Mr. Thomas is a partner in the Business Trial Practice Group in the firm's Washington D.C. office.
Areas of Practice
Mr. Thomas has a national practice in the telecommunications and broadband communications industries. His practice focuses on the deployment of competitive networks and services, with a particular emphasis on representing broadband providers in matters involving local franchising, rights-of-way, pole attachments, and similar issues.
During his 20 years as counsel to the nation's top cable and broadband companies, cable and telecommunications trade associations, and other competitive communications organizations, Mr. Thomas has become a nationally recognized authority in pole attachments, rights-of-way, federal, state and local broadband and telecommunications regulatory and communications plant deployment issues. He has handled cases in approximately 40 states.
Mr. Thomas is experienced in a wide range of regulatory, litigation, and transactional matters, and handles a variety of commercial, regulatory, and litigation matters involving competitive wireless and wireline telecommunications providers, broadcasters, and satellite communications companies. He has litigated federal preemption cases before the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and federal and state courts. In addition to those bodies, he regularly appears in front of state public service commissions, state legislatures, and county and municipal governments.
A frequent speaker at communications and utility industry conferences, he has published works on a variety of domestic and international industry issues, including new technology deployment and spectrum use and allocation.
•Media, Technology and Telecoms, Legal 500, 2013-2015
Publications & News
•New Broadband-Friendly Laws In Ohio, Louisiana
Law360, August 18, 2014
FCC Law Blog Posts
• Cyberspace Oddity: The FCC Regulates Internet Services as Common Carrier Telecommunications Services, 'Protecting and Promoting the Open Internet,' February 27, 2015
• Headin' Down the Copperhead Road - the FCC Proposes New Rules for Legacy Infrastructure, January 5, 2015
• Turnin' Havana to Atlanta: The White House Opens Doors for U.S. Telecommunications Investment in Cuba and Latin America, December 19, 2014
• If They Could Be All You Wanted: The FCC Gets Serious About Small Cells, October 28, 2014
• Of Buckeyes and Batons Rouges: Ohio and Louisiana Adopt Comprehensive Pole Access and Attachment Rules, August 11, 2014
• Is Wheeler Gaga for Gigabit? The FCC Liberates 100 MHz of Spectrum for Unlicensed Wi-Fi, April 7, 2014
• Sleeper “Small” Cells: The Battle Over The FCC's Wireless Infrastructure Proceeding, February 27, 2014
•Panelist, The Perfect Storm Critical Infrastructure & the Crucial Role of the Communications Network, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) 124th Annual Meeting, Baltimore, Maryland, November 11-14, 2012
•Practical Approach: Business & Investing in the Telecommunications Sector in Mexico Under New Regulatory Framework
Sheppard Mullin New York, September 9, 2014