YOU ARE AT:Archived ArticlesPCIA FOLLOWS CTIA IN SEEKING CPNI LIMITS LIFTED

PCIA FOLLOWS CTIA IN SEEKING CPNI LIMITS LIFTED

WASHINGTON-The Personal Communications Industry Association has asked the Federal Communications Commission not to enforce newly enacted rules on customer information.

In February, the FCC enacted rules that the telecommunications industry-especially the wireless sector-says are anti-competitive. The FCC, however, says the rules are necessary to protect the privacy of telecom consumers.

The Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association filed a similar request after its original request was mostly rebuffed by the FCC.

The PCIA petition claims the rules restricting the use of customer proprietary network information, or CPNI, are not necessary in a competitive environment because the market will restrict unscrupulous carrier use of sensitive customer information. CPNI is the information telecom carriers collect about their customers, including name, address, billing, and calling records. “The [FCC] must leave the dark ages of regulation behind to make way for a new era of unbridled competition,” said PCIA President Jay Kitchen.

Customers do not want CPNI restrictions, PCIA stated. The association did not present any evidence of how it knows this. Instead, PCIA said the lack of customer outcry in favor of CPNI is evidence consumers do not want their information protected.

“If the public does not believe it needs the `protections’ of the commission’s regulations, actions to the contrary are by definition outside of the public interest,” PCIA stated.

CPNI rules implement Section 222 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, which required the FCC to develop rules to protect the privacy of telecom customers in a competitive environment.

The PCIA forbearance petition will be considered under rules established by Congress in the 1996 telecom act that allow entities to ask the FCC to forbear from enforcing rules that have become moot because of competition. The procedures require the FCC to rule on such requests within one year but gives the agency the option of a 90-day extension.

Last month, PCIA lost many key points in a request for forbearance against a broad range of regulations. “The FCC missed a major opportunity to deregulate the wireless industry when it failed to adopt regulatory reforms called for in the PCIA’s original forbearance petition. The CPNI filing is the next step in our ongoing commitment to rid the wireless marketplace of overly burdensome and out-of-date regulations,” Kitchen said.

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