[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 196 (Friday, October 9, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 61129-61130]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-25682]



47 CFR Part 64

[CG Docket No. 02-278; WC Docket No. 07-35; FCC 15-72]

Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer 
Protection Act of 1991; et al.

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Petitions for Rulemaking, denial and dismissal; declaratory 
ruling; time-limited waivers; exemptions.


SUMMARY: The Commission affirms and further clarifies the requirements 
of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), focusing on consumers' 
rights to stop unwanted robocalls, including both voice calls and text 
messages. The Commission acted in an Omnibus Declaratory Ruling and 
Order (Omnibus Order) in response to 21 petitions for rulemaking, 
clarification, or other action regarding the TCPA or the Commission's 
rules and orders. In addition to denying one petition for rulemaking 
and dismissing another petition for rulemaking, the Omnibus Order took 
a number of actions, including clarifying when certain conduct violates 
the TCPA and providing guidance intended to assist callers in avoiding 
violations and consequent litigation.

DATES: The Omnibus Order was issued on July 10, 2015.

ADDRESSES: The full text of the Omnibus Order is available at https://www.fcc.gov/document/tcpa-omnibus-declaratory-ruling-and-order.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Kristi Lemoine, Consumer Policy 
Division, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Federal 
Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., Washington, DC 20554. 
(202) 418-2467.

    1. The Omnibus Order denied one petition for rulemaking and 
dismisses another petition for rulemaking as both requests were 
subsumed in the declaratory ruling portion of that document. The 
Omnibus Order also addressed a number of requests for clarification or 
other relief.
    2. Petitions for Rulemaking. The Professional Association for 
Customer Engagement (PACE) filed a Petition for Expedited Declaratory 
Ruling and/or Expedited Rulemaking, and ACA International filed a 
Petition for Rulemaking. PACE's petition was addressed on its merits as 
a Petition for Declaratory Ruling and its Petition for Expedited 
Rulemaking was therefore dismissed. In the Omnibus Order the Commission 
provided clarification regarding the issues raised by ACA and therefore 
its petition was denied.
    3. Requests for Clarification or Other Action. The Omnibus Order 
also addressed separate requests for clarification or other action 
regarding the TCPA or the Commission's rules and orders implementing 
the TCPA. The full text of the Omnibus Order is available at https://www.fcc.gov/document/tcpa-omnibus-declaratory-ruling-and-order.
    4. The Commission strengthened the core protections of the TCPA by 
confirming that:
    [cir] Callers cannot avoid obtaining consumer consent for a 
robocall simply because they are not ``currently'' or ``presently'' 
dialing random or sequential phone numbers;
    [cir] Simply being on an acquaintance's phone contact list does not 
amount to consent to receive robocalls from third-party applications 
downloaded by the acquaintance;
    [cir] Callers are liable for robocalls to reassigned wireless 
numbers when the current subscriber to or customary user of the number 
has not consented, subject to a limited, one-call exception for cases 
in which the caller does not have actual or constructive knowledge of 
the reassignment;
    [cir] Internet-to-phone text messages require consumer consent; and
    [cir] Text messages are ``calls'' subject to the TCPA, as 
previously determined by the Commission.
    [cir] The Commission also empowered consumers to stop unwanted 
calls by confirming that:
    [cir] Consumers may revoke consent at any time and through any 
reasonable means; and
    [cir] Nothing in the Communications Act or the Commission's 
implementing rules prohibits carriers or Voice over Internet Protocol 
providers from implementing consumer-initiated call-blocking technology 
that can help consumers stop unwanted robocalls.
    5. Finally, the Commission recognized the legitimate interests of 
callers by:
    [cir] Clarifying that application providers that play a minimal 
role in sending text messages are not per se liable for unwanted 

[[Page 61130]]

    [cir] Clarifying that when collect-call services provide consumers 
with valuable call set-up information, those providers are not liable 
for making unwanted robocalls;
    [cir] Clarifying that ``on demand'' text messages sent in response 
to a consumer request are not subject to TCPA liability;
    [cir] Waiving the Commission's 2012 ``prior express written 
consent'' rule for certain parties for a limited period of time to 
allow them to obtain updated consent;
    [cir] Exempting certain free, pro-consumer financial- and 
healthcare-related messages from the consumer-consent requirement, 
subject to strict conditions and limitations to protect consumer 
privacy; and
    [cir] Providing and reiterating guidance regarding the TCPA and the 
Commission's rules, empowering callers to mitigate litigation through 
compliance and dispose of litigation quickly where they have complied.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
[FR Doc. 2015-25682 Filed 10-8-15; 8:45 am]