FCC Order re: Student Loan Robocall Blocking Obligations

As a follow up to the previous Public Notice, the Originating Providers associated with the apparently unlawful student loan robocall traffic from Urth Access, LLC and its associates failed to respond to the FCC’s cease-and-desist letters as required.  On December 8, 2022, the Enforcement Bureau released an Order to provide all U.S.-based voice service providers with actual written notice of suspected illegal robocall traffic and direct them to comply with section 64.1200(n)(2) of the Commission’s rules, which requires immediate steps to effectively mitigate suspected illegal robocall traffic made by or on behalf of the following entities: (1) Urth Access, LLC (Urth Access); (2) Fire Data LLC; (3) US Acquisitions LLC; (4) Dawood & Dawood; (5) Dawood and Company; (6) their individual associates; and (7) associated entities (collectively, the “Student Loan Robocall Operation”).

Investigate & Mitigate

The Bureau directs all U.S.-based voice service providers to investigate promptly the apparently illegal robocall traffic identified in the Order; and if such traffic is located, take immediate steps to effectively mitigate and prevent further transmission of the apparently unlawful calls.  The Bureau has determined that a voice service provider may satisfy its effective mitigation obligation if it terminates a customer relationship with the Student Loan Robocall Operation, or, blocks all traffic from the Student Loan Robocall Operation.  To assist with meeting this obligation, the Order provides a chart of officers, principals, and other key players in the Student Loan Robocall Operation and the entities involved with the operation (see p. 4).  If any voice service provider fails to comply with these obligations and fails to take all necessary steps to avoid carrying suspected illegal robocall traffic made by/on behalf of these individuals and entities, then that voice service provider may be deemed to have knowingly and willfully engaged in transmitting unlawful robocalls.

Partial Waiver of Reporting Obligation

Generally voice service providers are required to submit a report to the Commission documenting their investigation.  In this instance, the Bureau partially waives that obligation and clarifies that a voice service provider shall not be required to file a report with the Commission if it terminates a customer relationship with the Student Loan Robocall Operation or blocks all traffic from the Student Loan Robocall Operation and the Originating Providers identified in the Notice.  Reports, however, will be required if after investigation the voice service provider does not take such actions and must be submitted within two weeks of this Order.  Instructions for report submission can be found in paragraphs 18-19.

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