FCC Introduces Proposal Aimed at Protecting PSAPs from Autodialed Calls
Monday, September 20, 2021 | Comments

The FCC introduced a further notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) that would take steps to prevent public-safety answering points (PSAPs) from receiving autodialed calls.

In 2012, as required by the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act, the FCC adopted rules establishing a “do-not-call” registry for telephone numbers used by PSAPs and prohibiting autodialed equipment from contacting those numbers. At the time, the FCC noted that there were still several aspects of the registry that needed to be addressed.

For example, it was determined that granting callers access to a potential trove of PSAP telephone numbers as the method to prevent autodialed calls to those numbers, without thorough vetting of registry users, could make disruptive robocalling to PSAPs easier instead of harder.

Because of those concerns the new NPRM from the FCC is intended to reassess its approach to the PSAP do-not-call registry by limiting access to the registry to voice service providers who would be responsible for blocking autodialed calls from going to those numbers.

Additionally, the NPRM would seek comment on which autodialed calls and text messages are still a problem for PSAPs, including if there has been a significant change due to technological evolutions.

The NPRM would also seek comment on the potential security risks of housing registered PSAP numbers into a centralized database and granting those numbers to callers who say they are trying to comply with the rules, as well as comment on whether and how to develop stronger security controls for the PSAP registry. Finally, the NPRM would seek broad comments on ways to protect PSAPs from autodialed calls and other cyber attacks.

The FCC will consider the NPRM at its September 30 meeting. Find the full text of the proposal here.

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