On February 5, 2020, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) pursuant to section 13(d) of the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act. Section 13(d) requires the FCC to formalize an annual registration process for “a single consortium that conducts private-led efforts to trace back the origin of suspected unlawful robocalls.”

Under the proposed rules, the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau (EB) would be in charge of issuing (no later than April 28 every year) a public notice announcing the registration process, reviewing letters of intent, and selecting the consortium. Letters of intent would, among other things, need to address a potential consortium’s ability to meet the TRACED Act’s neutrality and other requirements under § 13(d)(1). In assessing an applicant’s ability to comply with those statutory requirements, the Commission proposes that the EB lean on the work of the well-known USTelecom Industry Traceback Group. In addition, the NPRM suggests that the EB “heavily weight” applicants’ demonstrated expertise and openness to all types of voice providers. Once selected, the incumbent consortium would not be required to reapply each year and would serve until they notify the FCC otherwise.

Initial comments on the NPRM are due on or before February 24, 2020 and reply comments are due on or before March 2, 2020.