The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will likely approve the launch of a new Do Not Call registry specifically for emergency lines at an open meeting on October 17 at 10:30am. The FCC will consider a Report and Order aiming to protect Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) from autodialed calls, including those for survey and opinion research purposes.

As the Marketing Research Association (MRA) noted in comments to the FCC on July 23, the new registry could be quite helpful to the research profession: "Since there is no reliable listing of emergency lines, the PSAP registry could help prevent researchers from inadvertently calling emergency lines with their autodialers and violating the law."

Although MRA was initially skeptical, consultation with research experts made clear that the registry could protect emergency lines while protecting researchers from unnecessary liability.

This new registry was required by provisions of H.R. 2629 which were tucked into Section 6507 of the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012" (P.L. 112-96), signed into law early this year.