FCC Opens Proceeding to Expand Do-Not-Call Registry

As required by a recent act of Congress, the FCC opened a proceeding to create a Do-Not-Call registry to allow public safety answering points (“PSAPs”) to register telephone numbers associated with the provision of their emergency telephone services. Once the registry is established, telemarketers would be prohibited from using automatic telephone dialing systems to place calls to these numbers and from delivering prerecorded calls to these numbers.

Under the new legislation, PSAPs would be permitted to register all 911 trunks and other lines used for the provision of emergency services” in the do-not-call database. The Commission proposes to allow both primary PSAPs and secondary (overflow) PSAPs to register numbers in the database. The Commission also asks for comment on the most efficient way to establish the registry, including ways the registry could be coordinated with the National Do-Not-Call registry for residential telephone numbers.

The NPRM also seeks comment on various enforcement provisions related to the new registry. The legislation requires the Commission to establish monetary penalties of not less than $100,000 per incident nor more than $1 million per incident” for disclosure of the numbers in the registry and between $10,000 and $100,000 per call made in violation of the do-not-call restriction. Further, similar to the finding it made with respect to the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (“CVAA”), the Commission asks whether it may proceed against non-licensees directly, without first issuing citations that are otherwise required under the Communications Act.

Comments will be due 30 days from publication of the NPRM in the Federal Register, with reply comments due 45 days from FR publication.