Rob McDowell advises telecommunications, media and technology clients on their most significant regulatory, legal and business matters. As a former commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and a highly regarded industry leader, Rob has been at the forefront of the most complex and groundbreaking issues facing telecommunications.
Mr. McDowell was first appointed to the FCC by President George W. Bush in 2006 and again by President Obama in 2009. He was unanimously confirmed both times by the US Senate. During his tenure, Mr. McDowell led efforts to expand consumer access to spectrum through his work on the two largest wireless auctions in US history at the time, played a key role in the 2009 digital television transition and led efforts to establish the first federal civil rights rule in a generation by creating a ban on racially discriminatory practices in broadcast advertising. He also worked extensively on several large and complex mergers, including Sirius/XM and Comcast/NBC-Universal.
He is an advocate for internet freedom, serving on the US delegation to the 2012 World Conference on International Telecommunications and exposing an international bid to regulate vital aspects of the Internet through multilateral treaty-based organizations. Mr. McDowell authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal opposing multilateral internet regulation that led to a resolution passed unanimously in the House and Senate, as well as the ultimate defeat of the international bid at a treaty negation in Dubai later that year.
Prior to the FCC, Mr. McDowell was senior vice president for CompTel, the Competitive Telecommunications Association, where he led advocacy efforts before several government agencies, the White House and Congress.
Mr. McDowell is often called upon for speaking engagements and frequently appears on TV and radio. He has written opinion pieces for many high-profile publications, including the Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.
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Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Teleforum
On April 20, 2017, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) initiated a proceeding to assess the...
Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group Podcast
Net Neutrality has been the subject of intense policy discussion in recent years, but the...
2012 National Lawyers Convention
The Telecommunications & Electronic Media Practice Group hosted this panel on "Communications Law Reform" on...
A U.N. Regulated Internet? The Case for Defending Against Persistent Intergovernmental Threats to Internet Freedom
Engage Volume 13, Issue 3 October 2012
Note from the Editor: The author has adapted this paper from testimony before the U.S....
2010 National Lawyers Convention
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 20 Telecommunications: Rewriting the Telecomm Act: Has the Time Come? 10:45 a.m. –...