CTIA Now Enforcing Unfair & Unreasonable SMS Short Code Audits, Threatens SMS Providers

We’ve seen many unfair and unreasonable initiatives targeted at SMS messaging, with previous per-message rate hikes being a prime example, but the latest initiative by the CTIA tops them all.

CTIA has begun a new SMS short code auditing program that seeks to analyze all short codes for regulation compliance.  Scott Goldman of TextPower.com explained the new initiative perfectly in a post entitled “It’s Official: Cellular Carriers Have Gone Nuts.”  In short, SMS providers are now being held accountable by the CTIA for all advertised short codes, even though the providers themselves aren’t necessarily promoting these short codes.

So, for example, if a customer of an SMS provider is advertising a short code that’s found not to be in compliance by CTIA, the SMS provider is the one held accountable, not the customer who was responsible for the non compliant short code promotion.  “Behind the scenes, for the past 72 hours, businesses of all sizes have essentially stopped selling, helping customers, improving their systems and growing their businesses to attend to the demands of these auditors who are unaccountable to anyone other than the carriers they represent,” explained Goldman in his post.

What’s amazing is the fact that providers like Facebook and Twitter, who send more text messages than anyone, aren’t subject to these ridiculous audits, yet providers like EZ Texting, 4INFO and mobileStorm are.  For another in-depth write-up on the situation, Shane Neman — CEO of SMS provider EZ Texting — wrote an excellent blog post today.

A petition has even been formed for anyone or any organization that wants to fight back against CTIA, which can be found and signed here.