DC Circuit Issues TCPA Ruling

On Friday, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued its long-awaited opinion on the consolidated appeal of the FCC’s 2015 Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Declaratory Ruling and Order regarding autodialed and/or prerecorded voice calls and text messages (“robocalls”). A three-judge appellate panel struck down the Commission’s broad interpretation of what constitutes an “autodialer” subject to the TCPA restrictions and the “one call” safe harbor for robocalls to numbers that have been reassigned to new subscribers who did not consent to receive them. The panel upheld the requirement that consumers can revoke their consent to receive robocalls through any reasonable means, as well as an exemption for certain healthcare-related robocalls. The focus now shifts back to the FCC to reconsider its prior rulings. As we previously reported (Vol. XV, Issue 11), the FCC will consider a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking regarding robocalls to phone numbers that have been reassigned at its Open Meeting this Thursday. For more information, please contact Tracy Marshall (marshall@khlaw.com; 202.434.4234).

House Energy and Commerce Committee Hearing

On March 22, the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology will hold a hearing to consider four bills. Of note is the Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Access Act. H.R. 2903, the Rural Reasonable and Comparable Wireless Access Act, directs the FCC to promulgate rules to establish a national standard for determining “whether commercial mobile service, commercial mobile data service, and broadband internet access service available in rural areas are reasonably comparable to those services provided in urban areas.” For more information, please contact Kathleen Slattery (slattery@khlaw.com; 202.434.4244).

World Radio Conference 2019

Last week, the Commission announced that it was re-chartering its World Radiocommunication Conference Advisory Committee for the 2019 World Radio Conference (WRC-19). The Committee will provide advice, technical support, and recommended proposals for WRC-19. The Commission is soliciting applications for membership on the Committee. The new charter will become effective April 6, 2018 for a two-year term. David Redl, head of NTIA, discussed WRC-19 in a speech last week, stating that satellite issues will be some of the key regulatory issues addressed. For more information, please contact Wes Wright (wright@khlaw.com; 202.434.4239).

FCC Corrects WEA Order Effective Dates

The FCC announced in the Federal Register a correction to the effective dates in the Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) Order. Amendments to §§ 10.10 and 10.210 are effective April 30, 2018 and amendments to §§ 10.450 and 10.500 are effective November 30, 2019. The amendment to § 10.240 will not be effective until approved by OMB. As we previously reported in (Volume XV, Issue 6), the FCC adopted rules that improved the accuracy of how participating CMS providers transmit alert messages to specified target areas. The WEA main rules take effect April 30, 2018. For more information, please contact Albert Catalano (Catalano@khlaw.com 202.434.4207).