Testimonials

“Jim Baller and his firm have been at the forefront of every major battle over how we accelerate the deployment of next generation networks and provide our economy a strategic bandwidth advantage, from laying the groundwork for the National Broadband Plan to battles in state legislatures over municipal options to control their own bandwidth destinies. He provides the rare kind of advocacy that combines both the vision of where our broadband policies need to take us and the detailed understanding of the legal and political land mines that clients need to navigate around to succeed.” Blair Levin, Former Director of the FCC’s National Broadband Plan Task Force and Head of the Gig.U Initiative

“For many years now Jim has been a true pioneer in the community broadband space. He is not only a terrific lawyer and advisor, but an effective advocate for the rights of localities and their citizens to benefit from the deployment of next-generation broadband networks. He also played a central role in the development and implementation of America’s first National Broadband Plan. His unique combination of strategic vision and tactical savvy is unmatched in our nation’s capital.” Rick Whitt, Corporate Director for Strategic Initiatives at Google Inc.

“Jim Baller and the associates at The Baller Herbst Law Group were instrumental in the business planning, launch, and the continuing growth of EPB’s Smart Grid and Communications network. Their guidance through a number of legal and policy related issues were a vital component of bringing Gigabit Internet to Chattanooga. Their relentless work to safeguard a level playing field for municipal service providers ensures other communities access to this critical infrastructure.” Katherine Espeseth, Vice President, Chattanooga Electric Power Board

“Jim Baller is an acknowledged and wise advisor on the broad and politically-interesting subject of municipal fiber. He’s been in the field since it was a field, and his advice is thoughtful, deliberate, and always well-informed.” Susan Crawford, professor, Harvard Law School

“When it comes to being ahead of the broadband curve, nobody is in front of Jim Baller. He’s a pioneer and a visionary both, and his advice has always been spot-on. I benefited from that advice as an FCC Commissioner working to craft broadband strategy, and I continue to benefit from it today.” Michael Copps, Former FCC Commissioner

“Jim Baller has a deep and profound personal conviction that America’s prospects for future greatness are intimately and inextricably connected to the accelerated deployment of robust, highly available, low latency, next generation digital infrastructure. Jim’s commitment and clarion call for urgent action inform both his professional contribution and his public advocacy. America needs more citizens like Jim Baller. We are very lucky to have at least one.”​ Lev Gonick, CEO, OneCommunity

“Widely regarded as the nation’s most experienced and knowledgeable attorney on public broadband matters, Jim Baller has been involved in most of the leading municipal FTTH projects in America and has challenged several state barriers to municipal entry into telecommunications.” Fiber to the Home Council

“No law firm has played as central a role in our nation’s move toward the broadband future as has the Baller-Herbst Law Group. Not only has the firm served as the indispensable counsel to countless municipal broadband projects, but Jim Baller himself played a singular role in opening Washington’s eyes to the need for a national broadband strategy and to educating us all that broadband requires planning at the national level as well as at the local and state levels. Jim and his partners deserve great credit for being part of creating the local, state, and national environments that have enabled acceleration of fiber deployment — as well as recognition by both the public and elected leaders of what the new networks can mean for the futures of our communities.” Joanne Hovis, former President and CEO, CTC Technology & Energy, Past President, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors

“The City of Westminster, MD is very grateful to Jim Baller and Casey Lide for the invaluable guidance and assistance negotiating our pioneering Public Private Partnership with Ting Fiber to light the Westminster Fiber Network. Jim and Casey’s exhaustive knowledge of telecom law, and their steadying presence during a complex and fast-paced negotiation produced an innovative and mutually satisfactory agreement between the City of Westminster and Ting that sets a new standard in how municipal broadband can be delivered to entities of all sizes. In addition, their associate, Ashley Stelfox provides ongoing advice to the Westminster community through her role as an Advisor to the Mid-Atlantic Gigabit Innovation Collaboratory (MAGIC), the new technology incubator in Westminster leveraging the gigabit services on the Westminster Fiber Network.” Robert Wack, City Council President, Westminster, MD

“Jim Baller is my go-to guy for legal and regulatory questions about municipal networks. Not only is he an expert, but he is generous with his knowledge and time. He has a big heart that’s in the right place. If you’re in a battle that pits your public network against big money or incumbent power, I can’t think of anybody you could have at your side who’s better than Jim.” David Isenberg, Isen.com, Freedom-to-Connect

