[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 120 (Thursday, June 21, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37362-37367]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-15119]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Parts 1 and 64

[CG Docket No. 12-129; FCC 12-56]


Implementation of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation 
Act of 2012; Establishment of a Public Safety Answering Point Do-Not-
Call Registry

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Commission initiates a proceeding to 
create a Do-Not-Call registry for public safety answering points 
(PSAPs) as required by the ``Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation 
Act of 2012'' (Tax Relief Act). Specifically, section 6507 of the Tax 
Relief Act requires the Commission, among other things, to establish a 
registry that allows PSAPs to register telephone numbers on a Do-Not-
Call list and prohibit the use of automatic dialing equipment to 
contact those numbers. Therefore, the Commission seeks comment on a 
variety of issues relating to the establishment and ongoing management 
of the PSAP registry. The proposed rules are designed to address 
concerns about the use automatic dialing equipment, which can generate 
large numbers of phone calls in a short period of time, tie up public 
safety lines, divert critical responder resources away from emergency 
services, and impede access by the public to emergency lines.

DATES: Interested parties may file comments on or before July 23, 2012. 
Reply comments are due on or before August 6, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by CG Docket No. 12-129, 
by any of the following methods:
    Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the 
Internet by accessing the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System 
(ECFS), through the Commission's Web site: http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/ecfs2/. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the Web site 
for submitting comments. For ECFS filers, in completing the transmittal 
screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal service 
mailing address, and CG Docket No. 12-129.
    Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an 
original and four copies of each filing. Filings can be sent by hand or 
messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class 
or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission 
continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). 
All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of 
the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
    All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the 
Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 
12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with 
rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of 
before entering the building.
    Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express 
Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, 
Capitol Heights, MD 20743. U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, 
and Priority mail must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington, 
DC 20554.
    In addition, parties must serve one copy of each pleading with the 
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc., 445 
12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, or via email to 
fcc@bcpiweb.com.
    For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional

[[Page 37363]]

information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Richard D. Smith, Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Policy Division, at (717) 338-2797 
(voice), or email Richard.Smith@fcc.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), FCC 12-56, adopted on May 21, 2012, and 
released on May 22, 2012, in CG Docket No. 12-129. The full text of the 
NPRM and copies of any subsequently filed documents in this matter will 
be available for public inspection and copying via ECFS, and during 
regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals 
II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. They may 
also be purchased from the Commission's duplicating contractor, Best 
Copy and Printing, Inc., Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, 
Washington, DC 20554, telephone: (202) 488-5300, fax: (202) 488-5300, 
or Internet: www.bcpiweb.com. This document can also be downloaded in 
Word or Portable Document Format (``PDF'') at http://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-initiates-proceeding-create-public-safety-do-not-call-registry. To request materials in accessible formats for people with 
disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), 
send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental 
Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).
    Pursuant to 47 CFR 1.1200 et seq., this matter shall be treated as 
a ``permit-but-disclose'' proceeding in accordance with the 
Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations must 
file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any 
oral presentation within two business days after the presentation 
(unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period 
applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that 
memoranda summarizing the presentation must: (1) List all persons 
attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex 
parte presentation was made; and (2) summarize all data presented and 
arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted 
in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already 
reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda, or other 
filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such 
data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other 
filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where 
such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the 
memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex 
parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must 
be filed consistent with Sec.  1.1206(b) of the Commission's rules. In 
proceedings governed by Sec.  1.49(f) or for which the Commission has 
made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte 
presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, 
and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the electronic 
comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed 
in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). 
Participants in this proceeding should familiarize themselves with the 
Commission's ex parte rules. People with disabilities: To request 
materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (braille, 
large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to 
fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 
202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

Initial Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995

    The NPRM seeks comment on potential new information collection 
requirement. If the Commission adopts any new information collection 
requirements, the Commission will publish another notice in the Federal 
Register inviting the public to comment on the requirements, as 
required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13 (44 
U.S.C. 3501-3520). In addition, pursuant to the Small Business 
Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 
3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks comment on how it might ``further 
reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns 
with fewer than 25 employees.''

