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It’s Time for TCPA Clarity as Congress Conducts FCC Oversight Hearing


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ACA International submits issues for consideration during Senate committee’s hearing with the FCC Wednesday.

6/22/2020 9:00

The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation will meet for a hearing on Oversight of the Federal Communications Commission Wednesday and ACA International is asking Congress to consider ongoing issues on mitigating illegal robocalls and providing clarity on the Telephone Consumer Protection Act when it meets with the commissioners.

Specifically, there are two issues that ACA urges Congress to consider as it conducts its oversight of the FCC:

  • During implementation of SHAKEN/STIR and in accordance with Congress’s directive in the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, the FCC should remedy its overbroad inclusion of legitimate business calls in efforts to target bad actors making robocalls in its recent Declaratory Ruling.
  • The FCC’s failure to act on questions remanded to it from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals more than a year ago concerning the TCPA.

“When outbound calling numbers used by legitimate businesses are mislabeled and calls from those numbers are blocked, consumers are harmed because they may not receive lawful calls affecting their health, safety, or financial well-being” ACA CEO Mark Neeb said in a letter to committee chairman U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., and Ranking Member U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., in advance of the hearing.

The hearing, at 10 a.m. Eastern, Wednesday, June 24, will provide members an opportunity to examine policy issues before the FCC and review the agency’s ongoing activities and proceedings.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and commissioners Michael O’Rielly, Brendan Carr, Jessica Rosenworcel and Geoffrey Starks will testify.

“ACA has strongly supported the FCC’s efforts to target the serious problem of illegal and fraudulent robocalls,” Neeb said. “ACA members are also consumers, and like many consumers, ACA’s members greatly dislike fraudulent and illegal robocalls. Accordingly, we appreciate the work of the FCC to stop those making such abusive calls. These efforts are certainly worthwhile and deserve the serious attention they have been given by the FCC and Congress. As the FCC works to further address these issues in SHAKEN/STIR, we urge Congress to continue to ensure that the FCC carries out this directive, and that it works to protect legal and often exigent calls.”

Under the TRACED Act, the FCC must begin a proceeding to determine how its policies regarding access to numbering resources can be modified to reduce access to numbers by potential illegal robocallers and establish an advisory committee to be known as the Hospital Robocall Protection Group, by June 29, 2020, ACA previously reported.

Read ACA’s complete letter to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation here.

Learn more about ACA’s advocacy initiatives with Congress and the FCC during sessions at the 2020 Virtual Convention & Expo July 15-16, 2020. For example, ACA will have a session on “Call Blocking and Labeling in the ARM Arena” and discuss technology trends during the event. Visit the convention webpage for all the latest details and to register by Friday, June 26, to receive a VIP bonus package from QBE, RevSpring, Applied Innovation, LexisNexis and InterProse.

For more information on how the ACA Licensing staff can assist with your licensing needs, please contact us at [email protected]  or call (952) 926-6547.

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