Report: Telecommunications advances affecting Do Not Call Registry

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The increased use of cell phones and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) has changed the way the Do Not Call Registry operated over the past two years, according to a required biennial report to Congress from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Unlike landline service providers, wireless service providers are not required to comply with a federal mandate to share directory assistance data, the report said, but a subcontractor is working with wireless providers to remove cell phone numbers from the directory that may have been reassigned. Similarly, VoIP providers are not subject to the federal mandate, but the subcontractor estimates that the national directory assistance data that it compiles contains approximately 75% of the VoIP numbers, according to the report.

In addition, all consumer services for the registry are now available through mobile devices, allowing for number registration, registration verification and submission of complaints to be made from a smartphone, the report said.

The registry, with more than 209 million active registrations, added eight million new phone numbers during the FTC's 2011 fiscal year, according to the report. During that time, approximately 35,000 sellers, telemarketers and exempt organizations subscribed to access the registry, paying fees totaling more than $13.7 million.


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