FCC Proposes Rules to Combat Slamming

In its recent Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on slamming and cramming, the FCC proposed rule changes that would both automatically freeze customers’ carriers of choice and allow carriers to reach out to customers when a carrier change is submitted. The FCC seeks comments on both proposals by September 13, 2017. Reply comments are due October 13.

Both new proposals focus on the issue of slamming, or unauthorized carrier changes. The default freeze proposal would require the current preferred carrier to automatically restrict carrier changes for all consumer telephone services until the customer chooses to lift the restriction. Currently, customers must request a freeze from their local exchange carrier. As well, the FCC proposes to allow a losing carrier to contact a customer to verify he/she truly desires to switch carriers when a carrier change request is received. This would specifically impact the porting process as current rules forbid the old service provider to confirm telephone number port-out requests with consumers due to competitive issues.

The Local Number Portability Administration-Working Group (LNPA-WG) and the Future of Numbering (FoN) Working Group – both under jurisdiction of the FCC’s numbering and porting advisory group, the North American Numbering Council (NANC) – likely will be directed to weigh in on the proposals and their impact on the industry. If approved as proposed, the NPRM would directly affect carriers’ porting processes and timeframes, and possibly interconnection agreement terms.

JSI’s Bridget Alexander is a member of both the LNPA-WG and FoN and will continue to monitor the NPRM activity within the industry groups. She will update clients via The LNP Standard newsletter and during an upcoming LNP webinar on October 4th (more details soon). In the interim, you can contact Bridget Alexander at 301-459-7590 with any questions regarding the proposed rules or if you’d like help submitting comments on the NPRM.