SomosGov has been selected by the FCC to provide number administration services, including a new function to help in the fight against illegal robocalls. The FCC SomosGov contract is for five years, with the FCC holding an option for an additional three years.
SomosGov will serve as the North American Numbering Plan Administrator, the Pooling Administrator and the Reassigned Numbers Database Administrator.
The North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA) administers the North American Numbering Plan on behalf of its member countries, providing numbering administration functions for telecommunications services, according to the FCC.
The Pooling Administrator (PA) administers number pooling functions in the United States and serves as the commission’s Routing Number Administrator. The PA is responsible for administering non-dialable numbers used for routing emergency calls and other purposes.
SomosGov is no stranger to the role. It is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Somos Inc., which now serves as the NANPA and PA. Moreover, it has been performing these tasks as a subcontractor to Somos.
In its Reassigned Numbers Database Administrator (RNDA) role, SomosGov will establish and operate a comprehensive Reassigned Numbers Database containing reassigned numbers information from each provider that obtains North American Numbering Plan U.S. geographic numbers and toll-free numbers. Callers will be able to check the database to see if a number has potentially been reassigned so that the callers can avoid calling consumers not wishing to receive their calls.
“The database is an important aspect of the FCC’s efforts to combat illegal robocalls and to reduce the number of unwanted calls consumers receive,” said the FCC SomosGov press release. “The Commission established a safe harbor for good-faith users of the database to shield them from Telephone Consumer Protection Act liability they could incur due to database error.”
The effort to curtail robocalls is a long-term goal of the FCC. Last month, the commission fined telemarketer Kenneth Moser and his firm, Marketing Support Systems, $10 million for placing more than 47,610 spoofed calls in two days against a candidate in the California State Assembly elections.
That fine followed one announced in October. In that case, the FCC fined Affordable Enterprises of Arizona $37.5 million for making more than 2.3 million illegal calls during a 14-month period beginning in 2016.