New FCC Regulations on SMS Messages – NEC CONNECT & ENGAGE

Effective March 26, 2024, the FCC has adopted its first regulations specifically targeting the increasing problem of scam and robotexts.  This change may impact your ability to send SMS messages within NEC CONNECT & ENGAGE.

What is included in the new FCC regulations?

  • Enforcement Actions: The FCC has issued hundreds of millions of dollars in enforcement actions against illegal robocallers.
  • Default Call Blocking: Phone companies are empowered to block by default illegal or unwanted calls based on reasonable call analytics before the calls reach consumers.
  • Consumer Options: Consumers have options to block calls from any number that doesn’t appear on their contact list or other “white list.”
  • Caller ID Authentication: Phone companies are required to implement caller ID authentication to help reduce illegal spoofing.
  • Complaint Data Sharing: Consumer complaint data is made available to enable better call blocking and labeling solutions.

Another impact is the Do Not Call registry.  If the telephone number is on this registry, you will not be able to send an SMS message unless you are authorized.

What do I need to do if we use the CONNECT or ENGAGE SMS feature?

If you send a SMS message and receive a response “Message is not delivered.  Number is in DNC registry” or “Message is not delivered. No route available.”  you will need to do the following steps:

FCC codifies that the National Do-Not-Call (DNC) Registry’s protections extend to text messages. This will affect all Application-to-Person messaging (A2P) traffic.
Attempting to send A2P SMS messages to a number on the DNC list will be rejected, returning an error message when attempting to send.

There are 2 ways to obtain permission to text a client or customer and bypass the DNC block:

1. Exemption is done for the organization of the following business categories:

    • HIPAA/Healthcare Provider
    • Financial Institutions
    • Not-for-Profit Organizations
    • Political Campaigns

    To obtain the exemption business license copy must be attached to the Campaign Registration Form. For already registered organizations request is handled by the Support team after providing a business license copy. 

    Campaign Registration Form **If you are not sending SMS campaigns, you only need to complete the highlighted sections. You will need to open a ticket with American Telephone so the form can be submitted/processed.

    2. With explicit approval from the recipient, which is requested through the UNIVERGE BLUE\u00ae CONNECT SMS provider.

    Follow the exact process to allow the recipient of the text message to grant approval to the sender that will allow the text message to bypass the DNC block:

    • The recipient texts the following number: 12676070000.
    • Body of Text: Approve 1XXXXXXXXXX
      Where 1XXXXXXXXXX is the originating number of the account sending the text message.

    Important: Do not alter this format, it must be just the word Approve and the number, there are no spaces, dashes, colons, semi-colons, or parenthesis.  You must send how it shows exactly. The number that goes into the Approve will be the originating number that is attempting to send the text message.

    Confirmation that the request was processed is not required for the recipient or the sender. The original SMS can be resent 10 minutes after the request for approval was sent.

    A company sends a text to 12223334545 from 12223334646 and the sender receives the error Message Not Delivered. The number is in DNC registry. The Recipient: 12223334545 sends a text to the predefined number: 12676070000 with a message of the exact content as shown below:

    Message: Approve 12223334646

    SMS FAQ from NEC:

    FAQ: UNIVERGE BLUE® CONNECT SMS Guidelines and Campaign Registration for Bulk Texting


    We recommend that you fill out the Campaign Registration form even if you are not doing a campaign. We also recommend that you include all your numbers so you can send SMS messages. Your telephone numbers can be found in the admin portal, or you can open a service ticket, and an American Telephone team member will capture this information.

    Campaign Registration Form*If you are not sending SMS campaigns, you only need to complete the highlighted sections. You will need to open a ticket with American Telephone so the form can be submitted/processed.