Eduardo Guzmán has written an article for Law360 regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) with relation to voice over internet protocol (VoIP) services.
Much like the explosion in the use of mobile devices dramatically changed how the TCPA has been enforced and applied, emerging technologies like VoIP threaten to alter the TCPA landscape in ways that would have been unpredictable when the statute was enacted in 1991. The TCPA does not mention VoIP or VoIP calls, but the proliferation of VoIP services and their ability to mirror traditional telephony has made them a favorite target of the TCPA plaintiffs’ bar.
As a result, over the last five years, rulings from a number of district courts across the country appear to not quite grasp the regulatory nuances in relation to VoIP and favor creating standards that demand the impossible from a compliance perspective. Mr. Guzmán considers the decision by the U.S. District of Massachusetts in Breda v. Cellco Partnership in late 2017 as the latest example. Although the case is generally lauded as a victory for companies because the court dismissed the lawsuit, a more careful look at the ruling finds that it appears to give credence to theories that have been at the heart of the confusion in many of the courts’ decisions tackling VoIP calls under the TCPA.
This evolution of the treatment of calls to VoIP services under the TCPA leaves companies with a number of important takeaways, which he elaborates on in the full article on Law360.