Cable Ops Want More Time to Vet CPNI Framework

Cable operators large and small have called on the FCC to extend the comment period for its broadband CPNI rulemaking proposal from the end of next month until early July.

A divided FCC approved the proposal March 31 and released it April 1.

Armed with new (under Title II IPS reclassification) authority over broadband customer information--like what sites they have been surfing--the FCC has proposed a privacy framework that includes requiring subs to opt into the use of their data for most third-party marketing.

In a motion for extension of time, The American Cable Association and the National Cable & Telecommunications Association joined with CTIA, US Telecom, and Consumer Technology Association all asked for another 45 days to file comments and an additional 45 days for reply comments. That would extend the comment period from 87 days to 120.

They said the time the FCC allotted was not enough given that the notice itself contained over 500 questions and the ramifications of what the FCC's answers would be.

They said they agreed with the Association of National Advertisers, which made the initial extension request (, that more time was needed.

"The Notice proposes to establish sweeping and unprecedented privacy, data security, and data breach rules for BIAS [broadband internet access service] providers that raise difficult and complex legal, technical, and policy issues with broader implications for the complicated Internet ecosystem and online advertising marketplace," they told the commission.

They also pointed to a number of other comment deadlines happening at about the same time, including for set-top boxes (April 22 and May 23), EAS (May 9 and June 7), comments on an NTIA Internet of Things inquiry (May 23) and the general activity surrounding the incentive auction.

[G]ranting an extension here would enable all stakeholders – and the Commission itself – to pursue policymaking at a more rationale and productive pace," they argued. It would also delay action on a proposal they all have major issues with.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.