Senators Markey and Thune Applaud FCC for Initiating Rulemaking to Explore Solutions to Unwanted Robocalls and Robotexts

Senators previously sent a letter calling on the FCC to create and make available a database of reassigned telephone numbers

March 22, 2018

Washington – U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), author of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, commended the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for exploring solutions to unwanted robocalls and robotexts by creating and making available to callers a comprehensive database of reassigned telephone numbers. Today, the FCC approved a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to address the problem of unwanted calls to reassigned numbers. Phone numbers could be added to a database when a user changes or relinquishes their phone number. This information could help callers avoid sending unwanted robocalls and robotexts to consumers who have reassigned numbers.  Periodically, consumers receive unwanted robocalls and robotexts because the previous holder, not the current holder, of the phone number provided consent.

Sens. Markey and Thune provided the following joint statement on the FCC's action: 

“We applaud the FCC for exploring opportunities to reduce unwanted robocalls and robotexts, and we strongly encourage the Commission to provide consumers and businesses the much-needed relief they deserve by addressing issues associated with reassigned numbers. Not only are these calls and texts to reassigned numbers a nuisance to consumers, but they also can create liabilities for calling parties trying to contact Americans anticipating calls.”  

Last year, Sens. Thune and Markey sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai encouraging the commission to proceed with a rulemaking that creates and makes available a comprehensive database of reassigned telephone numbers.