After several requests for comment, the FCC has approved its earlier proposal to create a centralized, comprehensive reassigned telephone numbers database, a resource which many have felt has been lacking. Ideally, the proposed database will be an effective tool to assist businesses in identifying numbers that have been recycled, thus helping to cut down on unwanted or mistaken phone calls received by consumers. This blog outlines the framework of the FCC’s new database, including access, administration, types of information collected, usage, and potential costs and benefits.
One of the most persistent complaints by consumers to the FCC is about receiving uninvited “robocalls.” Generally speaking, these may be phone calls or texts to wireless phones or home phones that may be telemarketing or informational calls from health providers, financial services providers, schools or retailers. The FCC is the federal agency responsible for implementation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which contains opt in consent requirements for telemarketing and some types of informational calls which are heightened if the call is made to a wireless phone. Even when consumers have provided the requisite consent to receive “robocalls” calls from businesses it is not uncommon for consumers to terminate phone service, moving to a new service provider and getting a new phone number.