The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday released some of the guidelines that will be used for its Reassigned Number Database, which aims to help callers identify whether a phone number it has for an individual has been reassigned to someone else.
One of the key metrics, which has been on the minds of individuals in the credit and collection industry since the database was announced more than two years ago, is the frequency with which the database will be updated. That information was not released by the FCC on Friday.
The first item that the FCC announced is how it will reply to queries from callers seeking to learn if a number has been reassigned. Inquiries will receive one of three possible responses — “Yes” meaning a number is in the database and the date provided in the query is the same as or before the permanent disconnect date for that number in the database. “No” meaning a number is in the database and the date the caller provides in its query is after the permanent disconnect date contained in the database, or if the number is not in the database and the date the caller provides is on or after the date all providers are required to report disconnected numbers to the database. “No Data” about the number and a permanent disconnect date is available. Callers will be eligible for a safe harbor for using the database if a “Yes” or “No” answer has been supplied, but not for a “No Data” response.
The FCC also sought to define “Costs” for the purpose of operating the database, and included a “reasonable profit” for the database’s administrator, and outlined what would be done with “Excess Funds” should such a situation occur after the costs to administer the database are covered.