Clarify the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, Senators Urge FCC

by: The Knowledge Group

August 07, 2018


The U.S. Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) was enacted before the cell phones of today. Is it restricting our use of them unduly? Are U.S. Senators helping businesses and their customers by writing to the FCC for clarification on the Act?

Here’s the nutshell.

Clarification Sought by Senators


U.S. Senators—first Democrats, then a group of seven Republicans—have written to Federal Communications Commission asking Chair Ajit Pai to clarify the current status and effect of the TCPA, codified at 47 U.S.C. § 227, in the wake of ACA International, et al., v. Federal Communications Commission, 885 F.3d 687 (D.C. Cir. 2018).

The Democrats want assurance that customers may revoke consent they inadvertently gave companies to call and text them.

Republicans want the FCC to maintain that random number generators define an “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” (ATDS) that the TCPA restricts; they say the TCPA was never meant to shut off “normal, expected or desired” business-to-consumer communication. In ACA International, the D.C. Circuit court leaned to the view that good-faith automatic calls to consumers shouldn’t be impeded. Now, the Republican letter asks for the FCC to clearly define an ATDS so that businesses can know where they stand when transmitting automated information to customers.

Keeping Your Telemarketing Strategy in Compliance


The TCPA and other federal and state laws can involve businesses in liability risks, including those who communicate to the public through marketers. TCPA damages are $500 per text or call and can run up to $1,500 for willful and knowing violations.

Businesses should also be aware of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, which maintains a national Do Not Call registry. There are also state-specific no-call registries.

The Knowledge Group is dedicated to providing high-quality continuing education offerings that examine industry trends, legislative and regulatory shifts, and the state of case law in telecommunications and other fields. We offer insights to businesses regarding compliance when messaging customers and the public. For example, you may download Mobile Market in Communications: Are Your Businesses TCPA-Compliant ($99.00 – 2.0 Credit Hours) from our comprehensive library of webcasts.

We hope you can join us for an upcoming webcast reviewing the latest in TCPA compliance, it will be streaming live on August 31st but a recording will be made available if you are not able to attend.  You can find the full details by clicking here, this webcast will be eligible for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) credit.