House Subcommittee Discusses ACA Concerns at Legislative Hearing on Robocalls

Legislators and witnesses representing industry and consumer groups consider the importance of allowing legitimate calls to reach the right party.

4/30/2019 4:00 PM

NewsAdvocacy
House Subcommittee Discusses ACA Concerns at Legislative Hearing on Robocalls

ACA International consistently takes the lead in educating and informing policymakers about issues of relevance to the industry including the importance of consumer’s ability to receive legitimate calls.

These efforts helped shape the discussion among legislators and the diverse group of witnesses in Tuesday’s House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing. The theme throughout the hearing was that members of Congress greatly dislike fraudulent robocalls.

The conversation also included an important discussion about legitimate calls.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, asked a representative from USTelecom—The Broadband Association if he agreed that it is “critical to ensure that legitimate business communications can continue, while the Federal Communications Commission and industry considers how to implement STIR/SHAKEN and call blocking and labeling technologies?”

Noting the importance of not blocking legitimate calls, the USTelecom witness, Patrick Halley, senior vice president, advocacy and regulatory affairs, stated: “I think it’s important that all the work that we do here, while we’re getting smarter and smarter about the types of calls that are going over our networks and the analytics providers get better and better every single day, we do have to be careful not to block legitimate calls.”

When the discussion turned to sorting out the difference between call blocking and labeling from phone carriers versus call blocking and labeling by third-party app providers and the impact on legitimate calls—points ACA underscored in its correspondence to the subcommittee—Nomorobo Founder Aaron Foss said, “Nobody wants the good calls stopped, we all want the bad calls stopped … In theory, everybody should have the same data … it’s about who is detecting them quicker.”

Halley noted that Foss’s company and others in the robocall protection and analytics space work regularly to “determine how to ensure that we’re blocking the calls that should be blocked but not blocking the calls that should be getting through. All the members we work with have a process in place where legitimate businesses can contact them to essentially protest the fact that a call is being blocked. It’s a subjective process; we need to be careful because we absolutely don’t want to block calls that are legitimate.”

Foss was also questioned about what regulatory framework Nomorobo operates under, to which the answer was none. This is an issue ACA has repeatedly raised as problematic to the Federal Trade Commission, which has promoted such apps in its Robocall Challenge.

In a letter submitted to the committee entered into the record, ACA CEO Mark Neeb outlined specific areas that slow the industry’s ability to connect with consumers for legitimate business purposes.

“We ask that the subcommittee, in addition to considering the problems created by illegal actors making robocalls, also consider the importance of legitimate business calls currently impeded by onerous TCPA requirements,” Neeb said in the letter to subcommittee chairman U.S. Rep. Michael Doyle, D-Pa., and Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Robert Latta, R-Ohio, in particular as they review the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, H.R. 946, one piece of legislation discussed during the hearing.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., reintroduced the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act in the 116th Congress.

“While the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act on its face sounds positive, implying that it addresses bad and illegal actors making abusive robocalls, in reality it is not appropriately tailored to achieving that objective,” Neeb said.

ACA’s letter was submitted for the record at the end of the hearing.

As part of our larger ongoing advocacy efforts surrounding TCPA reform, ACA International will continue to work with the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Congress to help them understand the importance of calls about a consumer’s financial situation that they often want and need and is pleased about the discussions in the April 30 hearing.

ACA International members interested in discussing these issues on Capitol Hill should join advocacy staff for the Washington Insights Fly-In, coming up May 14-16 at The Phoenix Park Hotel.

Related Content from ACA International

ACA Continues Push for TCPA Clarity on Capitol Hill

Getting Through: Legitimate Calls Must be Protected as Congress Considers Increased Enforcement Authority for Regulators

Pictured above: Patrick Halley, senior vice president, Advocacy and Regulatory Affairs, The US Telecom-Broadband Association, speaks at the hearing.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

House Subcommittee Discusses ACA Concerns at Legislative Hearing on Robocalls

ACA International consistently takes the lead in educating and informing policymakers about issues of relevance to the industry including the importance of consumer’s ability to receive legitimate calls.

These efforts helped shape the discussion among legislators and the diverse group of witnesses in Tuesday’s House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications and Technology hearing. The theme throughout the hearing was that members of Congress greatly dislike fraudulent robocalls.

The conversation also included an important discussion about legitimate calls.

U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson, R-Ohio, asked a representative from USTelecom—The Broadband Association if he agreed that it is “critical to ensure that legitimate business communications can continue, while the Federal Communications Commission and industry considers how to implement STIR/SHAKEN and call blocking and labeling technologies?”

Noting the importance of not blocking legitimate calls, the USTelecom witness, Patrick Halley, senior vice president, advocacy and regulatory affairs, stated: “I think it’s important that all the work that we do here, while we’re getting smarter and smarter about the types of calls that are going over our networks and the analytics providers get better and better every single day, we do have to be careful not to block legitimate calls.”

When the discussion turned to sorting out the difference between call blocking and labeling from phone carriers versus call blocking and labeling by third-party app providers and the impact on legitimate calls—points ACA underscored in its correspondence to the subcommittee—Nomorobo Founder Aaron Foss said, “Nobody wants the good calls stopped, we all want the bad calls stopped … In theory, everybody should have the same data … it’s about who is detecting them quicker.”

Halley noted that Foss’s company and others in the robocall protection and analytics space work regularly to “determine how to ensure that we’re blocking the calls that should be blocked but not blocking the calls that should be getting through. All the members we work with have a process in place where legitimate businesses can contact them to essentially protest the fact that a call is being blocked. It’s a subjective process; we need to be careful because we absolutely don’t want to block calls that are legitimate.”

Foss was also questioned about what regulatory framework Nomorobo operates under, to which the answer was none. This is an issue ACA has repeatedly raised as problematic to the Federal Trade Commission, which has promoted such apps in its Robocall Challenge.

In a letter submitted to the committee entered into the record, ACA CEO Mark Neeb outlined specific areas that slow the industry’s ability to connect with consumers for legitimate business purposes.

“We ask that the subcommittee, in addition to considering the problems created by illegal actors making robocalls, also consider the importance of legitimate business calls currently impeded by onerous TCPA requirements,” Neeb said in the letter to subcommittee chairman U.S. Rep. Michael Doyle, D-Pa., and Ranking Member U.S. Rep. Robert Latta, R-Ohio, in particular as they review the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act, H.R. 946, one piece of legislation discussed during the hearing.

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, D-N.J., reintroduced the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act in the 116th Congress.

“While the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act on its face sounds positive, implying that it addresses bad and illegal actors making abusive robocalls, in reality it is not appropriately tailored to achieving that objective,” Neeb said.

ACA’s letter was submitted for the record at the end of the hearing.

As part of our larger ongoing advocacy efforts surrounding TCPA reform, ACA International will continue to work with the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Congress to help them understand the importance of calls about a consumer’s financial situation that they often want and need and is pleased about the discussions in the April 30 hearing.

ACA International members interested in discussing these issues on Capitol Hill should join advocacy staff for the Washington Insights Fly-In, coming up May 14-16 at The Phoenix Park Hotel.

Related Content from ACA International

ACA Continues Push for TCPA Clarity on Capitol Hill

Getting Through: Legitimate Calls Must be Protected as Congress Considers Increased Enforcement Authority for Regulators

Pictured above: Patrick Halley, senior vice president, Advocacy and Regulatory Affairs, The US Telecom-Broadband Association, speaks at the hearing.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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