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M&S and PACE Respond to FCC Declaratory Ruling on Robocalls

Serving as General Counsel to the Professional Association for Customer Engagement (“PACE”), M&S filed a letter this week with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) regarding its recently released Declaratory Ruling and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. If implemented, the Ruling would allow phone companies to automatically block robocalls to their customers, and would also create a safe harbor for calls that are blocked because they are not authenticated under the SHAKEN/STIR framework.

In its letter, PACE encourages the FCC to delay the Declaratory Ruling until the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking process is completed, or in the alternative to:

  1.  Provide guidance as to how carriers should distinguish between wanted and unwanted calls,
  2.  Take appropriate steps to ensure that there are uniform nationwide standards that allow callers to know whether carriers will block their lawful calls,
  3.  Require carriers to have suitable tools to mitigate against and remediate blocking calls from lawful callers, and
  4.  Make clear carriers must provide all consumers with comprehensive disclosures describing
    • the call types being blocked by the carrier,
    • how the carrier distinguishes between wanted and unwanted calls, and
    • the likelihood the carrier’s methodology will inadvertently block wanted calls.

PACE’s letter can be viewed in its entirety here.

The proposed Declaratory Ruling will be considered at the June 6th Open Commission Meeting. Additionally, a SHAKEN/STIR Robocall Summit will be held on July 11th. We will continue to follow this closely and keep you updated on relevant developments.

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.

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