In response to concerns raised by a number of U.S. senators over the TCPA, FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, recently stated that the FCC would reconsider important issues under the TCPA in light of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia decision striking down much of the agency’s 2015 TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order.
Specifically, in ACA International v. FCC, et al., the Court set aside the FCC’s interpretive rulings in the 2015 TCPA Declaratory Ruling and Order regarding: (i) the types of equipment qualifying as an automatic telephone dialing system (ATDS); and (ii) the treatment of calls made to a phone number reassigned from a consenting person to a person who has not given consent. The senators wrote letters requesting that the FCC take action to clarify these issues. Chairman Pai’s responses informed the senators that the FCC was already reviewing comments on the definition of an ATDS, the treatment of calls to reassigned numbers, and the scope of a consumer’s right to revoke prior express consent to receive robocalls. Chairman Pai also wrote that the FCC sought renewed comment on reconsidering the 2016 Federal Debt Collection Rules.
Chairman Pai explained in his letters that illegal robocalls were consumers’ top complaint to the FCC. He further indicated that the FCC has made combating illegal robocalls its top consumer protection priority and that the FCC would establish robust consumer protections in line with federal law.