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One Week In: FCC Reassigned Numbers Database is Live


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Webinar is available from FCC on how to use the database. ACA International is seeking members’ feedback on the database. Editor’s note: This article is available for members only.

11/9/2021 11:00

The Federal Communications Commission’s Reassigned Numbers Database is open for business and, in conjunction with the launch, the FCC has released a demonstration on how to use the database in a free webinar.

To dial it back a minute, the FCC created a rule in 2018 to establish the database, which enables callers to verify the status of a phone number and helps protect consumers with reassigned numbers from receiving unwanted calls, ACA International previously reported.

ACA has had many discussions with the FCC about the reassigned numbers database.

A recent beta test of the database, which ended Sept. 30, helped the administrator to determine the appropriate subscription tiers and rates for the database when it is fully operational for paid users. Callers are required to pay to use the database.

Highlights on the interim usage charges include:

  • The reassigned numbers database will initially feature three subscription options: one month, three months and six months. A 12-month subscription option is expected in the future.
  • The reassigned numbers database will offer six tiers: extra small, small, medium, large, extra large and jumbo.
  • A caller agent may subscribe to a tier based on the aggregate number of queries needed for all of the agent’s clients.
  • The charges and number of permitted queries over the length of the subscription are:
  • If a subscriber exhausts its queries before the end of the subscription term, it may buy a new subscription, upgrade to a higher tier and pay the difference between the original and new tier, or pay 10% of the usage charge to receive 10% more queries.

Paid subscribers to the database, including callers and caller agents, are now able to determine whether a telephone number has been reassigned from the consumer they intend to reach, allowing them to avoid calling consumers with reassigned numbers who may not wish to receive their call. The reassigned numbers database is available at http://www.reassigned.us.

The FCC’s webinar features a demonstration of the database, including an overview of how to submit queries. It also provides information for callers and caller agents to register for and subscribe to the database.

ACA filed comments in 2020 outlining issues the FCC should consider when implementing the database. ACA also continues to advocate on behalf of members to ensure the database is a helpful tool and does not create cost burdens.

In the comments, ACA argued that despite the commission’s recent actions to operationalize the reassigned numbers database, callers continue to face the prospect of class-wide TCPA litigation exposure based on a single call to a reassigned number, Communications Director and Editor-in-Chief Anne Rosso May reports in Collector magazine.

ACA asked the FCC to clarify that:

The TCPA’s statutory phrase “called party” should mean the “expected” or “intended recipient. The TCPA allows callers to “reasonably rely” on the “prior express consent” that they had received from consumers.

The reassigned numbers database will only tell callers the most recent disconnection date of the number they last called. Callers should consider how this impacts their overall calling strategy.

The administrator may adjust the tiers and rates monthly, pending FCC approval.

Finally, the FCC may initiate a proceeding to establish a more permanent rate structure, which would go into effect no sooner than Jan. 1, 2023. In the meantime, the FCC encourages users to provide online feedback to the administrator regarding its tiers and rates.

If you would like to share any thoughts or feedback on the reassigned numbers database pricing structure and its functionality, contact ACA International’s Vice President and Senior Counsel, Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey at [email protected]. ACA will follow up for more information if your comments will be used in our publications.

Read more on this issue in the current issue of Collector magazine:

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