The Monopoly of Short Codes!

The Monopoly of Short Codes!

Short Codes offer a unique opportunity to engage with customers fast and effectively. We know there are a lot of regulations and rules that come along with using short codes and it can get a bit confusing. In this article we answer some frequent asked questions about short codes from some of our CDYNE customers to help ease some of the confusion. Short_massages


1) What is the FCC? The Federal Communications Commission regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite and cable in the United States. The FCC originated two laws in regards to addressing spam – the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing (CAN-SPAM) Act.

The CAN-SPAM Act sets the rules for commercial email, establishes requirements for commercial messages, gives recipients the right to have you stop emailing them, and spells out tough penalties for violations.

TCPA is to ensure proper usage of telephone calls, restrict solicitation, and ensure requirements are met when using mobile devices, fax machines, auto dialers, etc.

2) What is the CTIA? Cellular Telecommunications Industry Association, is regulated by wireless carriers in the industry and provides rules for interacting with recipients through SMS.  This organization is responsible for monitoring and ensuring all carrier rules and regulations are followed.

3) What is CSCCommon Short Codes are five or six digits often used by companies to send marketing messages and notifications to mobile devices.  This is the recommended method of sending Bulk SMS.  CDYNE does offer short codes for usage in the U.S. and Canada.

There is a registry that was created by U.S. mobile carriers to administer short codes. Customers have the option of allowing  CDYNE  to lease a short code on their behalf or you can visit the registry and lease the short code on your own.

4) What is the Provisioning Process? Can I use my short code during this process?

The provisioning process generally takes 8 to 12 weeks . During that time your short code goes through stages to become  fully launch and carried on all carrier networks.

First you would need to obtain a short code. You have the option to obtain the short code on your own, or allow CDYNE to obtain one for you!  Next, validation is done to ensure intended short code usage is acceptable, intended usage follows carrier requirements, opt in page is correct, and so on.  Carriers will then test and certify the program on their own network to carry short code messaging. Keep in mind following the recommendations and guidance from your provider will help keep the provisioning process moving  swiftly.

Unfortunately you cannot use your short code during the provisioning process; it has to become launched on all carriers before usage.

 5) Will my short code operate on all wireless service providers? A majority of the wireless providers, especially major providers, allow short code messaging on their network.  However, wireless service providers do have the option of not supporting short codes and its associated application if they choose not to.

All of the major carriers are members of CSCA, which is the Common Short Code Association.  The smaller local carriers &  pre-paid cellular companies, who don’t belong to CSCA are unable to receive messages when sending to a short code.

6) Do short codes have the ability to work internationally? CDYNE only offers short codes for usage within US and Canada for now.

Short codes are country specific and need to be provisioned in each available country before use.

 7) What does a compliant opt in (outgoing) message look like? What does a compliant HELP and STOP message look like?

Opt in Response“Thanks for joining! CDYNE Alerts 5 msgs/week  Reply HELP for HELP Reply STOP to CANCEL Msg&Data Rates May Apply”

Help MT Response“CDYNE Alerts 5 msgs/week +1-800-984-3711 and Reply STOP to CANCEL Msg&Data Rates May Apply”

Stop MT  Response“You have been opted out and will receive no further messages from CDYNE Alerts +1-800-984-3711 and”

8) Why is it recommended to send an opt-in text message after having the consent on paper or website portal?   The double opt in is required after the paper form/and or website opt in, to confirm the recipient would like to receive the alerts.  Perhaps a number was typed mistakenly or a 2 was mistaken for a 7 on a paper form.  The second opt-in gives the user two separate actions to accept pricing and service terms before messaging and billing occurs.

9) What if my short code receives an audit?  The CTIA will issue you a color-coded Program Violation Notice  .  This usually occurs when your short code is not following proper protocol or your program has failed to meet a requirement.  There is a cure date provided to correct the violation, if corrections are not made your short code will be at risk of suspension.

10) How long do I have to fix a program violation notice?  Listed at the top of the violation is the audit number, the short code, the service provider, aggregator, and the cure date.  The chart below shows the estimated cure date for each severity level.


Severity 0 Extreme Consumer Harm Immediate
Severity 1 Serious Consumer Harm 2-5 Business Days
Severity 2 Moderate Consumer Harm 5 Business Days

Want more detail? Have another questions? Comment below and we’ll get right on it!

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