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FCC Issues Declaratory Ruling That Click-to-Text Is Not an ATDS

4 people stand in front of an orange wall, looking at their smartphones

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Declaratory Ruling holding that click-to-text platforms will not be considered to be Automatic Telephone Dialing Systems (ATDS) if the phone number is manually added each time.

This ruling is in response to a May 2018 petition from from P2P Alliance. It affirms that a peer-to-peer texting platform that meets the specification of requiring the phone number to be manually entered would not be subject to the TCPA’s restrictions on autodialers:

“if a texting platform actually ‘requires a person to actively and affirmatively manually dial each recipient’s number and transmit each message one at a time’ and lacks the capacity to transmit more than one message without a human manually dialing each recipient’s number, as suggested in the P2P Alliance Petition, then such platform would not be an ‘autodialer’ that is subject to the TCPA.”

As text message marketing is both a growing share of telemarketing activities and one of the less well defined areas of regulation, this Declaratory Ruling provides a welcome clarification.