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Jim Baller

Jim Baller

James (Jim) Baller represents clients across the U.S. in a broad range of communications matters, including high-capacity broadband network projects, public-private broadband partnerships, telecommunications matters, wireless facility siting, right-of-way management, pole and conduit attachments, and barriers to community broadband initiatives.

As a litigator, Jim has had first-chair responsibility in numerous cases involving complex factual, legal and policy issues, multiple parties, and large amounts in controversy. He also works regularly with multi-disciplinary teams of legal, financial, accounting, engineering and other technical experts to assist local and regional government entities in making comprehensive telecommunications plans, establishing state-of-the-art communications systems, developing strategic partnerships, and integrating right-of-way and zoning ordinances, franchises, licenses, pole-attachment agreements, contracts, forms, permits and other related documents.

Jim has won numerous awards for his services. In 2001, the National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors named him its Member of the Year. In 2006, MuniWireless presented him its first Esme Award, for “working tirelessly to protect the interests of municipalities, many times in the face of huge opposition.” In 2007, NATOA made him its first “Community Broadband Visionary of the Year,” for “almost single-handedly putting the need for a national broadband strategy to the forefront of public consciousness.” In 2009, Ars Technica included Jim on its list of the 25 “Top Names in Tech Policy” and FiberToday honored him as its “Person of the Year.” In 2012, the Fiber to the Home Council gave him its prestigious Chairman’s Award “for his relentless promotion and pursuit of community broadband and of faster networks for everyone. His efforts have paved the way for the deployment of all-fiber networks across the country.” In 2014, he received SEATOA’s Community Broadband Advocacy Award for “beating back (two years in a row) anti-municipal broadband legislation in Georgia.” Every year since 2016, Super Lawyers included Jim in its Washington DC Super Lawyers list and American Registry included him in its list of America’s Most Honored Professionals – Top 1%. In 2018, Marquis Who’s Who presented him its Lifetime Achievement Award.

Jim is a frequent speaker and author or co-author of articles on communications matters including, “Broadband Partnerships: For Many Communities, A Good Option at a Good Time,” IMLA Magazine (Sep-Oct 2021); “Public Infrastructure/Private Service: A Shared-Risk Partnership Model for the 21st Century,” The Benton Institute for Broadband and Society (October 2020);“The Emerging World of Broadband Public-Private Partnerships: A Business Strategy and Legal Guide,” The Benton Foundation (May 2017); “Economic Development Is the Killer App for Local Fiber Networks,” Broadband Communities Magazine (November/December 2016); “A Practical Primer on Pole Attachments,” (March 2012); “Report of the US Broadband Coalition on a National Broadband Strategy,” (September 2009); “Bigger Vision, Bolder Action, Brighter Future: Capturing the Promise of Broadband for North Carolina and America,” (June 2008); “A National Broadband Strategy: ‘Make No Small Plans,’” NATOA Journal (Fall 2007); “Eight Bold Steps to a National Broadband Strategy,” FTTH Prism (Jan. 2007); “America Needs a Fiber-Based National Broadband Policy Now,” FTTH Prism (October 2006); “Deceptive Myths About Municipal Broadband: Disinformation About Public Ownership Impeding Progress,” Broadband Properties Magazine (May 2005); and “Curbing Anticompetitive Practices By Cable Incumbents: If Not Now, When?” NATOA Journal of Municipal Telecommunications Policy (Winter 2004).
Prior to joining Keller and Heckman, Jim was the president of Baller Stokes & Lide, PC, a nationally ranked boutique Washington, DC telecommunications firm.

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