The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) just announced a new rule that makes it difficult for anyone to get your information from the telephone company, without a password set up by the telecom customer. It seems like such a great idea because it prevents pretexting – you know the whole scandal that involved a couple of reporters and Hewlett-Packard.
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin in a statement said that the new order “takes a strong approach to protecting consumer shopping.” Wow, Martin actually watching out for the American people! But then a proverbial Mr. T screamed in my ear – FOOL! How can you think that Martin would do something like that?
The Wall Street Journal says that the new order can put a hex on the proposed wireless service being planned by cable companies and Sprint Nextel. Cable companies have plans to use Sprint’s wireless and build out a four-play offering that can a big bite out of phone companies’ business. The cable companies are already putting the hurt on phone companies’ bread-and-butter business.
WSJ points to a line buried in the order that prevents telcos from sharing private data with “joint venture partners or independent contractors.” No wonder some folks say at Comcast are concerned, according to the WSJ story.
8 thoughts on “FCC privacy rules can KO CableCos Wireless plan”
“In what appears to be an unintended consequence of FCC rules aimed at protecting consumer privacy, the three cable companies will be required to seek their customers’ permission through an opt-in to allow them to share their personal information with Sprint.”
Unintended consequences? I think not.
Unintended is the right phrase to use, since we of course can’t get into the “mind of martin.” however, the skepticism on our part is totally justified. 😉
NICE catch. I couldn’t believe it as well–Martin actually doing something proactive for consumers? INCONCEIVABLE.
This explains it, of course–Martin uses this new rule to stick it to incumbent cable companies AND poor Sprint Nextel in favor of AT&T and Verizon.
I still think the ruling is a good one from a consumer privacy perspective, but after reading this, I have even less doubt that Martin’s true goal was to ensure his own bread-and-butter–support from the big telcos–was protected.
Very nice work. I’ll blog about this myself.
Om – adding an A-Team reference further displays why people keep coming back…
Promise me that when you make billions and trillions you will begin a post with – “I love it when a plan comes together”
And no, those of you who read this will NOT get your 13 seconds back…
Talked with some folks familiar with the JV and they didn’t think this rule would affect the JV one bit because the products are not marketed in a way that this rule would restrict.
Sprint doesn’t share customer information with the cable companies, they sell their customers cable service. The cable companies actually sell Sprint service. There is no sharing of customer information.
Where the hell is this supposed joint venture between Sprint and cablecos that is now branded as Pivot? It has supposedly been available in metro-Boston for months but I have never seen advertisement one and I see no way to sign up via either Comcast.com or Sprint.com using a variety of Boston zip codes as my “address”. Does this really exist or is it all a huge hoax?
this story clears things up: