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FCC looks at text messaging and the open internet

The US FCC is weighing the benefits of protecting SMS text messaging under the Title II open internet rules, versus continuing to protect consumers from a potential bombardment of unwanted texts, notes JD Supra. “If the FCC reclassifies SMS text messaging as a common carrier service under Title II, it will impose net neutrality rules, which would prevent internet providers from blocking or throttling text message traffic. Twilio, a company that provides mass texting services to businesses, has been fighting for the FCC to clarify that texts should be regulated under the open internet rules. Wireless industry players have recently responded that the change would hurt consumers.” Twilio provides services that allow customers to text with businesses, but its messages have repeatedly been blocked by wireless carriers. According to Twilio, wireless carriers are simply using their monopoly connections to increase the price of text messaging. Twilio has been able to point to a recent study indicating that users overwhelmingly prefer text messages when communicating with brands. “Since Twilio first asked the FCC to unambiguously declare text messaging services as Title II services in 2015, wireless carriers have opposed the change on the grounds of consumer protection. Wireless carriers point out that they have reduced SMS spam significantly from its peak levels in 2012, and block hundreds of millions of spam text messages daily. The CTIA, an association of wireless carriers, has accused Twilio of ‘serving as the conduit for spam’ and warned of subjecting Americans’ smartphones ‘to the same degree of frivolous and exploitive content that many Americans’ email inboxes are subject to today.’” See more

  • Friday, 17 March 2017

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