FCC robotext order will result in corporate censorship and reduction in broadband funds, CWA and consumer groups say

CWA and 19 other public interest, rural, Native American, and consumer groups sent a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, objecting to the agency’s Wireless Messaging Service Declaratory Ruling. The ruling, which classifies text messaging as a Title I “information service,” rather than a Title II “telecommunications service,” allows wireless carriers to block short-messaging services (SMS) and short codes, often used by charitable and political organizations to communicate with their members and to request donations.

The group letter emphasizes that “permitting carriers to block messages without any oversight will result in censoring time-critical speech, hamper efforts to organize political engagement and severely restrict the ability of civil rights organizations, religious organizations, and other non-commercial organizations to use texting platforms to their full capability.” The order will also threaten billions of dollars in contributions from the Universal Service Fund, which funds important programs such as Lifeline and the Connect America Fund.

Read the full letter here.


Labor and Consumer Letter to Chairman Pai (Public Knowledge, Dec. 5, 2018)

In the Matter of Petitions for Declaratory Ruling on Regulatory Status of Wireless Messaging Service (FCC, Nov 21, 2018)