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FCC might fine Amp'd Mobile

March 29, 2007|From the Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Federal Communications Commission is proposing a $100,000 fine each against Amp'd Mobile Inc., a Los Angeles-based wireless phone company aimed at the youth market, and two other companies for failing to protect consumers' personal calling records from thieves.

The FCC has proposed such fines against at least three other U.S. companies since January 2006, for failing to comply with rules requiring that consumer phone records be protected by internal safeguards.

The commission promised aggressive and substantial steps to crack down on phone companies that fail to protect such records.

Amp'd Mobile assured the FCC in a letter in February that its internal procedures protected customer phone records, but it did not specify those procedures.

"We think the proposed fine is based on a misunderstanding, and we believe we will be able to demonstrate we have been in compliance" with FCC rules that require companies to protect personal information, said Amp'd Mobile spokeswoman Aurli Bokovza.

The FCC also proposed a $100,000 fine against Easterbrooke Cellular Corp. of Larkspur, Calif., and CTC Communications Corp. of Waltham, Mass., now part of One Communications, which serves businesses in 16 states.

The commission said CTC Communications could not offer assurances that three companies it had acquired in 2005 used internal procedures to protect consumer phone records.

The FCC said Easterbrooke acknowledged in a December letter that it did not keep written records for the last five years guaranteeing its customer records were protected.

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