Welcome to the next edition of Venable's Telecommunications Industry News. This monthly newsletter will feature insights from our Telecommunications Practice Group on the latest issues affecting the wireless, telecommunications and space industries.
FCC Proposes Codifying New TCPA Consent Rules in Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking intending to strengthen consumers' ability to revoke consent to receive both robocalls and robotexts, in addition to strengthening callers'/texters' obligations to honor such requests in a timely manner.
Florida Limits Its Telemarketing Law, but Other State Laws Continue to Gain Traction
Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the much-anticipated amendment to the Florida Telemarketing Solicitation Act (FTSA) into law, significantly limiting the ability of private plaintiffs to file telemarketing lawsuits under the FTSA. While this will undoubtedly stem the tide of lawsuits under Florida’s law, class action plaintiffs’ attorneys have wasted no time in finding new states to file suit.
FCC Continues Slow March Toward Broader Acceptance of Ultra-Wideband Technologies
Late last month, the Federal Communications Commission's Office of Engineering & Technology (OET) granted Schlage Lock Company LLC a waiver of the Part 15 rules to market an ultra-wideband (UWB) device. This is the first UWB waiver granted this year, but it continues a nearly two-decade movement toward broadening the allowable uses for the technology, with nearly twenty waivers granted.
FCC Levies $5 Million Fine for Political Calling Campaign That Violated the TCPA
As part of a broader campaign to go after "robocall" violations, the FCC has announced a $5,134,500 fine against a company and its owners for making 1,141 robocalls in 2020 that violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The company told recipients of the robocalls that if they voted by mail, their personal information would "be part of a public database that will be used by police departments to track down old warrants and be used by credit card companies to collect outstanding debts." The case is a strong reminder that political calling campaigns are also subject to the TCPA.
FCC Proposes Rules for Ongoing Review of International Section 214 Authorizations
The FCC plans to exercise more regulatory oversight over entities that have the authority to provide communications between the United States and foreign countries. These "International 214" authorization holders traditionally have not been subject to aggressive agency oversight, but the agency appears to be changing course as part of a broader U.S. government policy of tightening oversight over the actions of foreign governments and actors who may pose a national security threat.
Florida Adopts Changes to the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act
Last month, Florida governor Ron DeSantis signed into law amendments to the Florida Telephone Solicitation Act that scale back the scope and reach of the statute, bringing it in line with federal TCPA standards and providing needed comfort to good faith marketing companies operating in Florida.
Telemarketing and Texting 2.0: A Regulatory Refresher and Federal and State Updates
With emerging state laws and increasing activity by regulators, organizations that use telephone calls or text messaging to contact customers and prospects must remain vigilant. The Federal Communications Commission and Federal Trade Commission are tightening requirements for lead generators, and state laws have offered class action plaintiffs new ways to file challenges (in addition to the steady stream of lawsuits filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act). At the same time, companies are finding relief, including Florida’s recent amendment to its telemarketing law. Although the laws and regulations governing telemarketing have changed significantly, many basic principles remain constant.