There have been several recent developments at the FCC related to the TCPA which will impact mobile marketers, telemarketers, and any company using SMS.

First, the effective dates of the rule changes announced in the FCC’s February 2012 TCPA order have been set. The remaining rules go into effect as follows:

  • The abandoned call limits go into effect on November 15, 2012.
  • The requirement to have an immediate opt-out option goes into effect January 14, 2013.
  • The requirement of prior written express consent for prerecorded calls goes into effect October 16, 2013.

The FCC’s February 2012 TCPA Order is available here. Arent Fox’s client alert on the FCC’s February 2012 TCPA Order is available here. The Federal Register publication of the effective dates of the rules is here.

Second, the FCC has again asked for comment on several petitions to clarify aspects of the TCPA. The petitions seek clarification as follows:

  • The first petition asks the commission to clarify the applicability of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the commission’s related rules to the use of operator supervised prerecorded call segments. This technology enables agents to interact with the recipient of a call by speaking or by pressing a button to substitute an appropriate audio recording of a response.
  • Communication Innovators asks the commission to clarify that predictive dialers that are not used for telemarketing purposes and do not have the current ability to generate and dial random or sequential numbers are not “automatic telephone dialing systems” as defined by the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the commission’s related rules.
  • The Cargo Airline Association asks the commission to clarify that package delivery companies can rely upon representations from senders that the package recipient consents to receiving autodialed and prerecorded calls to a wireless telephone number for purposes of notifications regarding shipment of the package. CAA asks the commission, in the alternative, to declare that package delivery notifications are exempt from the TCPA’s requirement to obtain prior express consent before making autodialed or prerecorded calls to a wireless telephone number.

Comments on these petitions are due November 15, 2012 and reply comments are due November 30, 2012.