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Webinar Recap: Exploring FCC's Proposed Regulations on Text Messages and Lead Generation

The entrance to the FCC offices in Washington, D.C.

We recently hosted a webinar entitled Exploring FCCs Proposed Regulations on Text Messages and Lead Generation, moderated by Contact Center Compliance’s Chief Product Officer, Isaac Shloss. Our guest—Eric J. Troutman, Czar of TCPAWorld—thoroughly explained the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) new proposed rules on text message blocking and lead generation. If implemented, these rules could fundamentally reshape entire industries and Eric explored all the possible consequences.

This particular instance FCC rulemaking is especially complicated, and Eric helped to untangle it a bit. He began by explaining the difference between which parts of it is a final rule—the creation of a Do Not Originate List that telecom providers must utilize to prevent the transmission of certain categories of text messages—and which parts are still subject to public comment and further adjustments—the FCC expanding its power to require carriers to block text messages, the explicit expansion of federal Do Not Call (DNC) Registry rules to text messages, and the proposed rules regarding lead generation. The lead generation rules are the most significant portion of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)—Eric predicted that they could cause thousands of companies to go out of business if implemented as currently proposed—and accordingly were the subject of the bulk of the webinar. 

Among the lead generation topics discussed were the following:

  • Examining the origins of this proposed rule in a comment to the FCC by Public Knowledge, a consumer advocacy group founded by the yet unconfirmed FCC commissioner appointee Gigi Sohn
  • Acknowledgments and explanations of the genuine issues with the leads industry
  • An enumeration of the most severe possible solutions that the FCC may adopt
  • An explanation of possible compromise solutions that address the problems with the lead gen industry without killing it entirely, including the position of Eric’s own advocacy group, REACH
  • An examination of the possible practical consequences of these various possible outcomes
  • An explanation of the next steps in this process as well as some tips for how concerned individuals and businesses can have their voice heard by the FCC before any final rules are adopted
  • Predictions about how this process could play out and advice for how the industry can best position itself to resolve these issues without incurring the most severe wrath of the FCC

This was an especially in-depth conversation. Eric and Isaac delved into the history of these sorts of regulations, the philosophical issues surrounding the current state of the leads industry, and practical concerns, including some posed by attendees in the Q&A section. It bears careful rewatching. To watch a recording of the webinar, click here.