Robert J. Gastner
Robert Gastner on Net Neutrality
Robert Gastner, a member of Eckert Seamans' Telecommunications Group and Washington, D.C., office, discusses net neutrality and why it is an important issue.WATCH VIDEO
Rob Gastner assists telecommunications, energy, and technology companies with regulatory compliance and transactional matters. Rob’s clients include IP telephony service providers, local exchange carriers, interexchange carriers, Internet access providers, competitive energy suppliers, and electric utilities. He counsels his clients on a broad range of issues, including rulemakings and other proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and various state Public Utility Commissions (PUC). Rob has assisted clients with a wide variety of commercial litigation issues before both federal and state courts from initial client interviews through trials and appeals.
Prior to joining Eckert Seamans, Rob worked as an attorney for an insurance defense firm and a boutique telecommunications firm. Rob’s involvement in the telecommunications and information technology industries spans more than 15 years, dating backing to his work as a software engineer for Sprint. In addition to regulatory matters, Rob also has extensive experience representing clients with respect to litigation. After attending law school, Rob first gained practical experience in the legal profession while serving as a judicial law clerk for the Circuit Court of Virginia’s 17th Judicial District in Arlington County.
- Advocate on behalf of clients before the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) with respect to a wide variety of competitive issues, including intercarrier compensation, IP Transition, VoIP, Open Internet, Universal Service, slamming, and Customer Proprietary Network Information (“CPNI”).
- Conduct regulatory classification audits to determine the appropriate regulatory classification of clients service offerings and to provide management with an overview of the regulatory framework applicable to each of a client’s service offerings.
- Represent both telecommunications service providers and competitive energy suppliers before state Public Utility Commissions with respect to consumer protection complaints and related matters.
- Advise clients regarding applicable privacy and consumer protection obligations, including the drafting of appropriate disclosure statements.
- Advise clients with respect to the formulation of data breach response plans and data security policies laws.
- Counsel clients regarding their marketing campaigns and compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and other telemarketing related laws and regulations.
- Advise clients regarding entry into the telecommunications industry and the obtaining of both FCC and state authorizations for the provision of telecommunications services.
- Assist clients with respect to various commercial litigation cases, including municipal and private rights-of-way issues, inter-carrier compensation disputes, and defense of consumer protection class-action proceedings.
- Assist clients with general commercial transactional matters including the drafting of commercial contracts and employment agreements; and the drafting of internal policies for clients regarding property, data privacy, and general employment matters.
- Assisted with the due diligence review for an renewable energy company’s acquisition of several green energy projects.
- Represented various investor-owned electric utilities in pole attachment agreement negotiations with cable and telecommunications service providers, related dispute resolution, and FCC complaint proceedings.
- Assisted a global encryption technology company with a survey of lawful interception and data protection obligations in numerous foreign jurisdictions.
- Energy Bar Association
- Federal Communications Bar Association
- International Association of Privacy Professionals
- Information Systems Security Association
- Arlington Bar Association
Awards and Recognition:
- Selected for inclusion in Washington D.C. Super Lawyers – Rising Star (2015 – 2017)
News and Insights
- “INSIGHT: Trump’s Social Media Order Takes on First Amendment Rights,” Bloomberg Law, June 2020.
- “Net Neutrality Ruling Leaves FCC With Much Work To Do,” Law360, October 2019.
- “INSIGHT: As TCPA Litigation Skyrockets, Defense Costs Grow,” Bloomberg Law, September 2019.
- “Evaluating The Efficacy Of FCC’s New Foreign Robocall Rules,” Law360, August 6, 2019.
- “Key Deadlines For Connect America Fund Phase II Bidders,” Law360, October 2018.
- “FCC Seeks Comments Regarding Preemption of Local Restrictions on Small Cell Wireless Infrastructure,” Eckert Seamans' Utilities and Telecommunications Alert January 2017.
- “FCC Implements Privacy Rules for Broadband Internet Service Providers,” Eckert Seamans' Utilities and Telecommunications Alert December 2016.
- “Malicious Cyber – How to Manage and Mitigate this Emerging Category of Risk,” panelist at the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Legal Symposium, February 2020.
- “FCC’s Blocking of Unwanted Robocalls: Exploring Implications to the Year Ahead,” presented at The Knowledge Group webcast program, October 2019.
- “Recent Developments in the Courts,” moderator, at the Federal Communications Bar Association CLE, The TCPA and Robocalls: Recent Developments and the Road Ahead, April 2019.
- “The Law of Net Neutrality,” presented at Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education Seminar, August 2018
- “The Data Breach Reality,” co-presenter, Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, 2015 Consortium Day, June 5, 2015.
Rob’s interests include wine, travel, scuba diving, skiing and golf.