“Sean Stokes and the team at Baller Herbst have delivered excellence in every engagement with our municipal electric company.  We engaged the firm to help navigate us through the development of a new infrastructure use agreement (IUA) and also the evaluation of a new small cell contract for our power system.  With Sean assisting our staff in the effort, our company revamped our existing attachment rate structure.  This effort resulted in a greater yield for our ratepayers while being mindful of relationships with our existing attachers.  Because of these positive experiences, we naturally turned to Sean and the firm to help us successfully negotiate a historically significant and highly unusual IUA for our company.  During this process, the firm was dedicated to handling our concerns and extremely responsive to the many issues that arose during the negotiation process.  From our various experiences with this firm, we were extremely satisfied with the technical expertise, caliber of service, and client focused attitude of the team and would highly recommend them to any client looking for some of the best professionals in the industry.” Laura Smith Tidwell, VP-General Counsel, Nashville Electric Service

“The Baller Herbst Law Group has an incredible amount of knowledge and experience in providing advice and legal assistance to communities in all matters telecommunications. But more importantly, Jim Baller has been a key national leader in the field, working diligently to ensure all Americans have great access to the Internet.” Christopher Mitchell, Director, Telecommunications as Commons Initiative, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

“Jim Baller envisioned and led the U.S. Broadband Coalition in 2008-2009, long before there was a National Broadband Plan. His firm identified and documented OneCommunity in Northeast Ohio as an early leader in broadband for economic and community development before it won major federal grants from the FCC and NTIA, let alone their being host to the first national meeting of BTOP grantees. For decades Jim has been in the forefront of the struggle for municipal broadband as a legitimate, even necessary option toward the national goal of universal broadband. He is pro-competition, like the new FCC Chairman, and he’s usually ahead of the curve. Jim’s a great listener, skilled negotiator, pragmatic idealist, uniter, and a leader for his friends, adversaries, and for doing what is right. What’s not to love about Jim?” Charles Benton, former Chairman, Benton Foundation

“Jim Baller and his partners at the Baller Herbst Law Group will give you a thorough analysis the relevant legal issues and public policy options, then develop the most intelligent framework for you to achieve your goals, whether you are a public, private-sector, or philanthropic client. Your case or consultation will always be managed in an ethical manner, and you will enjoy working with them.” Jane Smith Patterson, President, The View Forward -Go Forward, and former Executive Director of the e-NC Authority

“‘An expert veteran of broadband policy issues,’ a ‘vigilant, careful and discerning tactician in federal, state and local communications policy-making.’ These are just a few of the ways I would describe Jim Baller, who, in my opinion is one of the most balanced and insightful broadband legal professionals I have known in my 25 year career in the field. Jim’s composed, insightful and steady leadership over more than 4 years of community broadband legislative conflicts in the southeast, catalyzed and energized our belief in our own ability to push back against deeply entrenched incumbent efforts, and win against innumerable odds. He energizes the room with his positive confidence, and rest assured that if Jim is involved in your project, there will be no stone left unturned, no creative angle overlooked.” Catharine Rice, former President, SEATOA

“Jim Baller has been a trusted friend and advisor for the past twenty years. During this time his expert counsel on cable franchising and municipal broadband issues has been of enormous benefit to the City of Seattle and NATOA. I am indebted to Jim for developing my understanding of the strategic importance of next-generation broadband to local governments and to our nation.” Tony Perez, Director, Seattle Office of Cable Communications, former President, National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors

“Jim Baller has taken the time to do the research. His comprehensive understanding of the public need, the political history, and the legal underpinnings of that most successful and enduring element of FDR’s New Deal – public power – makes him a national resource for those who want to replicate the public power model with public broadband. In my thirty years of working in the public power/public broadband field, I have met no one who has a comparable body of work in trying to make the world safe for communities that want to make the lives of their citizens better through public ownership of broadband networks.” Billy Ray, Director, Glasgow Electric Plant Board

“Lafayette, LA, has helped lead the way in helping America realize the importance of high speed broadband by allowing municipalities to have the ability to deploy it if the people want it. Our citizen owned utility department is now delivering free peer to peer gigabit to our city. We would have never accomplished our win in the state legislature, or in our court battles without Jim Baller and the Baller Herbst Law Group. They were instrumental in getting us to a point where locals could decide on their future by taking control of their own destiny.” Joey Durel, former Mayor, Lafayette, LA

“We have been engaged with Jim Baller and his team ever since we initially announced our fiber to the premise initiative over 10 years ago. Our decision to hire them was, indeed, a wise one as we have benefitted substantially from their advice and expertise, especially in helping us surgically navigate the treacherous waters of threats and lawsuits launched against us by our competitors and their allies. The Baller-Herbst Group is a big reason why we have become a successful telecommunications provider.” Terry Huval, Director of Utilities and LUS Fiber, Lafayette, LA

