FCC Adopts New Rules to Curb Unwanted Calls to Consumers

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The FCC has adopted a Second Report and Order which establishes a telephone number database designed to reduce the number of unwanted phone calls across the United States. Today, when American consumers switch telephone numbers, their old telephone numbers are recycled and assigned to new individuals, companies or organizations. This number reassignment process leads to holders of the old numbers receiving unwanted telephone calls intended for the prior number holder. The new rules establish a single, comprehensive database with information provided by telephone companies that callers will be able to use to avoid calling reassigned numbers. Once the database is created, callers using the database will be able to find out if targeted telephone numbers have been reassigned. Callers, after checking the database, can then purge select telephone numbers from their call lists. Additionally, the new rules create a “safe harbor” in the event that callers utilize the database but rely on database errors.

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