10DLC, or 10 Digit Long Code, has been designed by mobile carriers to help improve transparency in the messaging ecosystem by implementing a registration process for any organization from any industry that wishes to send A2P (what we have typically called P2P in the political space) messages.
In the current ecosystem, mobile carriers have a difficult time tracking bad actors who send spam and fraudulent messaging. Under 10DLC, because all messages will be associated with a registered brand, mobile carriers will be able to more easily monitor messaging traffic and shut down bad actors.
You’re probably thinking that this sounds like a good thing, so why aren’t we registering? The concept of 10DLC registration is not bad; in fact, it will ensure better deliverability and protect consumers (including voters) from bad actors. There are some specific gaps in the current implementation of 10DLC, however, that could potentially harm political and civic messaging.
The big questions can be boiled down to the following:
Throughput: the number of messages a specific organization can send per minute/day. As of now, 501c3 and 501c4 organizations receive a lower throughput than political campaigns and government entities, which could impact their ability to scale. The specific throughput levels vary by mobile carrier, which is why individuals from the political and civic space have been in communication with each of the mobile carriers to better understand these limits and how they can be increased.
Opt-Ins: Currently, there is a requirement by all of the mobile carriers that any messages sent on 10DLC must go to targets who have explicitly opted in to receive messages. This is an obvious concern for many political and civic organizations who do critical messaging to voters every cycle. This is an ongoing conversation with the mobile carriers where there have been efforts to educate them on how the political/civic space is unique in its messaging and why an opt-in only requirement would be harmful.
Overall, there has been significant progress made in this space, and the mobile carriers have been receptive to these conversations. The goal is now to get all of the necessary information for organizations to make thoughtful decisions before they proceed with registration.
To emphasize—everyone will eventually register, so please stay tuned as we help you navigate 10DLC! Sign up for New Blue Interactive emails to stay on top of this developing news.