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Table of Contents - December 12, 2018

FCC Declares Text Messaging Is Information Service

Over the dissent of its lone Democratic Commissioner, Jessica Rosenworcel, the FCC today declared that two forms of wireless messaging, short message service (SMS) and multimedia messaging service (MMS), are information services subject only to light regulation under Title I of the Communications Act.

The agency's Republican Commissioners said that the declaratory ruling in WT docket 08-7 would ensure the continued ability of wireless providers to combat "spam robotexts," which they said would be at risk if the FCC granted long-pending petitions to classify text messaging as a telecommunications service subject to common carrier regulation under Title II of the Act, given the requirements for nondiscriminatory provision of Title II services. They also argue that the information service classification is more legally sound. Moreover, Commissioner Mike O'Rielly looked forward toward the expansion of the information service classification to VoIP (voice over Internet protocol) and VoLTE.

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