Synopsis

    1. In the NPRM, the Commission proposes rules to create a 
specialized Do-Not-Call registry for PSAPs and prohibit the use of 
automatic dialing equipment to contact those numbers pursuant to the 
requirements of section 6507 of the Tax Relief Act. Specifically, the 
Commission seeks comment on the most efficient means of establishing a 
PSAP Do-Not-Call registry, the process for accessing the registry by 
operators of automatic dialing equipment, safeguards to protect the 
registry from unauthorized disclosure or dissemination, rules to 
prohibit the use of automatic dialing equipment to contact numbers on 
the registry, and the enforcement provisions contained in section 
6507(c) of the Tax Relief Act. In particular, the Commission seeks 
comment on the costs and benefits of the proposals, including from 
interested parties that have experience with the National Do-Not-Call 
registry.

Establishment of a PSAP Do-Not-Call Registry

    2. The Commission proposes to create a PSAP Do-Not-Call registry 
and seek comment on the structure and operation of the proposed 
registry. Specifically, the Commission seeks comment on the most 
efficient means of establishing a PSAP Do-Not-Call registry, the 
process for accessing the registry by operators of automatic dialing 
equipment, safeguards to protect the registry from unauthorized 
disclosure or dissemination, rules to prohibit the use of automatic 
dialing equipment to contact numbers on the registry, and the 
enforcement provisions contained in section 6507(c) of the Tax Relief 
Act. In particular, the Commission seeks comment on the costs and 
benefits of the proposals to implement the various provisions of 
section 6507.
    3. The Commission proposes that PSAPs should be given substantial 
discretion to designate which numbers to include on the PSAP Do-Not-
Call registry so long as they are associated with the provision of 
emergency services or communications with other public safety agencies. 
In addition, the Commission proposes that secondary PSAPs should also 
be permitted to place numbers on the registry. Secondary PSAPs are also 
vulnerable to autodialed calls in the same way as primary PSAPs.
    4. The Commission seeks comment on the best and most efficient way 
to acquire and verify the PSAP numbers that will be entered into the 
registry. Are there ways to compile these numbers in an aggregate form 
from states or localities to minimize burdens on the PSAPs and the 
administrator of the registry?
    5. Alternatively, should individual PSAPs register the telephone 
numbers that they wish to include on the registry? If so, what is the 
best method for PSAPs to transmit such numbers for inclusion on the 
registry? Who should be authorized to submit the telephone numbers to 
be entered into the registry on behalf of a PSAP? The Commission notes 
that section 6507(b)(1) of the Tax Relief Act makes reference to 
``verified'' PSAP ``administrators or managers.'' What manner of PSAP 
employee should constitute an ``administrator or

[[Page 37364]]

manager'' for purposes of this provision?
    6. The Commission seeks comment on the most efficient and effective 
way to establish and maintain the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry. As noted 
throughout this Notice, the FTC has administered through a contractor 
the National Do-Not-Call registry for nearly a decade. The Commission 
seeks comment on whether and, if so, to what extent, the FTC's approach 
is a useful and cost effective model for the PSAP registry. The 
Commission also asks whether there are ways in which the two agencies 
could cooperate in order to lessen the costs involved in establishing 
the new PSAP registry and, if so, how the Commission would calculate 
and fund its share of the cost of an inter-agency effort.
    7. What process should be implemented to allow for verification in 
accordance with section 6507(b)(2) that the registered numbers should 
continue to appear on the registry? Should there be an ongoing means 
for PSAPs to remove numbers from the registry at any time? The 
Commission seeks comment on these and any other issues related to 
verification of registered numbers pursuant to section 6507(b)(2) of 
the Tax Relief Act.

