PSA: FCC Seeks Comment on Reassigned Number Databases and the Creation of a TCPA Safe Harbor

As we reported last month, on the heels of the D.C. Circuit’s ruling in ACA Int’l v. FCC, the D.C. Circuit has created a tabula rasa for the FCC’s treatment of reassigned numbers under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (“TCPA”). The FCC now seeks to clarify the interplay between that decision and the Commission’s ongoing efforts to establish one or more reassigned number databases.

The FCC published its second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls in the Federal Register. 83 FR 17631 (April 23, 2018). A copy of the FNPRM is available here. The FNPRM invites comment on various issues, including:

  • Whether the Commission should adopt a safe harbor from TCPA liability for those callers that choose to use a reassigned number database;
  • The appropriate authorizing statute for the Commission’s creation of a safe harbor, including whether the TCPA provides the Commission with such authority;
  • How ACA Int’l affects the Commission’s ability to adopt a safe harbor, if at all; and
  • The impact that ACA Int’l, and possible Commission action in response to that decision, could have on the costs and benefits of the database options discussed in the FNPRM.

83 FR at 17634-35.

For anyone looking to make a mark on the FCC’s re-write of this segment of TCPA history, it’s time to grab your pen. Comments to the FNPRM are due June 7, 2018, and reply comments are due July 9, 2018.

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