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 FCC has entered into a Consent Decree with two companies that were under investigation for failing to properly protect their customer’s proprietary information. The Consent Decree also resolves an investigation into one of the company’s failure to comply with the FCC rules for failure to timely de-enroll Lifeline subscribers. As part of their settlement, the companies will pay a civil penalty of $3.5 Million. The penalty will be payable through an offset against their Lifeline support until it is paid in full. The companies also agreed to take certain actions to improve their privacy and data security practices, adopt and implement compliance plans, notify affected customers of the unauthorized access of their data and provide complimentary credit monitoring services for such customers, and file compliance reports with the FCC. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 7/13/15
The PUC has directed all natural gas distribution companies (NGDCs) to submit compliance plans outlining their account number access mechanisms (mechanisms) to allow natural gas suppliers (NGS) secure access to NGDC customer account numbers. The compliance plans are due within six month of July 8, 2015. The mechanisms must be made available within the NGDCs existing web portals by August 31, 2016. The mechanisms should require the input of a username and password in order to be accessed. The PUC’s order follows the recommendation from the Office of Competitive Market Oversight to provide for procedures facilitating natural gas suppliers’ access to NGDC customer account numbers when the account number is not available from either the customer or from the Eligible Customer List and the customer has demonstrated the desire to shop for retail natural gas supply. This mechanism is intended for the residential or small commercial customer considering enrollment with an NGS in a public venue.