Ian Forbes is an associate in DLA Piper's Telecommunications practice. He advises clients on regulatory, licensing, and transactional matters at the state and federal levels, including before public utility commissions and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Ian's practice covers a wide range of issues across the communications and technology sectors, but in particular he has represented clients on mergers and acquisitions, license transfers or assignments, and spectrum acquisitions before the FCC. 

In this role, he assisted in securing federal and state regulatory approvals for the merger of two of the largest mobile network operators in the US (T-Mobile and Sprint). As part of that effort, he drafted various regulatory filings and coordinated the submission of highly confidential filings and data productions at the FCC, as well as the review of third-party documents and data productions in the merger.

Before returning to DLA Piper, Ian served as a lead lawyer on the FCC's Rural Digital Opportunity Fund auction, which awarded more than $9 billion in universal service funding. In this role, Ian provided recommendations to the Commission and Bureau management regarding auction rules and the pre- and post-auction review process, drafted decisional documents, coordinated engineering and financial review teams and managed a team of 20 lawyers and engineers. He also oversaw the day-to-day operations of the FCC's other universal service auctions (Connect America Fund Phase II, Uniendo a Puerto Rico/Connect USVI Funds and Rural Broadband Experiments).

Prior to his first stint at DLA Piper, Ian spent five years in various positions in WCB. Ian's primary areas of experience were in universal service and broadband deployment, with a particular focus on high-cost and contributions issues. He worked on reform and implementation matters stemming from the FCC's 2011 Universal Service Fund Transformation Order, including the Connect America Fund (CAF) engineering cost model (CAM), the CAF Phase II auction and various CAF Phase I and Phase II issues involving insular and tribal areas. Ian led the FCC's Rural Broadband Experiments, a program of targeted experiments to gain experience and data to inform policy decisions regarding how to ensure universal access. He also oversaw a team dedicated to contributions issues, including interfacing with the Federal-State Joint Board on universal service for contributions methodology reform, as well as the Universal Service Administrative Company on various contributions policy and audit matters.