Removing Barriers Blog

Big vote at the FCC today!
Posted June 06, 2019 by CUNA Advocacy

As you know, the FCC recently proposed the adoption of a call-blocking order that would, among other things, allow voice-service providers to block, by default, any “unwanted” telephone call to consumers regardless of whether those calls were legal. The FCC is scheduled to vote on the proposal today, June 6th.   Last week we submitted our comments and concerns directly to the FCC.

We have and continue to work closely with a coalition of industry groups to try to slow down or modify the proposed rule.  As you recall, last week, we issued an action alert encouraging credit unions to raise concerns directly with the FCC.  In a two day period, more than 1,000 credit union advocates contacted the FCC with original letters describe our concerns and urging changes to the proposal so that credit unions can continue to communicate and provide members with critical information.  

Until today, the FCC appeared all but prepared to move forward with adopting the order as is, despite our concerns.  But last night, things appear to have changed somewhat. 

In an interview with Fox Business News, Chairman Pai indicated that the proposed draft declaratory ruling would be modified to include a mechanism for legitimate callers to challenge erroneous call-blocking. This represents a significant change in his office’s prior position.  We are confident that his change is an acknowledgement of our grassroots effort as well as the lobbying we have done in conjunction with the industry groups. 

“We will closely review the modification that Chairman Pai is proposing, but based on what he said on Fox News tonight, we view this as a positive step and a reflection of the impact that our grassroots efforts have had,” said Ryan Donovan, CUNA chief advocacy officer.

CUNA’s comment letter includes draft language that would allow for a mechanism for voice providers to unblock erroneously blocked calls that includes:

  • Notification to callers that their calls are being blocked and what provider is responsible for the blocking;
  • Readily ascertainable contact information for a caller to submit to the voice provider a request to lift the erroneous block; and
  • A prompt, reasonable timeframe for the voice provider to resolve the claim of erroneous blocking.

CUNA Senior Director of Advocacy Mitria Wilson was highlighted in Fox Business as well yesterday.

The vote on the proposed ruling is scheduled for today and CUNA will continue to provide updates on the issue. In the meantime, we wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for making your voice heard and moving the needle in the right direction.