Ms. Buyer is a regular columnist for the THE BULLETIN of the Bar Association of Erie County and is a contributor to No Jitter. Previously, she has written numerous commentaries on telecommunications law for other legal and telecommunications publications including, among others, The Daily Record, Communications Convergence and Computer Telephony. Her articles cover a broad range of topics highlighting current telecommunications issues including federal and state telecommunications policy, litigation, wireless technologies, spectrum policy, FCC initiatives, and industry consolidation. Martha Buyer has also contributed to the ABA Journal Report.


Telephony Elegy for Rural America

AT&T, Verizon looking to change rules for copper infrastructure retirement
Earlier this summer, I read J.D. Vance’s eye-opening book Hillbilly Elegy. A memoir about growing up in a poor and unusual family in Southeastern Ohio, this story raised much larger questions for me in terms of how we, as American society, support communities where economic and other associated challenges (unemployment, crime, drugs, among other systemic problems) make breaking the cycle of poverty difficult.

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Legal Issues to Consider as IoT Becomes Way of Life

Recently I got a new car. I love its many features, including, among other things, on-board GPS.  But my car, like zillions of things around me, is now generating data about where I drive, how fast I go, how much gas I burn (etc.) There is much information to be culled from my car’s embedded sophisticated technology (who knew, for example, that by going from 89 to 93 octane, the mileage would improve by a whopping 6 miles per gallon?).  But the flip side is that my car is generating a great deal of information about me that may be used by the manufacturer or anyone else to whom it sells data about me and thousands—if not hundreds of thousands—of car owners like me.

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Understanding Cyberattack Liabilities

Be vigilant, and take corrective actions to keep systems up to date... or risk being sued.

Earlier this month cyberattacks dominated the news as 16 health care facilities (mostly major hospitals in the U.K. ) lost access to patient data to hackers who demanded payment in exchange for its "return." Rather than simply creating a risk and inconvenience by accessing what was supposed to be secure, confidential information (read: credit card data) as previous hacks have done, in this case, the culprits placed lives in jeopardy because of the critical information they "data-napped." Sadly, in the case of this particular hack, Microsoft warned users of an identified vulnerability and provided a patch to address it two weeks before the attack.

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Tax Policy for Communications Services Really is Interesting No Really!

When I tell people that in law school, Tax Law proved surprisingly interesting, they usually write me off as hopelessly nerdy or just plain clueless. In fact, a class in Corporate Tax was perhaps one of the most interesting (and it REALLY was) of the entire 3 year law school experience. Rather than being black and white as I’d assumed, Tax Law involves not only math issues, but copious quantities of reasoning, persuasion and context.  With this in mind, a recent decision in Florida caught my attention.

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911 Policy Review and Update

Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to take part in a panel discussion led by Irwin Lazar of Nemertes Research at Enterprise Connect in Orlando on issues associated with 9-1-1.  For those who weren’t in the room, it’s important to know that there was heated discussion as two animated vendor representatives discussed their different approaches to identifying, managing and providing useful location information to first responders behind an MLTS (multi-line telephone system).  However, aside from the in-room fireworks, the session reminded me that it might be time for a review of some useful and relevant 9-1-1 policy information.

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