In Breda v. Cellco Partnership d/b/a Verizon Wireless, the First Circuit Court of Appeals determined that the TCPA’s provisions covered the plaintiff’s claim even though the telephone number where the plaintiff received the call was assigned to a hybrid, VoIP and cellular, telephone service and the number was categorized as a wireline number in the Neustar numbering portal.  In this case, the plaintiff alleged that Verizon Wireless violated the TCPA when it made repeated automated calls to plaintiff’s phone number.  Verizon Wireless initially assigned the phone number at issue to plaintiff when she was a customer of the company but the customer later ported the number over to a reseller, Republic Wireless, that offered hybrid phone service.  Since Republic did not have authority to port numbers, plaintiff’s number was ported to Bandwidth, an entity that had authority to provide wireline numbers, and plaintiff’s number was listed as such in the database.

The lower court granted summary judgement in favor of Verizon’s argument that plaintiff’s number is not “assigned to a . . . cellular telephone service” as required by the TCPA because the service was not exclusively cellular.  The First Circuit disagreed and found that a service did not have to be exclusively cellular to satisfy the terms of the TCPA, there just has to be a cellular component. In addition, to determine if a number is “assigned to” cellular, the consideration is whether the number was used in connection with that kind of service. As a result, the circuit court reversed the lower court’s summary judgment finding.