NEWS28 June 2012

FCC proposes do-not-call registry of emergency numbers

Government North America

US— The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has proposed regulations to implement a new do-not-call registry of emergency service provider numbers which anyone using an autodialler would have to filter out.

The Marketing Research Association (MRA) has flagged this as “a new compliance burden” for telephone survey research, although the industry does currently have to comply with a similar provision in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), which forbids any form of automated dialling to any emergency telephone line.

In formulating a response to the FCC proposals, the MRA is asking research agencies to explain how they currently comply with the TCPA provision. The association has already objected to the idea that the FCC should run its own registry along similar lines to the existing do-not-call registry for telemarketing, which survey and opinion researchers aren’t subject to.

The FCC estimates that tens of thousands of telephone numbers will be covered by its specialised registry, including “the telephone numbers of all 911 trunks and other lines used for the provision of emergency services to the public or for communication between public safety agencies”.

“MRA aims to inform the FCC that these rules will have a major impact on telephone survey research and the hundreds of research companies around the country and that the rules must be carefully crafted,” said Howard Fienberg, the association’s director of government affairs, writing in a blog post. “But we can only advocate the research profession’s position effectively if we get your feedback.”