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FCC RIN: 3060-AI14 Publication ID: Fall 2016 
Title: Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991 (CG Docket No. 02-278) 
Abstract:

On July 3, 2003, the Commission released a Report and Order establishing, along with the FTC, a national do-not-call registry. The Commission's Report and Order also adopted rules on the use of predictive dialers, the transmission of caller ID information by telemarketers, and the sending of unsolicited fax advertisements. On September 21, 2004, the Commission released an Order amending existing safe harbor rules for telemarketers subject to the do-not-call registry to require such telemarketers to access the do-not-call list every 31 days, rather than every 3 months. On April 5, 2006, the Commission adopted a Report and Order and Third Order on Reconsideration amending its facsimile advertising rules to implement the Junk Fax Protection Act of 2005. On October 14, 2008, the Commission released an Order on Reconsideration addressing certain issues raised in petitions for reconsideration and/or clarification of the Report and Order and Third Order on Reconsideration. On January 4, 2008, the Commission released a Declaratory Ruling, clarifying that autodialed and prerecorded message calls to wireless numbers that are provided by the called party to a creditor in connection with an existing debt are permissible as calls made with the "prior express consent" of the called party. Following a December 4, 2007, NPRM, on June 17, 2008, the Commission released a Report and Order amending its rules to require sellers and/or telemarketers to honor registrations with the National Do-Not-Call Registry indefinitely, unless the registration is cancelled by the consumer or the number is removed by the database administrator. Following a January 22, 2010, NPRM, the Commission released a Report and Order (on February 15, 2012), requiring telemarketers to obtain prior express written consent, including by electronic means, before making an autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing call to a wireless number or before making a prerecorded telemarketing call to a residential line; eliminating the "established business relationship" exemption to the consent requirement for prerecorded telemarketing calls to residential lines; requiring telemarketers to provide an automated, interactive "opt-out" mechanism during autodialed or prerecorded telemarketing calls to wireless numbers and during prerecorded telemarketing calls to residential lines; and requiring that the abandoned call rate for telemarketing calls be calculated on a "per-campaign" basis. On November 29, 2012, the Commission released a Declaratory Ruling clarifying that sending a one-time text message confirming a consumer's request that no further text messages be sent does not violate the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) or the Commission's rules as long as the confirmation text only confirms receipt of the consumer's opt-out request, and does not contain marketing, solicitations, or an attempt to convince the consumer to reconsider his or her opt-out decision. The ruling applies only when the sender of the text messages has obtained prior express consent, as required by the TCPA and Commission rules, from the consumer to be sent text messages using an automatic telephone dialing system. On May 9, 2013, the Commission released a declaratory ruling clarifying that while a seller does not generally "initiate" calls made through a third-party telemarketer, within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), it nonetheless may be held vicariously liable under Federal common law principles of agency for violations of either section 227(b) or section 227(c) that are committed by third-party telemarketers.

On July 10, 2015, the commission released a Declaratory Ruling and Order resolving 21 separate requests for clarification or other action regarding the TCPA. It clarified, among other things, that: nothing in the Communications Act of the Commission's rules prohibits carriers or other service providers from implementing consumer-initiated call-blocking technologies; equipment  meets the TCPA's definition of "autodialer" if it has the "capacity" to store or produce random sequential numbers, and to dial them, even if it is not presently used for that purpose; an "app" provider that plays a minimal role in making a call, such as just proving the app itself, is not the maker of the call for TCPA purposes; consumers who have previously consented to robocalls may revoke that consent at any time and through any reasonable means; the TCPA requires the consent of the party called - the subscriber to a phone number or the customary user of the number - not the intended recipient of the call; and callers who make calls without knowledge or reassignment of a wireless phone number and with a reasonable basis to believe that they have valid consent to make the call to the wireless number should be able to initiate one call after reassignment as an additional opportunity to gain actual or constructive knowledge of the reassignment and cease future calls to the new subscriber. The Commission also exempted certain financial and healthcare-related calls, when free to the consumer, from the TCPA's consumer-consent requirement.

 
Agency: Federal Communications Commission(FCC)  Priority: Substantive, Nonsignificant 
RIN Status: Previously published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
EO 13771 Designation: uncollected 
CFR Citation: 47 CFR 64.1200    47 CFR 64.1601(e)    47 CFR 68.318(c) and 68.318(d)   
Legal Authority: 47 U.S.C. 227   
Legal Deadline:  None
Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
NPRM  10/08/2002  67 FR 62667   
FNPRM  04/03/2003  68 FR 16250   
Order  07/25/2003  68 FR 44144   
Order Effective  08/25/2003    
Order on Reconsideration  08/25/2003  68 FR 50978   
Order  10/14/2003  68 FR 59130   
FNPRM  03/31/2004  69 FR 16873   
Order  10/08/2004  69 FR 60311   
Order  10/28/2004  69 FR 62816   
Order on Reconsideration  04/13/2005  70 FR 19330   
Order  06/30/2005  70 FR 37705   
NPRM  12/19/2005  70 FR 75102   
Public Notice  04/26/2006  71 FR 24634   
Order  05/03/2006  71 FR 25967   
NPRM  12/14/2007  72 FR 71099   
Declaratory Ruling  02/01/2008  73 FR 6041   
R&O  07/14/2008  73 FR 40183   
Order on Reconsideration  10/30/2008  73 FR 64556   
NPRM   03/22/2010  75 FR 13471   
R&O  06/11/2012  77 FR 34233   
Public Notice  06/30/2010  75 FR 34244   
Public Notice (Reconsideration Petitions Filed)  10/03/2012  77 FR 60343   
Announcement of Effective Date  10/16/2012  77 FR 63240   
Opposition End Date  10/18/2012 
Rule Corrections  11/08/2012  77 FR 66935   
Declaratory Ruling (release date)  11/29/2012 
Declaratory Ruling (release date)  05/09/2013 
Declaratory Ruling and Order   10/09/2015  80 FR 61129   
NPRM  05/20/2016  81 FR 31889   
Declaratory Ruling  07/05/2016 
R&O  12/00/2016 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: Yes  Government Levels Affected: None 
Small Entities Affected: Businesses, Organizations 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: No 
RIN Information URL: www.fcc.gov/cgb/policy/telemarketing.html  
RIN Data Printed in the FR: Yes 
Agency Contact:
Kristi Thornton
Associate Division Chief
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW,
Washington, DC 20554
Phone:202 418-2467
Email: kristi.thornton@fcc.gov