James Baller

James Baller Senior Counsel Keller Heckman Law Firm
Senior Counsel
Organization Profile
Professional Biography

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

Jim was the founder and president of the U.S. Broadband Coalition, a diverse group of more than 160 communications service providers, high technology companies, labor unions, public interest and consumer groups, state and local government entities, utilities, charitable institutions, and other organizations. The Coalition fostered a broad national consensus on the need for a national broadband strategy and recommended the framework that was subsequently reflected in the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) National Broadband Plan. Jim was also the co-founder and president of the Coalition for Local Internet Choice, an alliance of more than 600 organizations and individuals that worked to prevent or remove barriers to the ability of local governments to make the critical broadband infrastructure decisions that affect their communities.

Jim advises clients in numerous matters involving complex factual, legal, and policy issues. He collaborates with legal, financial, accounting, engineering, and other technical experts to assist state, regional, and local 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 is a frequent speaker on communications matters, and he has authored and co-authored numerous articles on such matters. This includes “Broadband Partnerships: For Many Communities, A Good Idea at a Good Time,” International Municipal Lawyers Association Journal (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: 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 (January 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 a nationally-ranked boutique Washington, DC telecommunications firm. 

  • More Legal and Business Bylines From James Baller

The National Law Review selected the Telecommunications Practice Group at Keller and Heckman as a Go-To Thought Leader for 2021 for its coverage of legislation and regulation involving the telecommunications industry. Of particular note is its frequent updates on telecommunications policy and regulations through its Telecom Alert, which breaks down the latest news affecting the industry. Keller and Heckman authors who contribute regularly to the Telecom Alerts include Jaimy “Sindy” Alarcon, James Baller, Jason P. Chun, Timothy A. Doughty, Michael T. N. Fitch, C. Douglas Jarrett, Gregory E. Kunkle, Casey Lide, Thomas B. Magee, Tracy P. Marshall, Kathleen Slattery Thompson, Sean A. Stokes and Wesley K. Wright.


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