July 16, 2015
On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission issued a 138-page Declaratory Ruling and Order approving nearly two dozen proposals to the rules and regulations implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), including several controversial revisions. Opponents of the new rules believe they will expand, rather than reign-in, the increasing number of lawsuits filed under the Act. Between 2008 and 2014, the number of TCPA lawsuits jumped from 14 to 1,908. Many believe that implementation of the newly-adopted FCC rules will cause that number to escalate significantly.

The new rules include a number of technical changes, but the change that may be the most detrimental to businesses is the imposition of strict liability on companies that call or text a mobile number that has been reassigned. Under the new rules, businesses are “liable for robocalls to reassigned wireless numbers when the current subscriber to or customary user of the number has not consented.” It is estimated that 37 million cell numbers are reassigned every year, and marketplace solutions for confirming such reassignments are virtually non-existent.

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