binary codeAs the world’s appetite for data increases, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has decided to take a seat at the table.

Over the last several months, the CPUC has issued a series of orders and data requests asking telephone corporations (including CLECs) to produce increasing amounts of sensitive data. Of particular note, the CPUC has begun to seek increased data on infrastructure, subscription, call completion, and service outages. The CPUC has offered a variety of reasons for the data requests, spanning from a desire to monitor and ensure wholesale competition, to its obligation to uphold service quality standards.  However, telephone corporations have voiced opposition to this deluge of data requests, taking particular issue with confidential protections due to this sensitive data. Below is a summary of some of the key orders requiring the production of data.

Outage Data

As discussed in a prior post, in August 2016, the CPUC issued a final decision in its service quality docket, Rulemaking 11-12-001. This decision revises General Order 133 (which sets out service quality rules for telephone corporations), requiring, among other things, that wireless and interconnected VoIP providers submit Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Network Outage Reporting Systems (NORS) reports to the CPUC.

Infrastructure Data

In December 2016, the CPUC issued a final decision in its proceeding analyzing the state of competition in the California telecommunications market. In addition to several significant findings regarding the state of competition in the market, the decision requires communications providers that are certificated and/or registered with the CPUC to submit network wholesale and interconnection access points, and transport facilities.

Subscription Data

In the same telecommunications competition decision referenced above, the CPUC also mandates communications providers that also file Forms 477 with the FCC to submit to the CPUC voice and broadband subscriber and deployment data at a census block level.

Call Completion Data

Finally, in December 2016, the CPUC issued a decision in its rural call completion proceeding (I.14-05-012). The decision orders, among other things:

  1. respondents (companies that were required to participate in the proceeding) to respond to forthcoming standing data requests regarding outages of 90,000 user minutes that last for 30 minutes or more; and
  2. carriers to submit an itemized report to CPUC staff on a quarterly basis about call completion problems.

With this increased bank of data, there are concerns that such information is susceptible to public disclosure via Public Records Act requests, or other means. Such issues are set to be addressed this upcoming spring and summer as the CPUC continues its proceeding examining the confidentiality of documents submitted to the CPUC.