Access to the Registry by Operators of Automatic Dialing Equipment

    8. The Commission seeks comment on the most efficient and effective 
way to grant and track access to the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry. The 
Commission proposes that registry access be limited to operators of 
automatic dialing equipment for the limited purpose of compliance with 
the prohibition on contacting PSAP numbers in the registry. The 
Commission proposes that anyone who uses an ``automatic telephone 
dialing system,'' as defined in section 227(a)(1) of the Communications 
Act, to make calls qualifies as an operator of ``automatic dialing'' or 
``robocall'' equipment for purposes of the Tax Relief Act. The 
Commission seeks comment on these proposals and any other issues that 
are relevant to our implementation of section 6507(b)(3) of the Tax 
Relief Act.
    9. Consistent with the operation of the existing National Do-Not-
Call registry, the Commission proposes to require that any entity that 
accesses the PSAP registry certify, under penalty of law, that it is 
accessing the registry solely to determine whether any telephone 
numbers to which it intends to place autodialed calls are listed on 
such registry for the purpose of complying with section 6507 of the Tax 
Relief Act. The Commission proposes to prohibit use of the registry by 
operators of automatic dialing equipment for any other purpose. The 
Commission proposes that the first time an operator of automatic 
dialing equipment accesses the registry, the operator establish a 
profile and provide identifying information about its organization that 
would include the operator's name and all alternative names under which 
the registrant operates, a business address, a contact person, the 
contact person's telephone number and email address, and a list of all 
outbound telephone numbers used for autodialing. The Commission 
proposes that all information be updated within 30 days of the date on 
which any change occurs. The Commission proposes that every operator of 
automatic dialing equipment with access to the PSAP registry be given a 
unique identification number, which must be submitted each time the 
secure database is accessed. The Commission also proposes that this 
number be used to grant and track access to the secure database of 
registered PSAP numbers.
    10. Once operators of automatic dialing equipment have successfully 
registered and obtained a unique identification number, the Commission 
seeks comment on how the registered telephone numbers should be made 
accessible to them. Does the FTC's National Do-Not-Call registry 
provide a useful model for these steps? How often should operators of 
automatic dialing equipment be required to access the registry of PSAP 
numbers and update their calling lists to delete registered PSAP 
numbers?

Protecting the Registry From Unauthorized Disclosure or Dissemination

    11. The Commission proposes to adopt a rule that would prohibit 
parties from selling, renting, leasing, purchasing, or using the PSAP 
registry, or any part thereof, for any purpose except compliance with 
this section and any state or Federal law enacted to prevent autodialed 
calls to telephone numbers in the registry. In addition, we propose 
safeguards designed to limit and track access to the registry, 
including a requirement that operators of automatic dialing equipment 
certify, under penalty of law, that they are accessing the registry 
solely to prevent autodialed calls to numbers on the registry.
    12. The Commission proposes that access to the registered numbers 
be limited to operators of automated dialing equipment who have 
complied with the authorized process to obtain access to that 
information. However, the Commission seeks comment on whether there is 
any reason that the third parties on whose behalf autodialed calls are 
made should have access to these numbers. Does section 6507(b)(4) of 
the Tax Relief Act prohibit such third parties from being provided 
access to these numbers? The Commission seeks comment on this proposal 
and any other issues relevant to our implementation of section 
6507(b)(4) of the Tax Relief Act.

Prohibiting the Use of Automatic Dialing or ``Robocall'' Equipment to 
Contact Registered PSAP Numbers

    13. The Commission proposes to prohibit operators of automatic 
dialing or robocall equipment from contacting any PSAP number that has 
been registered on the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry. The Commission notes 
that the it has concluded in the Telephone Consumer Protection Act 
(TCPA) context, under section 227 of the Communications Act, that the 
prohibition on using autodialers to contact emergency telephone lines 
encompasses both voice and text calls, including short message service 
calls. Similarly, the Commission proposes that the use of an autodialer 
to make either voice or text message calls to numbers on the PSAP 
registry constitutes a prohibited contact under section 6507(b)(5) of 
the Tax Relief Act.
    14. The Commission proposes to use the TCPA's definition, and the 
Commission's relevant interpretations of that term, for purposes of 
determining the meaning of ``automatic dialing'' and ``robocall'' 
equipment in the Tax Relief Act. The Commission seeks comment on the 
implications, if any, of using the terms ``automatic dialing'' or 
``robocall'' as used in the Tax Relief Act synonymously with 
``automatic telephone dialing system'' in the TCPA, given that the 
latter term includes systems with the capacity to store and produce 
numbers. The Commission seeks comment on these proposals and any other 
issues relevant to our implementation of section 6507(b)(5) of the Tax 
Relief Act.
    15. The Commission also seeks comment on whether there are any 
situations in which PSAPs may wish to receive an autodialed call.

