On a daily basis, we are all plagued by unwanted text messages and now the FCC has taken action to help mitigate the issue in the USA. As a next step from the recent announcement aimed at preventing fraudulent and unwanted telephone calls in the USA, it has now issued plans to help prevent the exponential growth of scam and spam texts.

What does it mean?

Similar to the recent requirements to screen telephone calls, carriers must use a ‘reasonable’ Do Not Originate Text database to block text messages purporting to be from North American Numbering Plan numbers that are highly likely to be illegal. This new legislation only applies to SMS and MMS providers – OTT providers (such as WhatsApp, Signal and Telegram) are exempt.

The DNOT database must include invalid, unallocated, and unused numbers, as well as those that validated subscribers have identified as never originating any messaging traffic.

As with the voice legislation, the carrier of the messaging traffic must also establish a single point of contact where originators can go to resolve blocking complaints.

Somos and XConnect already have arguably the most comprehensive Do Not Originate database for voice calls.  We also provide the Do Not Originate Text database that contains unallocated, unassigned and subscriber submitted numbers. This is growing significantly, and the FCC ruling has heightened subscriber submitted numbers. The Somos DNOT is a real-time updated database available on query basis or in certain use-cases as download.

When does this all come into effect?

While the provisions will be in effect 30 days after the FCC Report and Order is published in the Federal Register (publication usually happens a few weeks after the order is voted), so we anticipate May 8th, the FCC will not enforce the DNO provisions until 6 months after the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) analysis is completed. OMB analysis typically takes several months. The FCC wanted to make sure that wireless providers would have time to update any systems necessary to consume a DNO list. We estimate this will be enforceable by Q4 2023.

How do I know if this legislation applies to me?

This legislation applies to US intermediate carriers.

What are the consequences if I don’t block the traffic?

The FCC is yet to be specific on this one, but we can assume heavy financial penalties and possible restriction or prevention from sending messages within the US.


For more information and advice please contact a member of the XConnect team and we’ll be happy to help.