What is the Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) Certification?
And Who Must File?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires telecommunications service providers and interconnected VOIP providers to file a certification each year by March 1 stating whether they are in compliance with the FCC's Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) rules. The certification must include a statement demonstrating compliance in specific categories.

The CPNI rules generally relate to the use of a customer's call detail and other service-related information for marketing or other purposes unrelated to the provision of service, and contain restrictions on when such information can be accessed and whether it can be given to a third party like a marketing agency, an affiliate or other company. In general, carriers must obtain a customer's approval to use their information for purposes unrelated to the provision of service, although in some cases the approval can be assumed unless the customer "opts out" of the use of their information. In cases of access to data that is personally identifiable, such as names and addresses, customer approval is generally always required and customers are never deemed to have automatically "opted-in."

There is an exception to the CPNI rules for business customers, but the exception requires a dedicated account manager be assigned to a customer and that the contract with the customer contain comparable waivers or notices regarding access to CPNI.

The Enforcement Bureau of the FCC has become very active in enforcing the Commission's CPNI certification requirement and you may have received a letter requesting information about whether you complied. If that is the case, contact us immediately to discuss your response as you generally only have 10 days to respond to the letter before the Enforcement Bureau begins to calculate and impose forfeitures which can amount to thousands of dollars.

Frequently Asked Questions

How and when do I file the CPNI certification?

The CPNI certification is due by March 1 of each year and certifies compliance with the CPNI rules for the immediately preceding year. You can file on paper with the Federal Communications Commission, but most carriers file using the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing Service in WC Docket No. 06-36. There is no filing fee imposed by the FCC.

Do I need a lawyer to file the CPNI certification?

Attorneys at Thomas Lynch & Associates are familiar with the rules and regulations that govern the CPNI requirements and can help you prepare the certification and associated statement of compliance. You can review the CPNI rules yourself and prepare a certification and statement, but the rules are complex and it is usually not cost effective to do so. We charge a flat fee to prepare and file the certification. Contact us for more information.

I provide Voice over IP services (VOIP), do I need to file the CPNI certification?

Effective December 2007, interconnected VOIP providers, as that term is defined by the Commission, are required to file the CPNI certification.

 

Overview of License
And How to Get Started

Who Needs to File the CPNI Certification? Telecommunications service providers and interconnected VOIP providers subject to the jurisdiction of the FCC.

What is the cost to file?
There is no filing fee charged by the FCC to file the CPNI certification. Brennan Lynch LLP charges a reasonable flat fee to prepare and file the certification on your behalf.

How Do I Get Started? Contact us for more information here.

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