Henry Goldberg founded Goldberg, Godles, Wiener & Wright LLP (“G2W2”) in 1983, after a career in private law firms in Washington, D.C. and service as General Counsel of the White House Office of Telecommunications Policy (OTP). Starting out at Covington & Burling, Goldberg provided the principal legal scholarship for the 1967 Carnegie Commission Report on Public Television and was responsible for drafting the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. While at Covington, he also participated in the early development of the U.S. commercial satellite industry and filed an application for the first user-owned satellite earth station.
At the White House, Goldberg had a significant role in the revolution in telecommunications as new technologies and de-regulation disrupted the established broadcasting and telephone industries. He was the leading lawyer in a copyright compromise that unleashed cable television, in the implementation of the “open skies” satellite policy that spawned new satellite-delivered networks such as HBO & CNN, in broadcast de-regulation, the introduction of competition to AT&T’s long distance telephone services, as well as the opening wedge in the break-up of AT&T’s Bell system.
Returning to private practice after the White House, first with a large D.C. law firm and then with G2W2, Goldberg provided legal and regulatory advice to the Public Broadcasting Service and National Public Radio in converting their networks to satellite distribution, represented C-SPAN in creating the new public affairs network, and, for Hughes Aircraft Co., pioneered “transponder sales” – a new way to do business on communications satellites, which provided much more flexibility than the rigid common carrier model that had been the norm.
Building on a client base of new entrants and established players seeking flexibility under the FCC rules to introduce new technologies and services, G2W2 represented PanAmSat in developing a private competitive alternative to an international quasi-governmental satellite monopoly. Through regulatory initiatives in the United States, and, ultimately, around the world, the G2W2 lawyers effectively made possible a new industry of commercial satellite service providers. G2W2 also has served as lead negotiator for a variety of satellite and other telecommunications companies around the world, representing both providers and their customers, in the negotiation of contracts involving telecommunications services, facilities, licenses, leases, intellectual property rights , consulting arrangements, and other related matters.
On behalf of Apple Computer and Hewlett-Packard, the firm secured substantial new blocks of radio frequencies for unlicensed data services. The firm also secured on LoJack’s behalf the right to use the radio frequencies on which the company’s business is based. G2W2’s trail-blazing work in radio spectrum development continued with gaining permission for companies to use satellite frequencies for land-based wireless networks. G2W2 also assisted CNN as it expanded from the United States to become a source of news and information around the globe. The firm also has advised start-up TV broadcast companies in building major independent station groups and assisted C-SPAN in acquiring a radio station that serves as an adjunct to its video programming service.
G2W2 has also represented a number of new entrants, ranging from equipment manufacturers to Internet-based voice and video providers, in a variety of matters centered around discrimination by cable and broadband network operators – from enabling access to CableCARDs to enabling consumers to use third-party DVRs to advocating for network neutrality policies that prevent new entrants from being blocked or otherwise discriminated against by incumbent network operators.
In addition to the areas described above, G2W2 also has extensive experience in representing utilities in licensing, pole attachment, management services, frequency relocation, and related contract and other matters.
After years of practice at the top of the telecommunications legal profession, G2W2 is recognized throughout the telecommunications industry for its creativity, resourcefulness, and persistence in finding solutions for clients and, if necessary, in breaking new ground to achieve the required outcome.