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FCC Agrees to Explore Text Message, Short Code Blocking Legality

Article Comments  31  

Jan 15, 2008, 4:59 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

Today the Federal Communications Commission said it will begin looking deeper into the law to determine if blocking text messages and short codes is an actual violation of the telecom act. The FCC did not say what it will do beyond exploring the law. Public interest groups petitioned the FCC last month to prevent carriers from blocking text messages and short codes.

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Jan 15, 2008, 7:30 PM

public interest groups?

Premium messaging providers are NOT public interest groups....

I'd like to know what in the public interest, other than premiuim messaging, is in the public interest of allowing short codes
I think the article is talking about VZW blocking special interest groups from being able to sms their customers such as anti-abortion groups.
good point i dont want so called public interests or lobbyists propoganda/spam junk.. but what of amber alerts?
I think premium txt services are a bunch of crooks, as most of them don't even have a number that people can call to find out what is going on. I seriously hope that the FCC is not stupid enough to not allow providers to block premium services, as th...

Jan 18, 2008, 9:56 AM


What they should be doing is exploring the legality of these 3rd party companies. I am sick of having customers come into the store I work at because someone or their relative has signed up their phone for some stupid ringtone, dating, chat, joke of the day or other worthless service.

"I didn't download that" blah blah blah. It's a problem we have every single day and third party companies should NOT be able to charge you through your cell phone bill. It should require a credit card to prevent billing issues and customer dissatisfaction.

In some cases it has been nearly impossible for customers to get these services canceled to the point that they have had to change their phone numbers just to get rid of them! Ridiculous.

Jan 16, 2008, 5:08 PM

So what does this mean?

This doesn't mean they would close down texting? Right? I mean they couldn't. But could someone explain in a nut shell what this means. I can't make since of it. Thanks.
Premium text messages work like 900-numbers - you get sent one, and the sender can bill you whatever they want through the phone company, in the same way that a 'psychic hotline' charges you 3 bucks a minute for a phone call. I've seen premium SMS tha...

Jan 16, 2008, 11:01 AM

Why is this illegal?

Most of my customers who encounter premium SMS don't know how it got on their account and want it blocked. I probably can sell more text packages if I can tell customers I can block premium sms.

If NARAL had its people sign up for a text alert and VZW blocked the mass text, I'd say that was a wrong move (VZW did change its mind on that and allow the message).

Now some premium messages are useful (I'm thinking severe weather alerts, which is a paid service), but most are junk. And the ability for customers to voluntarily opt out of premium sms sounds like a good idea. It's just a feature code, it can be removed at any time.

Jan 15, 2008, 9:21 PM

"Premium messaging"

I say do away with it all-together.
NO!! I need my ESPN alerts.
No no no...

I love my ESPN alerts!
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