Customer Proprietary Network Information

Date: June 20, 2016


The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rules related to the use of Customer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) for marketing purposes and also requires carriers to implement procedures to verify the identity of callers who want to discuss call-detail information or to engage in online transactions that would allow access to account information generally.

CenturyLink’s commitment to safeguard customer information

CenturyLink has long been committed to the protection of customer privacy. You can review details of our practices in our Privacy Notice. In addition, we comply with federal laws regarding the protection of customer telephone account information. Federal law characterizes this type of information as "Customer Proprietary Network Information" or CPNI. Here we refer to it simply as "account information." Account information includes information about a customer's telephone services and their use of those services, as well as general billing information. It also includes information concerning specific calls, such as who was called, and the date and time of the call. Throughout this notice, we refer to call-related information "call-detail information." It does not include name, address, telephone number, or other types of information such as information about telephone equipment or voice mail.

Rules for access to CPNI

Calls to CenturyLink customer service

Prior to December 8, 2007, customers calling CenturyLink's customer service offices could discuss their services and bills with a CenturyLink representative, once that representative had verified the caller's identity. The verification was usually done through questions about account information known to CenturyLink and the customer or through verification methods such as social security number. This authentication practice continues with respect to calls made to CenturyLink's customer service centers, as a general matter. However, CenturyLink is not able to discuss call-detail information with an account holder unless the caller provides the call detail to the CenturyLink representative or has a pre-established password.

Online access to account information

Customers seeking online access to account information need a password before access can be permitted. CenturyLink provides customers with security codes or passwords they can use to establish online accounts.

Access to account information at retail locations

Customers seeking access to account information at CenturyLink retail outlets will need to produce a valid photo ID (generally a driver's license or other ID issued by a government).

Notifications of certain acccount changes

In addition to changes outlined above regarding access to account information, CenturyLink will notify customers of certain account changes. For example, whenever an online account is created or changed, or a password or other form of authentication (such as a "secret question and answer") is created or changed, CenturyLink will notify the account holder. Additionally, after an account has been established, when a customer's address (whether postal or e-mail) changes or is added to an account, CenturyLink will send a notification. These notifications may be sent to a postal or e-mail address, or by telephone, voicemail or text message.

Business relationships and exemption from the rules

CenturyLink's practices with respect to CPNI access and required notifications will essentially be the same for our residential and small business customers.


But in cases where CenturyLink and a business have a contractual relationship, and the business has access to a dedicated account representative, the authentication processes used by the parties may be different and notifications might not be sent. In these cases, CenturyLink will verify a person's authority to discuss account information through communications with the person claiming to represent the account holder. And in situations where a customer seeks online access to account information, an access code will be required.


In some cases, CenturyLink and the business will have a formal written agreement that will contain a confidentiality provision. In other cases, the contractual relationship will be based on purchases made by the customer from a CenturyLink tariff or Rate and Service Schedule (RSS), or on the words and conduct of the parties. The relationship will reflect CenturyLink's long-standing protection of customer account information and our practices of not using or disclosing such information except to provide services or as permitted or required by law.

Marketing rules

The FCC has categorized consumer CPNI into three "buckets": local, long distance, and wireless service. The CPNI that a carrier can use to market its services to its customers without their approval depends on what service buckets the customer already buys from. Carriers are permitted to use CPNI for marketing similar products within a service bucket (if a customer buys only one service) or buckets (if a customer buys out of more than one bucket). In addition, only those companies that sell CenturyLink services, including our agents and authorized sales representatives, will use this information.

Note: Previously we asked Qwest Consumer and Small Business customers for permission to use CPNI to market products and services while on our online portals. We have simplified our systems and processes effective December 2015 for Consumer customers and June 2016 for Small Business customers. As a result, we will now maintain only one CPNI preference for accounts and not a separate preference for online use. If you have questions or wish to make any changes to your CPNI election, please contact us.

Questions or comments

CenturyLink takes seriously our obligation to protect customer information. Our compliance with the rules enacted by the FCC is a continuation of our long-standing practice. If you have questions about this notice or about our specific commitment to the protection of your information, please contact us at