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Focus on Regulation

FCC Seeks to Refresh the TCPA Record

Now that the dust has settled from the D.C. Circuit’s highly anticipated Telephone Consumer Protection Act decision in ACA International, et al, v. FCC, the Federal Communications Commission is going back to the drawing board in a new Public Notice that seeks comment on foundational TCPA issues.

In March, the D.C. Circuit struck down the FCC’s 2015 interpretation of the definition of “automatic telephone dialing system” (autodialer) as overly broad, arbitrarily vague, and “utterly unreasonable.”  The court also threw out the FCC’s rules regarding calls to reassigned wireless numbers, finding that exempting callers for liability for only the first call to a reassigned number was arbitrary and capricious.  See our earlier post for more information about the decision.

In the Public Notice, the FCC seeks comment on the following issues:

  • What is an autodialer?
  • How should calls to reassigned numbers be treated and how should the term “called party” be interpreted?
  • How should a called party be able to revoke prior express consent to receive robocalls?
  • Should contractors acting on behalf of the federal government be considered “persons” under the TCPA?
  • Should the FCC reconsider its rules regarding calls to collect federal debts?

Comments are due June 13 and reply comments are due June 28.

Our TCPA Working Group brings together more than 25 attorneys in our litigation, communications, commercial, 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.  We also have significant experience in TCPA appeals.