America's move to mobile phones makes survey, opinion and marketing research by telephone increasingly challenging, because the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) forbids calling a cell phone using any automated telephone dialing system (autodialer) without prior express consent, including for research purposes.

The latest data on the households that have cell phones but not landlines, and those that still have landlines, but effectively no longer answer them, give no indication that trends are improving. The latest early release from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) show that two-fifths of American homes (39.4%) had cell phones and no landline phones in the 1st half of 2013 –double since 2008. About 38% of all adults (90 million) lived in wireless only homes -- and the same for 45% of all children (33 million children). In addition, a sixth of American homes (15.7%) still had a landline, but received all or almost all calls on their cell phones.

That is why the Marketing Research Association continues to advocate that survey, opinion and marketing research must be excluded from the TCPA's autodialer-cell phone restrictions.