DMA: Telecom Administrator Withholds Landline-to-Cell Switch Data

Share this content:
NeuStar Inc., a third-party administrator of the nation's telecommunications network, has ignored requests to help telemarketers avoid calls to consumers who switch landline numbers to cell phones, according to a letter from the Direct Marketing Association.


In the letter, addressed to the Federal Communications Commission, the DMA complained that it contacted NeuStar for data needed to determine when a landline number has been switched to a cell phone. According to the DMA, NeuStar had failed to respond.


"To date, NeuStar -- which will be the sole, centralized source of such data -- has ignored our repeated requests, effectively refusing to cooperate," the DMA said in the letter, dated Nov. 17 and sent yesterday by the DMA to DM News.


Starting Monday, consumers will be able to keep the same phone number when switching between wireless providers or from landlines to cell phones. The switches will present problems for telemarketers, who must avoid calls to cell phones when using automated dialers or face FCC fines.


Known as wireless local number portability, the initiative aims to increase competition in the telecommunications industry. NeuStar, one of the companies that administers the SS7 protocol that routes phone numbers between telecom carriers, has access to critical data that determine when a landline number has "ported" to a wireless service, the DMA said in the letter.


In response to the DMA's letter, NeuStar spokesman Bill Stern said his company was working with the FCC to solve the problem expeditiously.


"The FCC is very focused on this, as are we," Stern said.


The DMA sent the letter to the FCC to ask the agency to suspend enforcement actions against violations of the cell phone telemarketing ban that arise because of wireless local number portability. An FCC spokeswoman said the agency is reviewing the letter but currently has no plans to cease enforcement in any way.


The DMA offers a wireless suppression service known as the Wireless Block Identifier File. However, the file blocks only phone numbers in area codes, exchanges and number blocks that have been set aside for cell phones, not landline numbers that have been ported to cell phones.


close

Next Article in Marketing Strategy

Sign up to our newsletters

Company of the Week

Since 1985, Melissa has helped thousands of companies clean, correct and complete contact data to better target and communicate with their customers. We offer a full spectrum of data quality solutions, including global address, phone, email, and name validation, identify verification - available for batch or real-time processes, in the Cloud or on-premise. Our service bureau provides dedupe, email/phone append and geographic/demographic append services for better targeting and insight. For direct mailers, Melissa offers easy-to-use address management/postal software, list hygiene services and 100s of specialty mailing lists - all with competitive pricing and excellent customer service.

Find out more here »

Career Center

Check out hundreds of exciting professional opportunities available on DMN's Career Center.  
Explore careers in digital marketing, sales, eCommerce, marketing communications, IT, data strategies, and much more. And don't forget to update your resume so employers can contact you privately about job opportunities.

>>Click Here

Relive the 2017 Marketing Hall of Femme

Click the image above