Senator Markey Calls on the FCC to Establish Robust Protections Against Unwanted Robocalls and Robotexts

Senator Markey is the House author of the TCPA


Washington (May 14, 2018) –  The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today circulated a Public Notice seeking comment on the interpretation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in light of a recent decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, which struck down portions of a 2015 FCC rulemaking. The Public Notice calls for an appropriate definition of “automated dialer systems”, which are technologies that can be used to rapidly call and text large groups of consumers. Under the TCPA, calling parties must first receive affirmative op-in consent from consumers before using these technologies to call and text consumers. Further, the Public Notice seeks comment on protections needed to ensure consumers have reasonable means to revoke consent and the measures needed to protect consumers with reassigned numbers who may be receiving unwanted calls and texts because the previous holder of the phone number, not the current holder, provided consent. The Public Notice also requests comment on reconsidering the Broadnet et. al Declaratory Ruling, which formally exempts government contractors from the TCPA, and consumer protections restricting federal debt collectors from robocalling or robotexting consumers.


“The intent and letter of the law is clear: consumers should not be subject to intrusive and unsolicited robocalls and robotexts,” said Senator Markey. “It is the FCC’s statutory obligation to ensure that consumers can preserve the precious zone of privacy created by the TCPA. That means affirmative user consent before using automated dialing equipment; the right to revoke consent; and stopping unwanted calls and texts to reassigned numbers. 


“Further, the FCC must ensure the federal government and its contractors adhere to these fundamental protections, and finally adopt rules that protect consumers from federal debt collector calls.”


In April, Senator Markey led a group of 15 Senators in calling for the FCC to establish protections for consumers from unwanted and harassing robocalls and robotexts in light of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision.