On June 15, 2021, the FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the launch of a beta test for users of the Reassigned Numbers Database it first proposed in June 2017 and voted to create in December 2018. The beta test period will run from July 1, 2021 through September 30, 2021, and it will be provided free of charge to callers and caller agents during this time period.
By participating in the beta test, callers and caller agents will gain a better understanding of their usage needs before purchasing a paid subscription to the database. Beta testers will also be able to provide feedback to the administrator, and the administrator will use this feedback to help determine appropriate subscription tiers and rates for the database when it becomes fully operational.
Once the database is up and running, callers will be able to check the database to determine whether a number has been potentially reassigned to a new subscriber and thus avoid calling consumers who do not wish to receive their calls. Those marketers who use the database to remove reassigned numbers from their list will also qualify for a safe harbor, which was added to the 2018 Order after Commissioners argued that, since the possibility exists the database may be imperfect, callers who incur the costs of scrubbing their lists against it should be shielded from litigation. The ultimate rollout of the database will undoubtedly be a welcome development for businesses that place calls and send text messages based on consent they previously received for those numbers.