Good News from the FCC on Robocalls

Despite millions of dollars and years of lobbying for changes in the FCC regulations, big business looks like they might actually lose a battle in Washington DC. Tom Wheeler, chair of the Federal Communications Commission and — get this — former chief lobbyist for the cable industry, announced that he would propose a sweeping set of rules and interpretations for the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Wheeler calls his proposal "Another Win for Consumers" and has a blog post with some of the details. Here's how he describes the years of lobbying (via petitions for rule making) by the Chamber of Commerce and its ilk: "The Commission has received numerous petitions from companies – including bankers, debt collectors, app developers, retail stores, and others – seeking clarity on our consumer rules." Clarity. Right. Stated differently, they want to totally reverse the entire law and twenty years of FCC regulations protecting consumers.

But wait! The Chairman is actually on our side. He follows immediately with this sentence, "I intend to use these petitions as an opportunity to empower consumers and curtail these intrusive communications."

Here's the details from the FCC fact sheet. The proposal will be voted on at the FCC's Open Meeting on June 18, 2015. I doubt he'd be so public about a proposal if he didn't think he had the votes from his colleagues.

The defense bar is throwing a tantrum, as this guest post on Forbes shows. Don't know why they're complaining, really. It's TCPA class actions that have revived the billings of these big firms' litigation departments after years of declines.