The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently launched a database that allows paid subscribers to see whether a phone number has been reassigned.
Subscribers to the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND), including callers and caller agents, can now avoid calling a consumer with a reassigned number who isn’t the original intended receiver.
Callers who use the database also are able to potentially reduce their Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) liability by avoiding calls to those who had not given consent.
According to the FCC, the database is the result of several years of work by the commission, voice service providers, and callers to reduce the number of unwanted calls.
The RND is meant to help businesses across a wide range of industries that communicate via phone call or text message to clients — either directly or through a third-party system.
These types of industries, including insurance, healthcare, finance, or real estate, typically depend heavily on cold calling to connect with potential clients.
Through the use of the database, these businesses can make sure they are contacting the intended recipient.
The database works by allowing callers to check before making a call to find out if the phone number has been reassigned.
It is a query-based system, where subscribers can query up to 50 individual phone numbers or perform a high-volume batch process.
Through the query, callers will provide the dates of consent from the consumer, and the RND, in response, will address whether the phone number has been permanently disconnected after the date of consent with either a “yes,” “no,” or “no data.”
If the database incorrectly determines that the number hasn’t been reassigned, the caller may be protected against TCPA liability.
The database became available to paid subscribers Nov. 1, a month after a beta test period concluded.
The beta period allowed callers to determine their usage needs prior to paying for a subscription, while providing feedback to the administrator.
The RND offers six subscription tiers, with the option of one, three, or six-month subscription periods. In the future, the RND administrator expects to offer an annual subscription option.
It’s not mandatory for businesses to adopt the use of the RND, but the FCC strongly recommends subscribing or requiring third-party vendors to subscribe.
All voice service providers are required to report permanently disconnected phone numbers for the database.
As of mid-October, the database has over 150 million geographic and toll-free phone numbers.A recording of the FCC’s launch-day webinar is available for those interested to view.