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
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.