex domestic and foreign ownership matters, corporate governance, anti-collision regulation and enforcement, and competition and spectrum aggregation policy. In the aggregate, Mark’s clients have acquired spectrum rights with a net value of over US$10 billion in FCC competitive bidding.
Mark’s spectrum work involves the negotiation and administration of license assignments and transfers of licensee control, license partitioning, spectrum disaggregation, spectrum leasing terms and supervision, market concentration and competition analyses, foreign ownership and investment policies, network construction and management terms, resale and mobile virtual network operator transactions and regulation, experimental licensing, unlicensed operations, and wireless tower siting, space and use administration. This work frequently implicates corporate matters involving the preparation of related securities filings and due diligence examinations. In addition, Mark routinely advises licensees, investors, competitors and market observers regarding the communications regulatory implications of these and similar proposed transactions.
Mark also leads negotiations and associated arbitration proceedings implementing federal and state communications competition directives. Mark has negotiated dozens of wireless and wireline interconnection agreements governed by the federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, of which negotiations have involved a material cross-section of national and regional wireless and wireline carriers in the US. These agreements implicate federal and state directives on the scope and nature of TDM-based and internet protocol interconnection obligations, resale and network unbundling terms, virtual and physical collocation, and access to rights-of-way. Mark’s work includes the development and application regulation to voice over internet protocol and related IP-based services, and the creation and administration of commercial relationships associated therewith. The transition to IP networks, and the retirement of copper facilities and TDM-based services, affects each one of these fields.
Federal and state pricing policies frequently are at the center of these undertakings. Mark has worked intensively on regulatory litigation and arbitration matters involving federal and state access charge rate structures and levels, reciprocal compensation, forward looking costs, stand-alone costs, cross-subsidy policies and mixed services pricing. Mark has led or helped organize and manage teams of lawyers, economists and cost consultants engaged in regulatory discovery and advocacy, arbitration and appellate litigation on these complex matters.
Across these areas of concentration, Mark routinely engages in advocacy, and associated counseling and mediation efforts, before the FCC, federal district courts and courts of appeals, state regulatory agencies, certain state courts and private arbitration panels, including those of the American Arbitration Association and the International Centre for Dispute Resolution. He works for, and has worked for, current and prospective wireless service licensees, wireless lessees, incumbent and competitive wireline service providers, utilities, infrastructure owners, equipment manufacturers, private equity investors, and financial institutions and underwriters.