The Federal Communications Commission is now actively considering whether to remove the current five-year registration period for telephone numbers on the National Do-Not- Call Registry. Under the FCC’s proposal, telemarketers would be required to honor registrations until they are (1) cancelled by the consumer, or (2) removed by the Registry administrator due to a disconnection or reassignment of the telephone number.

The proposal is consistent with the Federal Trade Commission’s recent indication that it will not remove telephone numbers from the registry at the end of the five-year period while congressional or agency action on the subject is pending. The FCC’s proposed rules also are consistent with pending legislation that would amend the provisions of the Do-Not-Call Implementation Act regarding the automatic expiration of telephone number registrations.

As a general matter, most of the comments filed on the FCC’s proposal were supportive of the elimination of the five-year registration period, provided that measures are implemented to ensure the continued accuracy of the registry. But a number of key parties also contended that any elimination of the five-year registration period should apply only to the national registry and not extend to companyspecific do-not-call lists. Several parties also urged the FCC to address the lingering preemption issues before it.

It is not clear when the FCC will act on its proposal, but it is conceivable that the FCC would do so in the very near term.

A copy of the FCC’s proposal can be found here.