FCC Reinstates CPNI Compliance Rules – What You Need to Know


On the eve of the 4th of July Holiday weekend, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released an Order (“FCC Privacy Order“) dismissing, as moot, 11 petitions seeking reconsideration of Obama Era Broadband Privacy Rules, and reinstating the CPNI Regulations that existed prior to the FCC’s foray into regulating broadband under Title II.  The FCC took no public comments prior to issuing the decision, explaining that the law overriding the Obama Era privacy rules, which was signed by President Trump in April, made it unnecessary to do so.  See Joint Resolution, Pub. L. No. 155-22 (2017)(“Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That Congress disapproves the rule submitted by the Federal Communications Commission relating to ‘Protecting the Privacy of Customers of Broadband and Other Telecommunications Services’ (81 Fed. Reg. 87274 (December 2, 2016)), and such rule shall have no force or effect).

What does this mean for your Company?

  1. If your Company provides interstate or international telecommunications services (i.e., common carrier services subject to the FCC’s Title II jurisdiction) or Interconnected VoIP services, your Company will be required to comply with the Customer Proprietary Network Information (“CPNI”) regulations that were in existence prior to the 2016 Broadband Privacy Order;
  2. Your Company will be required to file an Annual CPNI Compliance Certification, signed by an officer under penalty of perjury, covering your Company’s 2017 operations, no later than March 1, 2018 (and each year thereafter, unless the CPNI Rules are again changed); and
  3. Your Company will NOT be required to retroactively comply with the Annual CPNI Compliance Certification filing obligation for 2016 operations (i.e., the CPNI Certification that would have been due March 1, 2017).

Need Help Understanding and Complying With the FCC’s CPNI Regulations?

If your Company is unfamiliar with the FCC’s CPNI Rules, we invite you to download our comprehensive CPNI Compliance Manual, available here.  The CPNI Manual is an easy-to-use guide to understanding the FCC’s complex CPNI regulations. The Manual outlines the steps a service provider must take and processes it must implement to remain compliant with the FCC’s CPNI regulations year after year. This Manual also provides sample forms, a compliance checklist, and answers to frequently asked questions.

If you require assistance either with the Annual CPNI Compliance Certification filing or substantive privacy law compliance, please contact the attorney assigned to your account or directly contact a member of The CommLaw Group’s Information Privacy, Data Security and Consumer Protection practice group:  Linda McReynolds, CIPP/US, at lgm@commlawgroup.com or 703-714-1318 or Alexander Schneider, CIPP/US at ais@commlawgroup.com or 703-714-1328.

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