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FCC Delays Implementation of Recycled Number Database Until 2020

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In December 2018, the FCC announced a plan to create a reassigned number database. Callers would be able to scrub their number lists against this database in order to remove any numbers that have been reassigned to new users, thus decreasing the possibility of incurring Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) violations by calling these new users. Additionally, there would be a safeharbor as long as callers conduct scrubs from the database every 30 days. This database was scheduled to be available sometime this year but delays have plagued the process.

Last week, the commission announced that the organization responsible for handling the technical aspects of the implementation of this project would need an extension until at least January 2020 to deliver their recommendations to the commission. The group, the North American Numbering Council’s (NANC) Numbering Administration Oversight Working Group, had previously been scheduled to deliver these recommendations in June of this year. This extension is the second that they have received.

NANC claims the extension is needed because the work, which involves technical analysis and setting the price structure, has been more difficult than anticipated. They are also facing some resistance from some vendors necessary to the project. NANC had asked for an extension until April 2020—likely putting the final, public implementation of the database sometime in the autumn of next year—but the FCC only granted the extension until January, writing, "“We are mindful of the need to establish an operational database as soon as possible and believe that this is sufficient time for the remaining work to be completed.”