In December of last year, our TCPA Monitor reported on the FCC’s intent to develop a single, comprehensive reassigned numbers database to enable callers to verify the status and ownership of phone numbers. Yesterday, intent became action as the FCC issued its final rule and order creating their proposed reassigned numbers database as a part of their Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls initiative.
The official text of the rule establishes a comprehensive reassigned numbers database which will contain the most recent permanent disconnection dates for all toll free numbers and all numbers issued and serviced by providers in North America. Additionally, there will be a minimum 45 day cooling off period required between the date a number is disconnected from one consumer and the date it is reassigned to another.
Not only will this database provide additional protection to consumers with reassigned numbers from receiving unwanted marketing calls, it will also help callers avoid accidentally placing calls to numbers for which they had previously received consent to call prior to the number being reassigned. The FCC has incentivized the use of the database by offering a safe harbor from liability for callers who have relied on inaccurate information they received from the database. The rule is technically effective immediately, however, the FCC will publish an official compliance date when the database and its administrator are ready to begin their work.