What Is CPNI (Consumer Proprietary Network Information)?

The Consumer Proprietary Network Information (CPNI) is information that telecommunication services (I.E. local, long distance and wireless telephone carriers) acquire about their subscribers. The information that is collected typically includes the services they use, as well as the amount that they use these services and the type of usage.

To be more specific, the type of information the CPNI includes is the various data displayed on a customer’s monthly phone bill, which may include:

• Telephone line type and its technical characteristics

• Service class

• Existing phone charges

• Local and long distance service billing records

• Directory assistant charges

• Usage data

• Calling patterns

• All optional services to which the customer has subscribed

• And so on

Although the CPNI collects all of the above information of telephone customers, the CPNI does not include the customer’s personal information, such as their name, address or phone number. The only parties that are privy to this personal information are the customer and their telecommunications company.

Furthermore, it is important to note that the Telecommunications Act of 1996, together with the clarification from the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC), usually forbids the use of any information that is collected about a customer, even for marketing purposes, unless express permission to use the information is first given by the customer. In addition, if a customer switches service providers, the previous telecommunications carrier they were with, is not permitted to use any information in an attempt to lure the customer back.

However, the CPNI does not prohibit everything. For example, the CPNI rules do not forbid the gathering and publishing of aggregate customer information. Moreover, the CPNI rules do not prohibit the use of telephone subscribers’ information for the purpose of creating directories.

Keep in mind, a telecommunication provider must have their customer’s permission first before they can share their customer’s CPNI with any third party, including other agents, affiliates, or parent companies. That being said, generally, when a customer allows a telecommunications provider to share their CPNI, this helps the provider to better serve the customer and meet their service needs. Nevertheless, a customer has the right to notify their carrier that they withdraw their consent to have their CPNI shared whenever they wish, and their carrier must comply with their request.

It is important that you know your rights so you have the chance to protect yourself and your personal information. Therefore, should you feel that your rights are ever being violated, you can find out who owns a phone number [http://www.whoownsthisphonenumber.com] and file a compliant with the FCC.

Business IT Networks – 5 Common Problems Overlooked by Entrepreneurs

IT Networks though simple, require extensive planning to ensure stability, yet we often encounter businesses that are unacquainted with the imperative role networking plays in the efficient functioning of their company.

Informed business entrepreneurs often opt to upgrade their networking systems to suit their organizational structure. Although upgrading is an expensive, time consuming process, its benefits are ten fold. Though, there are some small size companies that insist on having a Windows XP workstation function as a network server, this decision may eventually lead to decrease in efficiency and productivity of the entire Information Technology environment.

Network Consultants should always analyze the nature of your business so as to recommend a networking/Information Technology system that would be the best fit for your business. IT Consultants should evaluate both hardware and software requirements to guide your company through the pros and cons of various networking options that your business may be considering.

From a network consulting standpoint, these are five common problems that are either neglected by businesses or not included in the overall planning of the Network Infrastructure.

Disaster Recovery: Although entrepreneurs are risk takers they provide for all contingencies. While they insure their store and goods against fire, theft, natural calamities, etc., in many cases they ignore the need to implement a disaster recovery plan for financial records, employee payroll and client data. Losing valuable customer information to a fire would result in temporary chaos and a financial drain. Therefore, a data recovery system should be available to restore normal operation within 24 to 48 hours.
There are several options to evaluate depending on the size of the business. A good Technology consulting company should be able to assess the needs and accordingly recommend an IT recovery plan that is fool proof yet affordable.

Redundancy: Although businesses are advised to maintain an alternate or redundant source of power supply for critical servers, many entrepreneurs ignore this simple loss prevention method in order to save a few hundred dollars. For example, servers that process customer credit card transactions are not exempted from the probability of failure and if not backed by a redundant power source, it may lead to a major financial loss. The point that I am trying to get across is that important network equipment should be identified and a redundant plan should be implemented to provide against unforeseen circumstances.

Network Security: Viruses are not strangers to the world of computers and internet. While performing technology analysis and auditing we come across businesses that have servers on DMZ without network security [http://www.onsitechicago.com/networksecurity.htm] measures like a simple firewall. We have seen instances were employees had full access to the network server running virus inviting programs like Limewire. An obvious result of this would be a slow network. In most cases, passwords for workstations, servers etc. are identical and shared. Impermeable network security plans should be implemented especially when business IT infrastructure holds confidential information of clients or individuals that may become a risk as well as an embarrassing situation if lost or stolen.

Network Speed: Businesses always focus on maximizing efficiency and productivity at the lowest cost and what better way to achieve this goal than to minimize wastage of employee time? Speed of IT networks depends on many factors from simple network security policies to restrict P2P software to intelligent switching hardware. You may be surprised but network infrastructure cabling (Cat 5, Cat 6, and Fiber Optics) also makes a significant difference on the performance of the entire network.

Expandability: Change in networking structure is an option that should always be open for clients. To plan ahead is important as a business need not overhaul a huge part of their network to see an insignificant benefit. A simple example would be to anticipate network storage requirements of data. Clients often overlook the importance of discussing options with consultants to make sure their IT system remains adequate for at least 3 to 5 years. The aim should be to minimize dollars spent without hindering the quality of work being performed by employees.

Consultants are professionals and while their recommendations should not be overlooked, they should not be adopted blindly either. As a customer you are entitled to know the ‘whys’ and ‘hows’ of every suggestion made. Request layman’s explanation for every problem encountered. Most importantly, ensure that the 5 major and basic areas are covered in the initial audit reports or recommendations made by any Technology consulting company.

Onsite Chicago is Technology Consulting Company for business in the Chicago area. Featured in major newspapers they are considered one of the top business network consulting firms. To view a complete list if IT services from Network Management, Network security and data / telephone cabling please visit Chicago Business Network Consultants page.

Internet Television Network Information

The word Internet is very vast and has a large content for the consumption of its users. It has now become the blood of the computer systems. Without it PCs are bloodless because we can do almost everything via internet. From its innumerous uses one more very interesting use is Internet Television.

With this feature of the internet we can now experience the shows, information and presentations in the form of a download or view content according to category. It offers the content from a varied range of sources from any part of the world. There many shows can be found which are not available on the television. There can be many reasons like small audience or location problems. Now viewing can be customized for the viewers in a manner which can be possible by only DVRs and other cable packages. In this case many producers who introduce their content in niche audience can easily deliver on-line.

There are various websites providing the offerings for the users so that they can easily navigate to the content they are interested in viewing. Users can find their content of interest from specific countries, sources and in different languages. Many sites are offering the feature of listings and giving access to different varieties for shows from a region, with this user can easily follow different cultures and values anywhere on the globe. Many TV networks are serving access to the segments from their own channels allowing you to watch shows according to the best suited time.

The basic modes of delivery are downloading and streaming. Now download is very easy and it doesn’t need the relatively same bandwidth like streaming. The number of the viewers for this content is generally big. If you do not have time to watch a show you can subscribe to it so that a link will be sent to you and then you can open it easily and watch at any time. These shows you can watch on your portable devices and on your personal computer as well.

The next feature of viewing is streaming which brings the program to you when it is delivered live over the internet. You can tune in to the television shows as well on their specific time. Most of the bigger internet services provider can develop their own offerings of the internet protocol television and these offerings are made by the providers you buy your internet service. The process of streaming mostly requires strong computer power and good speed of the internet capable to handle large data with good speed. It is becoming popular in mostly in those workplaces where people do not have a particular television to watch but have a computer system.