Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) Working Group

The TCPA Working Group is Chaired by Kurt Steinmiller. If you would like to be a part of the group, please email Kurt.

Background

Led by a five-person commission, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) is an independent U.S. government agency that is overseen by Congress and independent of the Executive Branch. The Communication Act of 1934 gave the FCC authority over all communications transmitted by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable. The FCC has regulatory authority over the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). The TCPA regulations impact all members of COHEAO who communicate with consumers via an autodialed calls, prerecorded calls, and text messages to wireless numbers.

COHEAO FCC-TCPA Working Group Objectives

COHEAO members continue to be challenged as the preferred method of communication evolves from generation to generation, if not overnight. Communication systems must constantly be modernized to meet the needs of today’s Higher Education consumer, yet the principal act governing the majority of communications formats was passed in 1991 and well before the explosion of smart phones, texting, and social platforms.

The TCPA Working Group seeks opportunities to:

  • Monitor congressional and regulatory activities that either promote modernization and/or hinder the ability to utilize vital communication systems and shares all pertinent information to COHEAO’S Board of Directors
  • Review critical court cases to identify trends that may impact COHEAO’S members.
  • Assist the organization as needed to distribute FCC-TCPA news that may impact membership
  • Survey and solicit comments from membership to incorporate as part of any response submitted to either the FCC and/or collaboration with other organization working groups
  • Work closely with other task forces to help monitor state legislative activity that may be more restrictive than current federal laws and regulations

Telephone Consumer Protection Act Of 1991

https://www.ftc.gov/legal-library/browse/rules/fair-debt-collection-practices-act-text

Recent News

  • Notice of Proposed Rulemaking-Targeting and Eliminating Unlawful Text Message released on Sept 27, 2022. The FCC is seeking comments on applying caller Id authentication standards to text messaging. Comments due on November 10, 2022

https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-proposes-blocking-illegal-text-messages

  • Legislation Introduced by Representatives Krishnamoorthi (D-IL) & Porter (D-CA) on July 12, 2022, to amend the TCPA by prohibiting the use of automated telephone equipment to send unsolicited text messages. Link to H.R. 8334 is below

https://www.congress.gov/117/bills/hr8334/BILLS-117hr8334ih.pdf

Earlier Advocacy

On February 2, 2015, COHEAO joined dozens of national associations in sending a letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) asking the regulator to address the issues raised in the numerous petitions that have been and continue to be filed with the Commission regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The letter shows the negative impact that the outdated TCPA has on several industries.

March 24, 2014 marked the deadline for comments on the ACA International Petition to the FCC to initiate a rulemaking on the use of predictive dialers to call cell phones.  COHEAO recently participated in several different initiatives in this regard.

COHEAO submitted comments supporting the ACA petition that focused on the many reasons that it is important for institutions of higher education to be able to use predictive dialers to call cell phones.

COHEAO signed onto a letter with other organizations  focused on student loans.

COHEAO signed onto an additional letter in support of the United Healthcare petition on calling cell phone numbers that have changed owners.