“Jim Baller is a large part of the reason America has hundreds of municipal and community owned broadband networks. Since the deregulation of the telecom industry in 1996, his firm has been on the front lines of the difficult battle against well-funded incumbents who seek to deny new competition. It’s been a classic David & Goliath storyline, and because of Jim, David keeps winning.” James Salter, President, Atlantic Engineering Group

“Baller Herbst Law Group, PC helped the City of Riverside negotiate a city wide wireless broadband initiative with AT&T which was a critical project that lead to the City of Riverside being chosen as a Top 7 City by the Intelligent Community Forum for two years in a row and as the most intelligent community in the world for 2012.” Steve Reneker, CIO, Riverside County, California

“For more than 8 years, the Baller Herbst Law Group, PC has been a great resource and trusted counsel. The Baller Herbst Law Group has vast knowledge and experience that is both deep and wide. They have been at the center of the most important decisions that the firms with which I have been associated had to make. These decisions often involved investments in the tens of millions of dollars and were extremely complex. This is one of their greatest strengths: the Baller Herbst Law Group has the ability to take on very complex scenarios and craft compre-hensive, creative, easy-to-understand, straightforward plans of action that help reduce risk and increase the opportunity for success. The Baller Herbst Law Group’s attorneys are industry leaders and are always abreast of the latest developments and indeed many times are the catalyst for dynamic changes within the industry. Their integrity and willingness to understand their client’s needs and points of view are the benchmark of the industry.” Kyle Hollifield, Senior VP, Magellan Advisors

“I am privileged to call the Baller Herbst Law Group my friends and to have had them serve as UC2B’s legal counsel. They are leaders in the fight to allow local communities to determine their own Broadband futures. I learn something new every day from their email list of Broadband and telecommunications news and they are quick to respond to an email or a phone call when we need their help.” Michael K. Smeltzer, Retired Director of Networking at the University of Illinois, Principal Instigator of Urbana-Champaign Big Broadband (UC2B)

“We have utilized the Baller Herbst Law Group on numerous matters associated with telecommunications and joint pole attachments. Their service and counsel have always been top shelf. The knowledge and expertise that the Baller Herbst team brings to the table is indispensible.” Ron Harris, Manager of Engineering and Power Supply, Rappahannock Electric Cooperative, Fredericksburg, Virginia

“Jim Baller and his partners at the Baller Herbst Law Group have been thoughtful, thorough, and valued advocates for our public telecommunication endeavors. In articulating complex legal issues in clear and understandable language or in thinking through various strategic choices, they have been invaluable advisors. The “can do” attitude of the firm and its willingness to take on what might otherwise drive others off have been of tremendous value to us over time. Their responsiveness, vision, and guidance have allowed us to explore opportunities that were otherwise untenable.” Kevin Kryzda, CIO, Martin County, Florida

“Like a number of other municipal utilities, we have come to rely on the expertise of the Baller Herbst Law Group. Telecom law is an area that is forever changing, and knowing that it is relatively easy to get a simple answer and still be confident if an issue required full engagement, the Baller Herbst Group has always been available. The uniqueness of the Baller Herbst Group is they are nationally recognized as the pinnacle in the industry, while delivering hometown service as we would expect in our community.” Rich Cody, Manager, Parallax Systems Division of Richmond Power & Light

“The Baller Herbst Law Group has provided timely and effective assistance to NoaNet over the years, based upon its specialized telecommunications experience and its location in Washington DC. The excellent reputation of Baller Herbst—and Jim Baller in particular—has and continues to enhance NoaNet’s efforts to bring high speed communications to unserved and underserved areas of the Pacific Northwest.” Greg Marney, Executive Director, NoaNet

“Jim Baller has the ability to transcend current events and bring clarity to his advice to clients. He provides clients a course of action in which they can achieve success and then successfully defends their rights. Baller Herbst Law Group is a top shelf firm with a tremendous track record of success in the practice of law in the telecommunication field.” Jimmy Sandlin, former Director, Scottsboro EPB

“The folks at Baller-Herbst have always been super-responsive to our needs. Calls are returned quickly and we are secure in the knowledge that everyone on staff is an expert in whatever we may be asking about. After our many years in the broadband business (and hundreds more providing electrical service to the town of Braintree), it’s comforting knowing exactly where to go when we need a helping hand on a complex legal issue.” JoAnn Stak-Bregnard, Director, Marketing and Programming, Braintree Electric Light Department