Enforcement

    16. The Commission proposes to amend section 1.80 of its rules 
governing forfeiture proceedings and forfeiture amounts to incorporate 
these new enforcement provisions specifically for the purposes of 
implementing section 6507 of the Tax Relief Act.
    17. The Commission seeks comment on how the enforcement provisions,

[[Page 37365]]

including the monetary penalties, of the Tax Relief Act should be 
implemented consistent with the Communications Act. The Commission 
seeks comment on whether section 6507(c)(3) of the Tax Relief Act 
requires the Commission to impose monetary penalties upon a first 
violation, or whether section 503(b)(5) of the Communications Act, 
which is also applicable to section 6507 of the Tax Relief Act by 
virtue of section 6003(a) of the Tax Relief Act, requires the 
Commission to issue a citation first to non-licensee and non-applicant 
violators before it may determine liability for a monetary forfeiture.
    18. The Commission proposes to adopt the specific monetary 
penalties for violations of sections 6507(b)(4) and (b)(5) of the Tax 
Relief Act and otherwise treat any violations of those provisions as 
violations of the Communications Act. Section 6507(c)(3) of the Tax 
Relief Act provides for the imposition of fines that vary depending 
``upon whether the conduct leading to the violation was negligent, 
grossly negligent, reckless, or willful, and depending on whether the 
violation was a first or subsequent offence.'' The Commission seeks 
comment on how these terms should be interpreted in determining the 
monetary penalties for violations of the Tax Relief Act. To the extent 
that the Commission has addressed such terms in an enforcement context, 
it seeks comment on whether to adopt those definitions for purposes of 
the Tax Relief Act.
    19. The Commission seeks comment on whether it should establish a 
safe harbor provision for operators of automatic dialing equipment who 
can demonstrate that any prohibited call to or disclosure of the 
registered numbers is the result of an error despite routine business 
practices designed to ensure compliance.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    20. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as 
amended, (RFA), the Commission has prepared this Initial Regulatory 
Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules 
proposed in the NPRM. Written public comments are requested on the 
IRFA. Comments must be identified as responses to the IRFA and must be 
filed by the deadlines for comments on the NPRM provided on the first 
page of this document. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, 
including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small 
Business Administration.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

    21. The ``Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012'' 
requires the Commission to establish a registry that allows PSAPs to 
register telephone numbers on a Do-Not-Call list and prohibits the use 
of automatic dialing or ``robocall'' equipment to contact those 
numbers. This requirement is designed to address concerns about the use 
of autodialers, which can generate large numbers of phone calls, to tie 
up public safety lines, and divert critical responder resources away 
from emergency services. Operators of automatic dialing equipment, 
which may include small businesses, will be required to provide certain 
contact information to obtain access to a registry of PSAP telephone 
numbers. Such operators must periodically update the list of registered 
numbers and take measures to ensure that they do not use such automatic 
dialing equipment to contact any number listed on that registry or 
disclose the registered numbers to any other party.

Legal Basis

    22. The legal basis for any actions that may be taken pursuant to 
the NPRM are contained in sections 1, 2, 4(i), 227 and 503 of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 
227, and 503 and sections 6003 and 6507 of the Middle Class Tax Relief 
and Job Creation Act of 2012. In particular, section 6507 of the Middle 
Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 requires the Commission 
to ``initiate a proceeding to create a specialized Do-Not-Call registry 
for public safety answering points.''

