DMA Proposes 30-Day Wireless Safe Harbor

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Telemarketers should have 30 days to scrub their lists of landline telephone numbers that have been ported to cell phones, the Direct Marketing Association told the Federal Communications Commission this month.

The delay would make up for the gap between the time the numbers are ported and the time by which telemarketers are able to obtain information about the change and scrub their lists, the DMA said in comments filed April 15.

Wireless number portability, enacted in November to encourage more competition in the wireless industry, permits consumers to keep the same number when switching wireless providers or to wireless from a landline.

The program causes a problem for telemarketers, who are banned from calling cell phones when using automated dialing equipment including predictive dialers. NeuStar, the private telephone network administrator in charge of tracking ported numbers, is getting closer to making a list of ported numbers available.

Even so, the information won't be instantly available, so some calls to ported landline numbers may occur, the DMA said. A 30-day grace period would match the 31-day period allowed by Congress for telemarketers to download updates of the national no-call list.

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