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FCC Initiates Proceeding to Create Public Safety Do-Not-Call Registry

Tuesday, May 22, 2012  
Posted by: Chris Nussman
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Today, the FCC initiated a proceeding to create a Do-Not-Call registry for public safety answering points (PSAP) as required by the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012.” Specifically, section 6507 of the Tax Relief Act requires the Commission, among other things, to establish a registry that allows PSAPs to register telephone numbers on a Do-Not-Call list and prohibit the use of automatic dialing or "robocall” equipment to contact those numbers. In addition, the Tax Relief Act establishes a range of monetary penalties for entities that disclose the registered numbers or use automatic dialing equipment to contact a number on the PSAP registry.4 These provisions are designed to address concerns about the use of "automatic dialing equipment,” which can generate large numbers of phone calls in a short period of time, tie up public safety lines, divert critical responder resources away from emergency services and impede access by the public to emergency lines. Because there is a statutory mandate to create such a registry, our focus in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM or Notice) is to obtain the information necessary to implement this mandate consistent with the requirements set forth in the Tax Relief Act.

 In undertaking this proceeding, the FCC seeks to implement the required safeguards to assist the public safety community in a cost-effective manner that will minimize the potential administrative burdens to PSAPs and the calling parties who are subject to these rules. Therefore, the FCC seeks comment on a variety of issues relating to the establishment and ongoing management of the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry, including protecting against the unauthorized disclosure and dissemination of the PSAP numbers included on the registry. The FCC believes the experience gained from the operation of the existing National Do-Not-Call registry for residential telephone numbers provides useful guidance on these issues, and seeks comment, in particular, from interested parties that have experience with that registry.

Download the Notice of Proposed Rule Making.