The Federal Communications Commission issued Cease and Desist Letters (C&D) to two telecommunications companies earlier this month.
The C&Ds were sent to Great Choice Telecom LLC and Telecom Carrier Access, Inc. dba TCA VoIP. The substance of the letters is typical of recent FCC C&Ds that allege that the companies have transmitted “illegal robocalls on behalf of one or more of its clients” and list the calls and their dates and times.
The C&D recipients were directed to implement measures within 48 hours to effectively mitigate illegal traffic. First, they must investigate the calls and “cease transmitting such traffic immediately and take steps to prevent [their] network from continuing to be a source of apparently illegal robocalls.” Second, they must inform both the FCC and the Industry Traceback Group of the steps taken to mitigate the identified apparent traffic. Within 14 days of receiving the letter, they must provide the FCC with information on how they are preventing customers from using their network to transmit illegal robocalls.
Consequences are significant for not meeting the C&Ds requirements. Downstream voice service providers will be informed by the FCC that they may block all calls from the voice service provider.
C&D letters, and the accompanying tight windows for remedy, can be very unsettling for voice service providers. Therefore, proper vetting procedures ought to be formulated and carried out. Before you receive one of these letters, remember IMP:
IMPlement measures to correct detected deficiencies.
- Identify gaps in new client onboarding.
- Maintain thorough new client due diligence.
- Probe consumer and carrier complaints.
*Alex Walker contributed to this post
Michele is the Managing Partner at M&S and former Chief of the Ohio Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Section. Bringing more than two decades of experience in the consumer protection arena, she advises highly regulated businesses on a wide range of telemarketing, privacy, and other consumer protection matters.