FCC to Vote on Reassigned Number Database

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today announced that the FCC will vote at its upcoming December 12 meeting to create a database of phone numbers that have been relinquished by one individual and reassigned to another individual, something that the American Bankers Association has long called for. Pai said the FCC would seek to “establish a single, comprehensive database of reassigned numbers based on information provided by phone companies.”

Under existing case law and the FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act regulations — prior to being struck down by a federal appellate court last March — a bank or other company is liable for a call made in good faith to a party who has consented to receive the call but whose telephone number has been reassigned to another consumer, unbeknownst to the caller.

Pai added that the FCC would also vote on a draft declaratory ruling that would permit telephone companies to continue to apply filtering measures to block messages that are likely spam. Pai explained that as a result of existing filtering practices, the spam rate for SMS texts is estimated at only 2.8 percent.