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 Briefing.
The FTC released its biennial report to Congress on the use of the Do Not Call Registry by both consumers and businesses over the past two years. According to the report, as of September 30, 2015, the National Do Not Call Registry had more than 222 million active registrations, an increase of more than 4.9 million registrations from the previous fiscal year. Over 23,000 sellers, telemarketers, and exempt organizations subscribed to access the Registry. In FY 2015, 2,504 businesses and other entities paid Registry access fees totaling more than $13.3 million. Another 20,596 entities accessed the Registry without paying a fee because they access five or fewer area codes or are a charity. Similar numbers of entities utilized the Registry in FY 2014 and paid access fees of more than $13.5 million. The report addresses: 1) the impact of the five-year re-registration requirement which was eliminated in 2007; 2) how the FTC is responding to new technologies that have increased the number of illegal telemarketing calls made to numbers on the Registry; 3) issues regarding number portability and abandoned telephone numbers; and 4) the impact of the established business relationship exception on consumers and businesses.
The House Subcommittee on Communications and Technology announced a legislative hearing for January 12, 2016, entitled, “A Legislative Hearing on Four Communications Bills.” The Subcommittee will review the following bills:
- H.R. 2666, the No Rate Regulation of Broadband Internet Access Act, which would prevent the FCC from regulating the rates charged for broadband Internet.
- H.R. 2669, the Anti-Spoofing Act, which would extend the provisions of the Truth in Caller ID Act of 2009 to text messaging. The legislation also addresses the growth of services that allows a user to knowingly transmit misleading or inaccurate caller identification information by adding a definition of “spoofing service,” to the Truth in Caller ID Act.
- H.R. ____, the Small Business Broadband Deployment Act, which would make permanent the FCC’s temporary exemption from the enhanced disclosure rules for small businesses required by the commission’s Open Internet Order. The bill also defines a small business as any provider of broadband Internet access service that has fewer than 1,500 employees, or 500,000 subscribers; and
- H.R. 1301, the Amateur Radio Parity Act, which would instruct the FCC to adopt rules to protect the rights of amateur radio operators to use amateur radio equipment.