January 22, 2019

FCC Takes Big Robocall Action During Winter Open Meeting

As expected we saw some big robocall news out of D.C. this morning. The FCC has made two rulings today that will impact American cell phones users in a big way.

First, the FCC confirmed that text messages remain “information services” and not “telecommunications services.” Had the FCC shifted the classification of text messages it would have meant wireless providers would be required to connect text messages without regard to content–just like it they must do (mostly) with telephone calls. By keeping text messages defined as “information services” the carriers can continue culling out spam messages and refusing to deliver messages that don’t meet certain requirements.  A press release on text messages remaining information services is available here. 

Next, the FCC adopted its proposed recycled number database. Notably Commissioner O’Reilly seemed to believe that the database would not be necessary if the TCPA were properly read to allow calls with the consent of the “intended recipient” of the calls. But the Commission as a whole looked at larger concerns regarding preventing calls to wrong numbers. As I reported yesterday, the Report and Order will require callers to pay for the database on a pay-per-view basis. 

A press release on the recycled number database can be found here. 

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About this Author

Eric Troutman, Womble Dickinson, TCPA Litigation Attorney

Eric is one of the country’s prominent class action defense attorneys and is nationally-recognized in Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) litigation and compliance.  He has served as lead defense counsel in more than 50 national TCPA class actions and has litigated nearly a thousand individual TCPA cases in his role as national strategic litigation counsel for major banks and finance companies. He also helps industry participants build TCPA-compliant processes, policies, and systems.

Eric has built a national litigation practice based upon...

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