U.S. FCC Chairman Circulates Proposed TCPA Decision with Significant Impact Across Industry Sectors

Today, FCC Chairman Wheeler announced that he is circulating a proposal to address more than twenty pending petitions seeking clarity regarding the scope requirements under the U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA).  He authored a blog post on the proposal and also released a fact sheet. As part of the Chairman’s proposal, the FCC would issue the following rulings:

  • Consumers can revoke their consent to receive automated “robocalls” and texts in any reasonable way at any time;
  • Carriers would be expressly allowed to offer robocall-blocking technology;
  • Callers would be prohibited from calling reassigned telephone numbers after one call;
  • The term “automatic telephone dialing system” in the TCPA would be interpreted to encompass any technology with the capacity to dial random or sequential numbers; and
  • Exceptions would be allowed in limited, specific circumstances for urgent communications, such as for bank account fraud and prescription refill reminders (the calls and texts must be free and consumers would still be able to opt-out).
The proposal is expected to be voted on at the FCC’s next open meeting on June 18. How can we help? Our TCPA Working Group brings together more than 25 attorneys in our litigation, communications, and privacy practice areas.  We provide regular TCPA counseling to clients from a broad range of industries, including technology, healthcare, communications, transportation, and financial services.  We have secured dismissals and nominal settlements for clients in TCPA actions and have worked with the FCC to clarify rules addressing a number of key TCPA issues. The author wishes to thank Gregory Oshel in our Washington, D.C. office for his contribution to this article.

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