Joint-Trade Letter Urges FCC to Protect Lawful Calls, Vote Expected Today

Ten trade groups last week sent a letter urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to seek feedback before moving forward on its proposal to allow telephone companies to block unwanted calls.

The FCC’s draft declaratory ruling which is expected to be voted on during today’s meeting would permit voice service providers to enroll customers automatically in a call-blocking program that is “based on any reasonable analytics designed to identify unwanted calls.” The ability for customers to opt out of the program would be required. If adopted, the ruling would be effective immediately.

The trade associations expressed concern that legitimate bank calls are currently being incorrectly labeled as spam or nuisance and may be blocked under the declaratory ruling. “Public safety alerts, fraud alerts, data security breach notifications, product recall notices, healthcare and prescription reminders and power outage updates all could be inadvertently blocked under the draft declaratory order, among other time-sensitive calls,” the groups said.

The trade groups that signed the letter were CUNA, the American Bankers Association, ACA International, American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, American Financial Services Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Independent Community Bankers of America, Mortgage Bankers Association and National Retail Federation and NAFCU.