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John J. Heitmann, JD, CIPP/US

John J. Heitmann, JD, CIPP/US

Partner

101 Constitution Avenue, NW
Suite 900
Washington, D.C., 20001
john.heitmann@nelsonmullins.com

John is a leading advocate for mobile wireless service providers participating in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) administered Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs. He also counsels international and domestic entities ranging from start-ups to the industry giants on regulatory strategy involving new business models and product offerings, policy, and compliance at the federal and state...

John is a leading advocate for mobile wireless service providers participating in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) administered Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs. He also counsels international and domestic entities ranging from start-ups to the industry giants on regulatory strategy involving new business models and product offerings, policy, and compliance at the federal and state levels. He advises communications and technology clients on complying with the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and other federal and state laws governing telecommunications, privacy, and information security.

John also defends communications companies in government investigations and enforcement matters involving the FCC and its Office of Inspector General (OIG), state commissions and attorneys general, and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

John J. Heitmann, JD, CIPP/US

levels. He advises communications and technology clients on complying with the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and other federal and state laws governing telecommunications, privacy, and information security.

John also defends communications companies in government investigations and enforcement matters involving the FCC and its Office of Inspector General (OIG), state commissions and attorneys general, and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

John is a leading advocate for mobile wireless service providers participating in the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) administered Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs. He also counsels international and domestic entities ranging from start-ups to the industry giants on regulatory strategy involving new business models and product offerings, policy, and compliance at the federal and state... levels. He advises communications and technology clients on complying with the Communications Act, the Federal Trade Commission Act, and other federal and state laws governing telecommunications, privacy, and information security.

John also defends communications companies in government investigations and enforcement matters involving the FCC and its Office of Inspector General (OIG), state commissions and attorneys general, and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Experience

Following is a selected sampling of matters and is provided for informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future matter.

Experience

  • Has advised eligible telecommunications carriers on all facets of the federal Lifeline and Affordable Connectivity Programs, including policy, ETC designation, provider applications and election notices, compliance, audits, enforcement, and investigations
  • Has advised clients on issues related to the FCC’s Rural Healthcare Program, Connect America Fund and Schools and Libraries/E-Rate program, as well as on Universal Service Fund contributions
  • Has advised clients in the Internet of Things (IoT), Over-the-Top (OTT), IP-enabled service, and connected car space on regulatory classification, privacy and spectrum strategy and execution
  • Has represented clients in federal and state court appeals of regulatory decisions
  • Has defended clients in governmental investigations involving the DOJ, FCC, OIG, and state regulatory agencies.
  • Has worked with communications clients on privacy statements and other consumer protection matters, including mobile marketing in compliance with the FCC and FTC privacy rules, the CAN-SPAM Act, and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • Has represented international service providers and investors in entry regulation and compliance matters involving the FCC, Team Telecom, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), and state regulatory agencies 
  • Has worked with clients on mergers and acquisitions, financings, asset transfers, and the sale and procurement of telecommunications, broadband capacity, interconnection, collocation, and fiber facilities

Representative Matters

  • Represented an industry association and numerous service providers in Lifeline, Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) and Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP) rulemakings, including stakeholder engagement with other industry members, Universal Service Administrative Company (USAC), Civil Society, and Congress
  • Successfully appealed several FCC Lifeline orders, including one that would have throttled the Tribal Lifeline program by banning wireless resellers and by sharply limiting which low-income Tribal residents are eligible
  • Represented an industry association in the FCC’s Broadband Privacy rulemaking
  • Successfully defended a major Lifeline service provider against adoption of a Notice of Apparent Liability (NAL) by the FCC
  • Represented major Lifeline providers in FCC, FCC OIG, DOJ, state commission, and attorney general investigations and enforcement actions
  • Defended numerous clients in FCC investigations resulting in outcomes ranging from no action to settlements and consent decrees
  • Defended multiple clients in FCC enforcement actions related to privacy and the TCPA
  • Defended multiple clients in FCC enforcement actions related to the FCC’s Hearing Aid Compatibility regulations
  • Developed comprehensive privacy programs, privacy statements, and other consumer protection related disclosures for consumer-facing wireless and wireline service providers
  • Developed Open Internet statements, terms and conditions, and permissible use policies for wireless and broadband service providers
  • Advised global services providers on regulatory classification, market entry, and privacy/security issues related to connected car product
  • Defended multiple clients in USF contributor audits
  • Represented multiple clients in USF beneficiary audits and related appeals before the FCC and the Universal Service Administrative Company
  • Obtained compliance plan approvals and ETC designations for numerous Lifeline service providers
  • Advised multiple clients on compliance issues related to the FCC’s Schools and Libraries (E-Rate) and Rural Healthcare programs
  • Represented several clients in Rural Healthcare program waivers and appeals
  • Secured regulatory approvals for multiple transactions involving foreign ownership, National Security Agreements, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) review
  • Defended Team Telecom site visits probing compliance with National Security Agreements
  • Advised global industry association on developing productive relationships with U.S. policy makers at Department of Commerce, State, and Homeland Security
  • Counseled mobile virtual network operators and IP-enabled service providers on business start-up strategy, regulatory compliance, and product design
  • Advised investment groups with respect to FCC spectrum policy
  • Advised a coalition of automobile and chip manufacturers with respect to 5.9 GHz spectrum allocated to vehicular safety
  • Represented MSOs and CLECs in the negotiation and arbitration of interconnection agreements with dozens of incumbent landline providers, including rural providers
  • Represented wireless, wireline, and cable broadband providers in interconnection and other intercarrier agreement implementation and dispute resolution matters, including representation in FCC and state dispute resolution and enforcement actions recovering more than $100 million
  • Represented multiple wireline service providers in litigation and appeals before the U.S. Courts of Appeal, federal district courts, and multiple state PUCs
  • Represented multiple clients on a wide range of financing, merger, and asset transfer transactions, including the negotiation of related service arrangements, as well as the filing of applications and securing approvals from the FCC and state regulatory agencies
  • Represented numerous wireline, wireless, and VoIP service providers in market entry, registration, and certification matters before state regulatory commissions
  • Represented wireless service providers, landline providers, and industry associations in rulemaking and other proceedings before the FCC and state regulatory agencies
  • Counseled multiple clients on compliance, business strategy, litigation risk, policy development, training, and product development with respect to telecom-regulatory and privacy/data security contractual requirements
  • Negotiated and drafted telecommunications-related contracts for clients, including mutual traffic exchange agreements with wireless providers, commercial agreements, pole attachment agreements, indefeasible rights of use, and backhaul/facility/capacity agreements

Education

  • New York University School of Law, JD, cum laude
    • Articles editor, NYU Journal of International Law and Politics
  • University of Notre Dame, BA, cum laude
    • Notre Dame London Program, Notre Dame Scholar

Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • State of New York Court of Appeals for the Third Judicial Department

Practice Areas

Industries

The bar rules of some states require that the standards for an attorney's inclusion in certain public accolades or recognitions be provided. When such accolades or recognitions are listed, a hyperlink is provided that leads to a description of the respective selection methodology.

  • Federal Communications Bar Association
    • Co-Chair, Privacy and Data Security Committee (2010–2021)
    • Co-Chair, State and Local Practice Committee (2009–2010)
    • Co-Chair, American Bar Association and Federal Communications Bar Association Privacy and Data Symposium (2015–2020)
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
  • National Lifeline Association
  • Co-Chair, Federal Communications Bar Association Privacy and Data Security Committee (2011–2020)
  • Co-Chair, American Bar Association and Federal Communications Bar Association Privacy and Data Symposium (2015–2020)
  • Co-Chair, Federal Communications Bar Association State and Local Practice Committee (2010–2011)