In my last post, I addressed how Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai isn’t really preventing robocalls with his new draft Order to classify both SMS text messaging and short codes as Title I “information services.” Now I will discuss the potential consequences for such a maneuver, and why doing so could send consumer protections tumbling down.
Today, Public Knowledge joined 19 other public interest, rural, Native American, and consumer groups in a letter urging Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai to either issue a new Public Notice examining the classification of text messaging and short codes, or to classify both as Title II telecommunications services.
In December 2007, Public Knowledge filed a Petition For Declaratory Ruling asking the Federal Communications Commission to clarify that both SMS text messaging and short codes are “Title II” telecommunications services. Put another way, we asked the FCC to reaffirm the basic statutory language that if you use telephones and the telephone network to send information from one telephone number to another, it meets the definition of “telecommunications service” (47 U.S.C. 153(53)).
Today, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed a Declaratory Ruling denying Public Knowledge’s outstanding Petition For Declaratory Ruling after Verizon temporarily blocked NARAL from sending mass text message alerts to its members on legislation impacting reproductive rights.
Today, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear a challenge to the D.C. Circuit's 2016 decision upholding the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules. The Supreme Court also declined to vacate the D.C. Circuit's decision as moot.