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Verizon Continues to Operate in Gray Area of Customer Information Use Rules-- For Now

ACA Calls on Commission to Clarify Rules

PITTSBURGH, PA, April 16, 2008 - The American Cable Association (ACA) today expressed concern over a recommendation made by the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to continue allowing Verizon to use customer information for questionable “retention marketing purposes.”

“We are certainly disappointed in the recommendation and anxious for the Commissioners to look at the issue and reach their own conclusion,” said Matthew M. Polka, ACA president and CEO. “Verizon has made a practice out of operating in the grey area of the law in an effort to stymie the growth of new entrants in the marketplace. We are hopeful the Commission will clarify that grey area and restore balance and competition to the marketplace.”

The Bureau’s decision is in response to a formal complaint filed against Verizon in February by a number of cable providers, alleging the telco was marketing to customers after the time in which the subscriber chose to leave Verizon, but before the customers’ phone number was ported to the customers’ new service provider. The complaint specifically cited the Communications Act of 1934, which prevents the use of information provided by one provider to another for a specific purpose to be used for a different purpose.

The Enforcement Bureau also recommended the Commission initiate a rulemaking to address the imbalance of marketing practices.


About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing 1,100 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies that provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit www.americancable.org.

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