Sen. Sullivan should stand up to robocallers

Jill Yordy, July 27

To the editor: With more than 2 million robocalls made to the 907 area code last month alone, the Telephone Consumer Protection Act has never been more important for Alaskans. But the Act, the most significant consumer protection from unwanted robocalls, is being threatened.

A recent court ruling called parts of the Act into question, ordering the Federal Communications Commission to revisit the rules. Turning to public comment for input, the FCC opened the door to the nation’s largest banks, retailers, debt collectors, student loan servicers and their Washington, D.C., lobbyists, pushing the FCC to erode vital consumer protections from robocalls.

Capital One, USAA, AT&T and Wells Fargo were among the top 10 sources of robocalls to the 907 area code in June.

The robocallers want the FCC to eviscerate the prohibition against autodialed calls and texts to cellphones without the consumer’s consent and strip consumers of our right to tell the robocallers to stop calling. If the FCC gives in to lobbyists’ demands, the volume of robocalls will soar, and we will be defenseless against them.

Sen. Dan Sullivan, majority member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, which oversees the FCC, is well-positioned to go to bat for us. Sen. Sullivan must demand that the FCC put Alaskans’ rights to privacy above the interests of robocallers and their D.C. lobbyists.