The Federal Communications Commission last week voted to adopt a second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which moves the agency closer to its goal of creating a reassigned phone number database to help cut down on the number of illegal robocalls. The agency had announced the vote earlier this month.
The FCC”s second FNPR is seeking comment on a number of areas:
- Proposes to ensure that one or more databases are available to provide callers with the comprehensive and timely information they need to avoid calling reassigned numbers.
- Seeks comment on the information that callers who choose to use a reassigned numbers database need to avoid calling a reassigned number.
- Seeks feedback on three alternative ideas for service providers to report that information: (1) requiring service providers to report reassigned number information to a single, FCC-designated database; (2) requiring service providers to report that information to one or more commercial data aggregators; or (3) allowing service providers to report that information to commercial data aggregators on a voluntary basis.
- Seeks comment on whether and, if so, how the Commission should adopt a safe harbor from liability under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act for those callers that choose to use a reassigned numbers database.
FCC Commissioner Michael O’Rielly, one of three Republicans (along with Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioner Brendan Carr), referenced the recent Appeals Court decision in a lawsuit filed against the FCC by ACA International in his remarks before the vote.
“In light of this ruling, the Commission and impacted businesses and associations will need to consider how to undo the damage and put our TCPA rules back on solid legal and practical footing,” according to a transcript of O’Rielly’s remarks. “Hopefully, several of the pending lawsuits against legitimate companies will be summarily dismissed by various courts conducting reviews.”