Applicants for numbering resources through the FCC will have to show they are certified to access numbers to ensure compliance with the commission’s rules.
09/27/2023 2:15 P.M.
2 minute read
The Federal Communications Commission has adopted rules that would strengthen and modernize its requirements for Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers to obtain direct access to telephone numbers, according to news release (PDF).
“The action adopts important guardrails to reduce access to phone numbers by perpetrators of illegal robocalls, protect national security and law enforcement, safeguard the nation’s finite numbering resources, reduce the opportunity for regulatory arbitrage, and further promote public safety,” the FCC reports.
The rules stem from 2021 comments requested by the FCC as required by the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act.
It sought comments on “strengthening its direct access rules to reduce access to numbers by potential perpetrators of illegal robocalls and address problems that have arisen from the growth of widely available VoIP software.”
In line with the TRACED Act, the rules will require applicants seeking direct access to numbering resources to submit additional disclosures and certifications regarding their ownership structures and compliance with the FCC’s rules and state law and take targeted steps to address the concerns raised in the 2021 rulemaking (PDF).
Specifically, the rules require applicants to:
- Make robocall-related certifications to help ensure compliance with the commission’s rules targeting illegal robocalls.
- Disclose and keep current information about their ownership, including foreign ownership, to mitigate the risk of providing bad actors abroad with access to U.S. numbering resources.
- Certify their compliance with other commission rules applicable to interconnected VoIP providers, including certain public safety and access stimulation rules, and requirements to submit timely FCC Forms 477 and 499 filings.
- Comply with state laws and registration requirements that are applicable to businesses in each state in which numbers are requested.
The rules will take effect 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. However, most of the certifications will require review for the Paperwork Reduction Act by the Office of Management and Budget, and those rules will be in place after that review and a new effective date is released, according to an article for TransNexus.com.