The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
The FCC issued its largest-ever Forfeiture Order for robocalling violations. The $2.96 million forfeiture was issued to Travel Club Marketing, Inc., its related companies, and the companies’ owner. The FCC alleges that the company made or initiated at least 185 “robocalls,” all of which were unsolicited, prerecorded advertising calls, to 142 consumers. These consumers never gave their prior express consent to receive advertisements from the company and the majority of them had placed their telephone number on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. The calls were made to residential and cell phone lines promoting travel deals, free vacations, and time-shares.
Robocall/Caller ID Spoofing Workshop
Separately, the FCC announced it will host a Robocall and Caller ID Spoofing Workshop on Wednesday, September 16, 2015. The workshop will examine the current state of robocall-blocking solutions, steps industry is taking to protect consumers from unwanted robocalls, and potential solutions to caller ID spoofing. The workshop will be an all-day event with panelists representing service providers, developers of call-blocking solutions, consumer groups, and others. The workshop will be streamed live on the FCC website. The full agenda will be available in the coming weeks. The FCC recently revised its robocall rules. See TMI’s Blog “FCC Acts on Robocalls,” dated 6/22/15. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 7/21/15.
A new law in Illinois will make changes to the 911 surcharge and the ITAC (TRS) charge. Effective October 1, 2015, the prepaid wireless 911 surcharge will increase to 3% per retail transaction in all areas of the state other than Chicago. Effective January 1, 2016, a new, statewide 911 surcharge of $0.87 per network connection will replace the current municipally-set wireline/VoIP and wireless charges in all areas of the state other than Chicago. Effective June 1, 2016, wireless providers and sellers of prepaid wireless service will be required to collect the ITAC surcharge. TMI Regulatory Bulletin Service subscribers see Bulletin dated 7/31/15.