By Paul Barbagallo
CTIA-The Wireless Association lent support to a petition by Revolution
Messaging LLC for a declaratory ruling by the FCC that will limit the number of
unwanted political campaign text messages.
In the petition, Revolution has asked the agency to clarify that
internet-to-phone text-messaging technology is an “automatic telephone dialing
system” within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, reasoning
that millions of mobile phone users could be charged for unsolicited text
messages during political campaign seasons.
“[CTIA] supports the petition's goal of reducing unwanted political campaign
text messages sent to mobile devices, regardless of the technology used to send
those messages,” the group wrote in a filing posted to the FCC's website Nov.
26. “Such unwanted text messages are disruptive and potentially costly to
wireless customers, and they are burdensome to carriers that must expend
substantial resources to handle customer inquiries and complaints. Although
wireless carriers are working diligently and proactively to protect their
customers against all types of spam, including through the use of robust spam
filters and other tools, combating political campaign text messages remains an
The CTIA said the FCC should confirm that the Telephone Consumer Protection
Act requires parties to obtain “prior express consent” before sending political
campaign text messages to mobile devices.
The Voter Participation Center also backed the petition.
“We understand that many voters are receiving spam text messages from an
organization that they do not recognize or support,” the group wrote. “Although
a text message may seem inconsequential, these individual messages have a real
cost: both financially and in terms of how voters view the electoral process.
Additionally, these text message abuses threaten to sour voters on what is a
very promising technology.”
The TCPA was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and
implemented by the FCC in 1992.
Filings in Docket 02-278 can be found at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/comment_search/input?z=qglon.