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the 
Proposed Rules Will Apply

    23. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where 
feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that will be 
affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines 
the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms 
``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same 
meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small Business 
Act. Under the Small Business Act, a ``small business concern'' is one 
that: (1) Is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in 
its field of operation; and (3) meets any additional criteria 
established by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
    24. In general, our proposed rules prohibiting the use of automatic 
dialing equipment to contact numbers on the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry 
would apply to a wide range of entities. The proposed rules, in 
particular, would apply to all operators of automatic dialing 
equipment. Therefore, the Commission expects that the proposals in this 
proceeding could have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Determining the precise number of small 
entities that would be subject to the requirements proposed in the 
NPRM, however, is not readily feasible. Therefore, the Commission 
invites comment on such number and, after evaluating the comments, will 
examine further the effect of any rule changes on small entities in the 
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis. Below, the Commission has 
described some current data that are helpful in describing the number 
of small entities that might be affected by our proposed action, if 
adopted.
    25. Nationwide, there are a total of approximately 29.6 million 
small businesses, according to the SBA. A ``small organization'' is 
generally ``any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned 
and operated and is not dominant in its field.'' Nationwide, as of 
2007, there were approximately 1.6 million small organizations.
    26. Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental 
Jurisdictions. The Commission's action may, over time, affect small 
entities that are not easily categorized at present. The Commission 
therefore describes here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory 
small entity size standards. First, nationwide, there are a total of 
approximately 27.5 million small businesses, according to the SBA. In 
addition, a ``small organization'' is generally ``any not-for-profit 
enterprise which is independently owned and operated and is not 
dominant in its field.'' Nationwide, as of 2007, there were 
approximately 1,621,315 small organizations. Finally, the term ``small 
governmental jurisdiction'' is defined generally as ``governments of 
cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special 
districts, with a population of less than fifty thousand.'' Census 
Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 89,476 local governmental 
jurisdictions in the United States. The Commission estimates that, of 
this total, as many as 88,506 entities may qualify as ``small 
governmental jurisdictions.'' Thus, the Commission estimates that most 
governmental jurisdictions are small.

[[Page 37366]]

    27. Telemarketing Bureaus and Other Contact Centers. According to 
the Census Bureau, this economic census category ``comprises 
establishments primarily engaged in operating call centers that 
initiate or receive communications for others-via telephone, facsimile, 
email, or other communication modes-for purposes such as (1) promoting 
clients' products or services, (2) taking orders for clients, (3) 
soliciting contributions for a client; and (4) providing information or 
assistance regarding a client's products or services.'' The SBA has 
developed a small business size standard for this category, which is: 
all such entities having $7 million or less in annual receipts. 
According to Census Bureau data for 2007, there were 2,100 firms in 
this category that operated for the entire year. Of this total, 1,885 
firms had annual sales of under $5 million, and an additional 145 had 
sales of $5 million to $9,999,999. Thus, the majority of firms in this 
category can be considered small.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance 
Requirements

    28. The Tax Relief Act requires the Commission to establish a Do-
Not-Call registry for PSAPs. The Act specifies that PSAPs will be 
permitted to register telephone numbers on this registry. This allows 
PSAPs or their designated representatives to review their current 
telephone numbers and then provide those numbers to the administrator 
of the registry for inclusion on the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry. This 
will necessitate some administrative functions. In addition, a process 
must be adopted for verifying, no less frequently than once every 7 
years, that the registered numbers should continue to appear on the 
registry. This provision may require PSAPs to periodically check and 
verify which numbers should continue to be included on the registry. 
The Tax Relief Act also prohibits the use of automatic dialing or 
``robocall'' equipment to contact numbers listed on the Do-Not-Call 
registry. As a result, operators of automatic dialing equipment will be 
required to periodically check the registry and update their calling 
systems to ensure that they do not contact any telephone number listed 
on the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry. In order to access the registry, 
operators of automatic dialing equipment will be required to provide 
contact information and certify that they will not use the telephone 
numbers for any purpose other than compliance with this Act. In 
addition, a process will need to be developed to ensure that the list 
of registered numbers obtained from the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry is 
not disclosed or disseminated for any purpose other than compliance 
with this Act. Such a process may entail training personnel, recording 
access to such information in a secure manner, and updating automatic 
dialing systems to ensure that such equipment is not used to contact 
numbers on the PSAP registry.

Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, 
and Significant Alternatives Considered

    29. In the NPRM, the Commission has sought comment generally on how 
to implement the specific provisions of the Tax Relief Act in a cost-
effective manner that minimizes the potential burdens on PSAPs and any 
operator of automatic dialing equipment subject to our rules. The 
Commission notes, for example, that the FTC's National Do-Not-Call list 
has been operational for nearly a decade. Many operators of automatic 
dialing equipment subject to our proposed rules are familiar with that 
system and the Commission seeks comment on whether the operation of 
that existing registry provides any guidance on how the PSAP registry 
should be operated in order to minimize compliance burdens. The 
Commission seeks comment on whether it would be useful to offer such 
operators the ability to gain access to the PSAP registry by specific 
geographic areas or area codes rather than downloading the entire 
database. This option could offer smaller businesses cost savings by 
limiting the telephone numbers which they must download to only those 
that are most relevant to the calls they are making. The Commission 
also seeks comment on whether to establish a safe harbor provision for 
those who can demonstrate that any prohibited call or disclosure of the 
registered PSAP numbers is the result of an error despite routine 
business practices designed to ensure compliance. In addition, the 
Commission seeks comment on the most efficient ways for PSAPs to 
compile and download the numbers which they want to enter into the PSAP 
registry. For example, to alleviate potential burdens on individual 
PSAPs, the Commission seeks comment on whether states or localities can 
do this on an aggregate basis or whether there are existing databases 
of such information.

Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rules

    30. The TCPA prohibits certain categories of automated calls absent 
an emergency purpose or the ``prior express consent'' of the called 
party. 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(A). Specifically, this provision prohibits 
the use of ``automatic telephone dialing systems'' when calling any 
emergency telephone lines, including 911 lines and any emergency line 
of a hospital, medical physician or service office, health care 
facility, poison control center, or fire protection or law enforcement 
agency. 47 U.S.C. 227(b)(1)(A). See also 47 CFR 64.1200(a)(1). As a 
result, the use of autodialers to call these numbers is prohibited 
under our existing rules absent a recognized exception. To the extent 
that any of the same emergency numbers are included in the PSAP Do-Not-
Call registry, the protections afforded by our proposed rules from 
autodialed calls will overlap with the existing TCPA rules.

Ordering Clauses

    31. Pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 227 and 503 of the 
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 
227, 503, and sections 6003 and 6507 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and 
Job Creation Act of 2012, that the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is 
adopted.
    32. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, 
Reference Information Center, shall send a copy of the Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business 
Administration.

List of Subjects

47 CFR Part 1

    Administrative practice and procedure.

47 CFR Part 64

    Reporting and recordkeeping requirements, Telecommunications, 
Telephone.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

Proposed Rule

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend parts 1 and 64 as follows:

PART 1--PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

Subpart A--General Rules of Practice and Procedure

    1. The authority citation part 1 is revised to read as follows:

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 79 et seq.; 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 
155, 157, 225, 227, 303(r), and 309 and the Middle Class Tax Relief 
and

[[Page 37367]]

Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96.

    2. Amend section 1.80 by adding new paragraph (a)(6), redesignating 
paragraphs (b)(5) and (b)(6) as paragraphs (b)(7) and (b)(8), and by 
add new paragraphs (b)(5) and (b)(6) to read as follows:


Sec.  1.80  Forfeiture proceedings.

