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 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), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and various state Public Utility Commissions (PUC). Rob has also 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.
- Advocates 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, robocalls, and Customer Proprietary Network Information (“CPNI”).
- Represents both telecommunications service providers and competitive energy suppliers before state Public Utility Commissions with respect to consumer protection complaints, rulemaking proceedings, licensing issues, and other related matters.
- Litigates on behalf of clients from the trial level through the Supreme Court of the United States, including preliminary relief, fact and expert discovery, motions for summary judgment, and appellate briefing.
- Federal appellate counsel to numerous investor-owned electric utilities in challenges to several FCC decisions regarding network access and pricing issues.
- Counsels clients with respect to privacy and data security matters including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and various state data-breach notification laws.
- Represents clients regarding transactions for the purchase, sale, and lease of wireless spectrum authorizations supporting advanced metering and smart grid technologies.
- Counsels clients regarding their marketing campaigns and compliance with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and other telemarketing related laws and regulations.
- Advises clients regarding entry into the telecommunications industry and the obtaining of both FCC and state authorizations for the provision of telecommunications services.
- Regulatory and transactional counsel to telecommunications companies regarding network facilities deployment and access issues.
- Assists clients with respect to various commercial litigation issues, including municipal and private rights-of-way issues, inter-carrier compensation disputes, and defense of consumer protection class-action proceedings.
- Assists 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.
- FCC counsel to several investor-owned utilities regarding network access and pricing issues, including pole attachment issues. Represents domestic and international companies in matters involving U.S. Customs and Border Protection, including HTSUS classification and duty issues.
- Counsels technology companies regarding compliance with both domestic and international lawful interception and data protection obligations.
- Represents Veterans in the United States Court of Appeal for Veterans Claims seeking disability benefits for wartime service connection.
- Federal Communications Bar Association, Co-Chair, Privacy & Data Security Committee
- International Association of Privacy Professionals
- Information Systems Security 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.
- “CCPA from a Policy Perspective,” panel moderator, at the Federal Communications Bar Association CLE, The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): Policy and Operational Issues, as January 1, 2020 Approaches, November 2019.
- “FCC’s Blocking of Unwanted Robocalls: Exploring Implications to the Year Ahead,” presented at The Knowledge Group webcast program, October 2019.
- Legal Panel, Heartland Joint Use Conference, May 2019.
- “Recent Developments in the Courts,” panel 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.