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 Briefing.
In a speech before the GnoviCon 2016 at Georgetown University, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler offered additional insight into his proposed privacy regulations for broadband services. See our Blog “FCC’s Wheeler Reveals Plan for Broadband Privacy,” dated 3/11/16. He said his proposal identified three categories of customer information “and crafts clear expectations for both ISPs and customers.”
- Under this proposal, ISPs could use the information necessary to deliver broadband services without additional consumer consent. This would include a customer’s name, address, IP address, and other information necessary to establish a business relationship and provide the broadband service the customer contracted for.
- ISPs and their affiliates would be able to use certain information to market other communications-related services unless the consumer affirmatively opted out. This would include services such as the provider’s triple play packages.
- All other uses and sharing of consumer data would require affirmative “opt-in” consent from customers.
Wheeler said that such information “is the consumer’s information, and it should not be repurposed or sold without the consumer’s permission.” He emphasized that his plan would allow consumers to “exercise control over what personal data your broadband provider uses and under what circumstances it shares your personal information with third parties or affiliated companies. You will know what information is being collected about you and how it’s being used. That information must be provided by your broadband service provider in an easily understandable and accessible manner. And if your broadband provider is collecting and storing information about you, it has a responsibility to make sure that information is secure.” Wheeler also emphasized that this proposal would not affect “the edge – meaning online applications and services that you access over the Internet, like Twitter and Uber.”
At its March 17, 2016, Business Meeting the PUC voted to support six pending legislative bills including SB 1055 and SB 1222.
- Of SB 1055, the PUC said the “bill would eliminate the existing Public Utilities (PU) Code §270(a)(5) to remove the Payphone Service Providers (PSP)Committee Fund. This bill would also eliminate PU Code §279, which created the PSP Committee and directed the use of the Payphone Service Providers Committee Fund.” The PUC supports this bill because the PSP Committee and the associated fund are no longer functional.
- The PUC also supports SB 1222 which would modify the reporting deadline for several reports including the report in compliance with PU Code §914.7 (Report on California Advanced Services Fund) from January 1 of each year to April 1 of each year. The PUC’s current deadline of January 1, annually, is difficult to meet since not all of the information that is needed to author this report is available on or before the existing January 1 due date.