    (a) * * *
    (6) Violated any provision of section 6507 of the Middle Class Tax 
Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 or any rule, regulation, or order 
issued by the Commission under that statute.
* * * * *
    (b) * * *
    (5) If a violator who is granted access to the Do-Not-Call registry 
of public safety answering points discloses or disseminates any 
registered telephone number without authorization, in violation of 
section 6507(b)(4) of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act 
of 2012, the monetary penalty for such unauthorized disclosure or 
dissemination of a telephone number from the registry shall be not less 
than $100,000 per incident nor more than $1,000,000 per incident 
depending upon whether the conduct leading to the violation was 
negligent, grossly negligent, reckless, or willful, and depending on 
whether the violation was a first or subsequent offense.
    (6) If a violator uses automatic dialing equipment to contact a 
telephone number on the Do-Not-Call registry of public safety answering 
points, in violation of section 6507(b)(5) of the Middle Class Tax 
Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012, the monetary penalty for 
contacting such a telephone number shall be not less than $10,000 per 
call nor more than $100,000 per call depending on whether the violation 
was negligent, grossly negligent, reckless, or willful, and depending 
on whether the violation was a first or subsequent offense.
* * * * *

PART 64--MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS

Subpart L--Restrictions on Telemarketing and Telephone Solicitation

    1. The authority citation for part 64 is revised to read as 
follows:

    Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 254(k); 403(b)(2)(B), (c), Pub. L. 
104-104, 110 Stat. 56. Interpret or apply 47 U.S.C. 201, 218, 222, 
225, 226, 227, 228, 254(k), 616, 620 and the Middle Class Tax Relief 
and Job Creation Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-96 unless otherwise 
noted.

    2. Amend Subpart L by adding new section 64.1202 to read as 
follows:


Sec.  64.1202  Public safety answering point do-not-call registry.

    (a) As used in this section, the following terms are defined as:
    (1) Operators of automatic dialing or robocall equipment. Any 
person or entity who uses an automatic telephone dialing system, as 
defined in section 227(a)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934, as 
amended, to make telephone calls with such equipment.
    (2) Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). A facility that has been 
designated to receive emergency calls and route them to emergency 
service personnel pursuant to section 222(h)(4) of the Communications 
Act of 1934, as amended. As used in this section, this term includes 
both primary and secondary PSAPs.
    (b) An operator of automatic dialing or robocall equipment is 
prohibited from using such equipment to contact any telephone number 
registered on the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry. This prohibition on using 
automatic dialing equipment to contact numbers on the PSAP Do-Not-Call 
registry encompasses both voice and text calls. Such Do-Not-Call 
registrations must be honored indefinitely, or until the registration 
is removed by a designated PSAP representative or the Commission or its 
designated registry administrator.
    (c) An operator of automatic dialing or robocall equipment may not 
obtain access or use the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry until it has first 
provided to the Commission or its designated registry administrator 
contact information that includes the operator's name and all 
alternative names under which the registrant operates, a business 
address, a contact person, the contact person's telephone number and 
email address, and a list of all outbound telephone numbers used for 
autodialing, and thereafter obtained a unique identification number 
from the Commission or its designated registry administrator. All 
information provided to the Commission or its designated registry 
administrator must be updated within 30 days of making any change to 
such information. In addition, an operator must certify during each 
use, under penalty of law, that it is accessing the registry solely to 
prevent autodialed calls to numbers on the registry.
    (d) An operator of automatic dialing or robocall equipment that 
accesses the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry shall, to prevent such calls to 
any telephone number on the registry, employ a version of the PSAP Do-
Not-Call registry obtained from the registry administrator no more than 
31 days prior to the date any call is made, and shall maintain records 
documenting this process.
    (e) No person or entity, including an operator of automatic dialing 
equipment or robocall equipment, may sell, rent, lease, purchase or use 
the PSAP Do-Not-Call registry, or any part thereof, for any purpose 
except to comply with this section and any such state or Federal law 
enacted to prevent autodialed calls to telephone numbers in the PSAP 
registry. Any party granted access to the registry is prohibited from 
disclosing or disseminating the registered numbers to any other person 
or entity.

[FR Doc. 2012-15119 Filed 6-20-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P