The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court, issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
The House Communications and Technology Subcommittee announced it will meet on Wednesday, September 17, 2014, to discuss the FCC’s management and spending. The hearing will continue the Committee’s oversight of the FCC and follows the Committee’s requests for documents regarding the Commission’s workload and backlog. See the Regulatory Mix dated 6/6/14. FCC Managing Director Jon Wilkins and Inspector General David Hunt will testify before the Committee.
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau and Verizon have entered into a consent decree to settle the Bureau’s investigation of allegations that for several years Verizon used its customers’ personal information when tailoring marketing campaigns without first providing its customers with the required notice or obtaining their consent as required by the FCC’s Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) rules. See TMI’s Summary of CPNI Requirements. As part of the settlement, Verizon will make a payment of $7.4 million to the United States Treasury. The Bureau’s investigation uncovered that, beginning in 2006 and continuing for several years, Verizon failed to notify approximately two million new customers on their first invoices or in welcome letters of their privacy rights (including how to opt out from having their personal information used in marketing campaigns) before accessing their personal information to market services to them. Moreover, the Bureau learned that Verizon personnel failed to discover these problems until September 2012, and that even though the FCC’s rules require carriers to notify the FCC about problems with their opt-out notification systems within five business days of discovering them it, Verizon failed to notify the FCC of these problems until January 18, 2013, 126 days later.
The Federal Trade Commission announced that fees for telemarketers accessing phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry will increase on October 1, 2014. Telemarketers will pay $60 for access to Registry phone numbers in a single area code, up to a maximum charge of $16,482 for all area codes nationwide, an increase from the previous maximum of $16,228. Telemarketers will pay the same as last year for numbers they subscribe to receive during the second half of the 12‑month subscription period, $30 per area code. The first five area codes are free. All telemarketers calling consumers in the United States are required to download the numbers on the Do Not Call Registry to ensure they do not call those who have registered their phone numbers. Organizations that are exempt from the Do Not Call rules, such as some charitable organizations, may obtain the entire list for free.
The Utility Regulatory Commission announced the procedural schedule in its proceeding to consider a relief plan for the 317 numbering plan area (NPA). TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 8/5/14. The North American Numbering Plan Administrator’s (NANPA) case-in-chief must be filed by 9/16/14; intervenor testimony is due 1/6/15; responsive testimony by all parties is due 1/20/15. An evidentiary hearing will be held 2/10/15. The Commission also anticipates that multiple public field hearings will be held across the 317 area code to obtain citizen input. The 317 NPA is currently expected to exhaust during the second quarter of 2017. The industry recommended an all services distributed overlay.