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What’s Changing About A2P10DC? How to Leverage This.

In our last post, we broke down the components of A2P10DLC, helping you understand exactly what is this type of phone number use case and how it compares to the two other common protocols.

The reason we elected to share this information with you now is that the landscape surrounding A2P10DLC is shifting, quickly. And we want to make you aware of the changes that are coming.

Why does A2P10DLC need to change?

If you’ve received an influx of spam texts in the past year, you’re certainly privy to how bad actors can exploit any new technology for unsavory purposes. We shared some staggering statistics on our previous post on mobile phone trends during the pandemic, and it’s clear the bad actors are getting more and more savvy.

These bad actors continue to use this type of texting to create a very negative experience for end users. It’s not unlike the spammers that ruined the email medium after it reached mainstream adoption. 

What happened to email is not only bad, it’s catastrophic. What was once the premier way that people communicated with one another got destroyed. The texting ecosystem is doing everything it can to learn from the mistakes of the past.

Who polices bad actors of A2P?

In the email world, the responsibility to regulate spammers fell on the inboxes, namely Google, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail, Outlook, and the other smaller providers. They needed to offer protection to their customers or else risk them fleeing.

In the texting world, the responsibility to deliver a good end user experience falls on the wireless carriers, namedly Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and the sort. You pay them money to deliver a communication service you want. And the more people who negatively exploit A2P 10DLC, the more carriers will need to step in the interests of their customers.

What’s Happening Now?

As of March 1st, 2021, all three of the major wireless carriers in the U.S. have instituted major regulations for businesses who use A2P10DLC protocol. You can find a handy dandy detailed guide here from Twilio, but at a high level here are the types of changes being implemented.

Increased Scrutiny - At the highest level, this is probably the most important. For years, the carriers just haven’t really cared about A2P10DLC bad actors. And now they do. They have all made a commitment to saying that the ecosystem needs to change and they are willing to spend time and effort to do it.

Fees - The easiest way to discourage people from sending bad messages is simply to charge more per message. And they are doing just that. By raising the fees, they are ensuring that only those who are able to take real advantage of the medium will be able to use it. Spammers have very thin margins, so by charging just small incremental amounts could really make a big difference.

Registration - The final thing that’s happening is the carriers are requiring you to register your company and your various text campaigns with them. That way, they can have an up-to-date database of everyone using A2P10DLC. When they know who’s using their platform, it empowers them to do a better job discriminating amongst users i.e. discriminating against bad actors. Those who fail to register with the wireless carriers can expect their messages to be blocked and never actually reach their intended recipients.  

What Does This Mean For You?

Well if you’re currently a FranFunnel customer, the answer (delightfully so!) is absolutely nothing. The reality is that a major benefit of working with a software provider like us is that we simply handle these things for you. We are working to make sure that your texting strategies are optimized for the new world, ensuring that all the compliance is correctly handled. And we’re not even going to pass along those additional fees to you.

This is great news for our customers. Why? Because FranFunnel is one of the good guys. All this additional regulation is to discourage companies who use texting poorly. By virtue of working with us, you frankly have already made the major step necessary to avoid being considered a bad actor.

If you are NOT a FranFunnel customer (what are you thinking!) then this article should cause you to absolutely sprint to the office of the person in your company who handles your texting strategy. They need to know this, as it could take a long time to get your company up to snuff in the eyes of the wireless carriers.

If you have more questions about A2P 10DLC, we’re happy to talk more with you. It’s our job to help protect end users from unwanted messages and create reliable pathways for messages. Ultimately helping you connect with more real customers so your business can grow.

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