The Federal Trade Commission has issued its biennial report to Congress focusing on the use of the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry by both consumers and businesses and other organizations over the past two years.
This year’s report includes: 1) a summary of current Registry operations; 2) a summary of the impact on the Registry of new telecommunications technologies; and 3) a discussion of the impact of the established business relationship exception in the Commission’s enforcement efforts.
The DNC Registry currently has more than 229 million active registrations, an increase of more than 3.8 million registrations from the previous fiscal year (FY). According to the report, during fiscal year 2017, 2,259 businesses and other entities paid more than $12.6 million to access the Registry. Another 15,536 entities subscribed to access five or fewer area codes free of charge, and 543 entities (such as charitable organizations) claimed “exempt organization” status and also received free access to the Registry.
In FY 2016, 2,353 entities paid Registry access fees totaling more than $12.9 million. That year, 17,634 entities subscribed to access five or fewer area codes at no charge, and 503 entities claimed “exempt organization” status and accessed the Registry without paying a fee.
The report concludes that the DNC Registry exists to provide consumers with a choice regarding whether or not to receive telemarketing calls. Accordingly, the FTC works to keep it accessible and effective for both consumers and telemarketers. As new technology provides new challenges, the FTC actively seeks to address and confront them by, among other things, encouraging private industry, other government agencies, academia, and other interested parties to work towards and create new strategies to help consumers avoid unwanted telemarketing calls.
The Commission vote authorizing the biennial report to Congress was 2-0. (The staff contact is Ami Dziekan, Bureau of Consumer Protection, 202-326-2648)
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