Russell P. Hanser

Office Washington DC

Russ is a committed analyst and advocate for clients facing issues concerning broadband regulation, artificial intelligence, internet content, competition policy, privacy, and cybersecurity.  He views problems through a multidisciplinary lens, applying economic, technical, political, and policy acumen to legal arguments.  A twenty-year veteran of debates over communications regulation, Russ is a frequent speaker on industry panels and webinars.  He recently earned a Master of Arts in Global Policy at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies, expanding his perspective and expertise on international technology policy issues.

Russ’s devotion to digital communications technologies dates back to the early 1980s, when he became addicted to dial-up “bulletin board systems.”  He soon became the “SYSOP” (that’s “systems operator” to the newbies) of the Atlantis BBS, a go-to site for those seeking a 13-year-old’s opinions about the critical political issues of the day.  Russ’s interest in technology has endured, and he now uses social media, not dial-up bulletin boards, to drive discussion on politics and policy.

Today, Russ represents wireline carriers, mobile wireless providers, cable operators, Internet service providers, equipment manufacturers, private equity funds, and investment advisors, providing counsel and defending their positions before the FCC, the federal courts, and state regulatory bodies.  Russ also serves on the Boards of Directors for two nonprofits focused on digital inclusion – Byte Back, which provides free computer training to low-income residents of Washington DC and Baltimore, allowing them to obtain living-wage jobs, and The Azadi Project, which teaches coding, digital film-making, and other new-economy skills to women living in refugee shelters worldwide.  In his personal life, Russ is a devoted father, an avid reader, an occasional swimmer, and an aspiring photographer/ukulelist.

Representative Engagements
  • Successfully represented leading broadband providers and trade associations in efforts to reverse decisions imposing legacy telephone regulation on broadband Internet access platforms.
  • Successfully represented coalition of mid-sized communications providers in effort to eliminate outdated ex ante rate regulation for high-capacity telecommunications offerings sold to enterprises and resellers.
  • Successfully represented several long-distance carriers in high-stakes disputes over lawfulness of inter-carrier charges.
  • Regularly counsels leading broadband providers, wireless companies, satellite operators, and telephone carriers on compliance with federal and state communications regulation.
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Honors and Leadership Positions
  • Recognized in 2021 Best Lawyers for Communications Law (2018-2021)
  • Board of Directors, The Azadi Project (2019-present)
  • Lecturer, Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law, Washington, DC 2015–2017 (Introduction to Communications Law)
  • Adjunct Professor, University of New Hampshire School of Law, Concord, NH, 2008-2013 (Telecommunications Law and Policy)
  • George Washington University, Washington, DC, 2003–2005 (Legal Writing and Advocacy)
  • Super Lawyers (2013-2020)
  • Honoree, Chambers and Partners USA (multiple years)
  • Recognized by Legal 500 U.S. (multiple years)
  • Federal Communications Bar Association, Executive Committee (2017-present)
  • Federal Communications Bar Association Foundation (2014-2017, incl. Co-President 2015-2016, Secretary 2016-2017)
  • Board of Directors, Byte Back (2018-present)
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  • Electoral Cyber-Shenanigans: Considering the Possibilities, Deep State Radio Network (Nov. 5, 2018), available at
  • Book Review, The Politics of Competition, 60 Fed. Comm. L.J. 627 (2008)
  • Preface, Facing Tomorrow’s Challenges: Looking Forward, Looking Back, 16 COMMLAW CONSPECTUS i (2007) (coauthored)
  • Telecommunications Convergence Overview, 645 PLI/PAT 11 (2001) (coauthored)
  • Book Review, Punishing Hate, Punishing Harm, 90 J. CRIM.L. & CRIMINOLOGY 1047 (2000)
  • Note, Parties, PACs and Campaign Finance: Preserving First Amendment Parity, 110 HARV. L. REV. 1573 (1997)
  • Comment, Morse v. Republican Party, 517 U.S. 186 (1996), 110 HARV. L. REV. 356 (1996)
  • Book Note, Private Sovereignties, 109 HARV. L. REV. 669 (1996)
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Speeches and Presentations
  • November 2019: Moderator, Federal Communications Bar Association, “AI Is Here: The Current State of AI Technology, Evolving Issues, and Policy Frameworks”
  • March 2019: Panelist, Washington Data Forum, “The Nexus of Privacy and Artificial Intelligence.”
  • February 2019: Panelist, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), The 1996 Telecom Act is 23 Years Old – Is it Time for a New One?
  • February 2018: Panelist, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), State Jurisdiction over Voice over Internet Protocol.
  • May 2017: Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, Panelist, Teleforum on the Restoring Internet Freedom Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
  • November 2016: Panelist, CTIA West Legal Forum Discussion on Pending Litigation Affecting Wireless Regulation.
  • June 2016: Panelist, Congressional Internet Caucus, The D.C. Circuit’s Net Neutrality Decision: What Does it Mean?
  • December 2015: Federal Communications Bar Association, Panelist, Navigating the Career Jungle-Gym.
  • October 2015: Panelist, CTIA West Legal Forum Discussion on Net Neutrality for Wireless ISPs.
  • March 2015: Moderator, Federal Communications Bar Association Discussion on “Broadband Reclassification—Stakeholder Reactions.”
  • February 2015: Digital Policy Institute, Panelist, Webinar on Federal Preemption in the Communications Sector.
  • January 2015, Panelist, State of the Net Conference Discussion on Broadband Classification.
  • January 20015: Panelist, Phoenix Center for Advanced Legal and Economic Public Policy Studies, Teleforum on Federalism, Preemption and Municipal Broadband.
  • October 2014: Panelist, UPenn-Wharton Discussion on Network Neutrality.
  • September 2014, Panelist, Georgetown McDonough School of Business Webinar on The Communications Act and the FCC.
  • June 2014: Panelist, New England Conference of Public Utilities Commissioners, Discussion of the FCC’s 2014 Open Internet NPRM
  • April 2014: Speaker, Electronic Transactions Association Annual Conference, Discussion of Privacy, Cybersecurity, and Electronic Transactions.
  • February 2014: Panelist, National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC), Discussion on “Network Neutrality: What Now?”
  • January 2014: Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee Discussion on “The Future of the Internet.”
  • February 2013: Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA), Speaker at Continuing Legal Education Session on the FCC’s Section 208 Complaint Process.
  • September 2012: Speaker, 100 Year Starship Initiative Public Symposium, “Funding the Future: Lessons from Contemporary Regulation.”
  • May 2012: Speaker, Federal Communications Bar Association (FCBA), Speaker at Continuing Legal Education Session on “Enforcing the New Accessibility Rules.”
  • July 2011: Speaker, Law Seminars International Teleconference on Overview of New FCC Rule Regarding Section 251 Interconnection Rights.
  • July 2011: Panelist, Broadband Breakfast Event on “Making the Universal Service Fund into a Universal Broadband Fund.”
  • November 2010: Panelist, Federal Communications Bar Association, “Broadband Reclassification: Enforcement Implications of the ‘Third Way’”
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Bar Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Massachusetts
  • B.A., Magna Cum Laude, Amherst College
  • J.D., Cum Laude, Harvard Law School
  • M.A. in Global Policy, With Distinction (top 10%), Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies