The Czar’s report on the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) order reassessing exemptions pursuant to requirements of Section 8 of the TRACED Act captures the essence of what the Commission did do today (https://tcpaworld.com/2020/12/30/breaking-fcc-issues-ruling-limiting-call-volumes-permitted-under-tcpa-exemptions/).

The Commission did not decide that any of the exemptions that it reviewed were no longer “in the public interest” – a question it had asked in its original Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. In fact, the FCC has now codified the four exemptions relating to calls to residential lines as part of its rules in Part 64.

Acting to address the requirements of Section 8 of the TRACED Act, the Commission also did not make any adjustments to four exemptions applicable to calls made to wireless phones that it considered: package delivery calls, financial institution calls, healthcare provider calls and inmate calling service calls. They already satisfied the TRACED Act requirements.

In addition, the agency did not disturb its 1992 ruling, based on Section 227(b)(1)(A)(iii) of the TCPA, regarding wireless carrier calls to their customers for which they are not charged. The FCC agreed with commenters that the issue fell outside the scope of the TRACED Act’s Section 8 reassessment requirement.

The Commission also concluded that, while imposition of calls limits and opt-out requirements were necessary to address the TRACED Act’s directive for the exemptions relating to calls to residential lines, it did not need to address defining classes of callers or called parties. The TRACED Act requirements already were satisfied.

Finally, the agency did not agree to requests to expand any exemptions.

As for the effective date of the changes, obtaining approval in accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act can take some time, so the effective date will likely be well beyond 6 months.

TCPAWorld will keep you posted on that score.




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