FCC Sets Comment Dates for Mobile Spam, Wireless Portability

The Federal Communications Commission has set deadlines for public comment on proposed rules governing mobile-phone spam and a “safe harbor” rule to protect telemarketers stung by wireless number portability.

On March 11, the FCC announced that it would create rules to protect consumers from unsolicited commercial e-mail sent to mobile phones in line with the CAN-SPAM Act passed by Congress last year. The agency also said it would consider creation of a safe harbor for telemarketers who accidentally call cell phones as a result of wireless number portability.

Wireless number portability, enacted in November, lets consumers keep the same number when switching cell phone providers or switching from a landline to a cell phone. Federal law prohibits the use of automated dialers to call cell phones, and telemarketers are still looking for concrete ways to track numbers switched from landlines to cell phones.

The public can file comments on the proposed mobile-spam provisions until April 30 and reply comments until May 17. The deadline for comments on the wireless number portability safe harbor is April 15, and reply comments are due April 26.

Comments can be filed online by going to fcc.gov and clicking the ECFS Express icon. The docket number for mobile-spam comments is 04-53, while the docket number for wireless number portability safe harbor is 02-278.

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