New York Proposal to Combat RobocallsGovernor Cuomo announced the 17th proposal of his 2020 State of the State Agenda - a comprehensive proposal to fight incessant robocalls or nuisance calls. The legislation will require telecommunications companies to deploy technology that allows customers to block suspected robocalls. As technology improves to identify and stop these nuisance calls, or robocallers try to find new ways to circumvent these efforts, telecom companies will be required to update their blocking technology to protect their consumers. The proposal will also require providers to quickly adopt widely available technology that warns consumers about potential robocalls and scams, including those not originating from New York numbers. The proposal would also ramp up financial penalties against companies who do not comply with New York's "Do Not Call Law."
"New Yorkers pay good money for their phone service but are still being hounded by millions of robocalls every day. With this measure, we're saying to telecom companies - get off the sidelines and stop transmitting these harassing calls to your customers or we will hold you accountable," Governor Cuomo said. "Illegal robocallers will not be let off the hook either, and we are stepping up enforcement and doubling fines against anyone who violates New York's 'Do Not Call' Law."
The Regulatory Mix Today: New York Proposal to Combat Robocalls, FCC Lifeline Rules Published, FCC Increases Forfeiture Penalties
FCC Lifeline Rules Published
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC)’s order revising its Lifeline rules and seeking comment on further rule changes was published in the Federal Register. The revised rules will generally take effect January 27, 2020. However, the rule prohibiting eligible telecommunications carriers (ETCs) from paying commissions to sales representatives will take effect on February 25, 2020, and the rules requiring those representatives to register with USAC will take effect March 26, 2020. Comments on the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking are due January 27, 2020; reply comments are due February 25, 2020. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefings dated 1/3/2020 and 11/22/2019.
FCC Increases Forfeiture Penalties
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced increased monetary penalties for certain violations of the Communications Act (Act) and FCC rules. The penalty under §503(b)(2)(B) of the Act for violation of the Act or an FCC rule will increase from $201,340 per violation or each day of a continuing violation to $204,892 per violation or each day of a continuing violation. The maximum forfeiture for any single act or failure to act will increase from $2,013,399 to $2,048,915. The new levels apply to penalties assessed on and after January 15, 2020, including penalties whose associated violation predated the increase. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefings dated 1/2/2020.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.