FCC Orders All Telecommunications Carriers to File Telephone Record Privacy Compliance Reports by Feb. 6, 2006

Following recent reports of the sale of telephone call records over the Internet the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau yesterday issued a notice ordering all telecommunications carriers, both wireline and wireless, to file compliance certificates with the FCC no later than Monday, February 6th. Specifically, all telecommunications carriers must file their existing compliance certificate along with a statement explaining how that company’s operating procedures ensure compliance with the FCC’s customer proprietary network information (“CPNI”) rules.

Under the FCC’s current CPNI rules all telecommunications carriers must maintain a compliance certificate, signed by a corporate officer, stating that the company has established operating procedures necessary to comply with the FCC’s CPNI rules. Such certificates must be signed on an annual basis by an officer with personal knowledge that the company has implemented compliance procedures. It is these existing certificates that the FCC expects carriers to file by February 6.

This action follows several recent FCC inquiries into the procedures used by telecommunications carriers to ensure the confidentiality of CPNI. Most notably, on January 30, 2006 the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture against AT&T and AllTel, finding that each carrier has failed to comply with the annual certification requirement of the FCC’s CPNI rules. The FCC has proposed to fine each company $100,000 for such violations.

This action by the FCC, along with other recent decisions, suggests that the agency intends to move quickly to enforce existing rules. We therefore encourage all carriers to dedicate appropriate resources to these issues and to contact us if any questions arise.