Bandwidth messaging content policies


Luke Thompson


To support Bandwidth’s strategic goals and policies for responsible messaging use, Bandwidth, as a member of the CTIA, has committed to implementing guidelines for P2P and A2P messaging content that aligns with industry best practices.

Bandwidth policy for A2P messaging

The following is a summary of our key messaging policies and product requirements. For full details of Bandwidth’s product requirements, see our Terms & Conditions, which are available to all contracted customers.


All customers utilizing Bandwidth A2P Messaging services must comply with applicable opt-in requirements as outlined in CTIA Principles and Best Practices and the CTIA Short Code Monitoring Handbook. Further, customers are advised to seek independent legal advice to ensure compliance with TCPA when offering A2P messaging in the United States.

For A2P Messaging, SMS messages should only be sent to recipients who have opted into your service and/or expect communication from you. Bandwidth and other interconnected carriers actively monitor this kind of activity. Bandwidth reserves the right to block messaging services or suspend your account if abuse is reported.

For example, sending the following message without an explicit opt-in is prohibited. Simply providing an opt-out is not a substitute for obtaining consent: 

“Here’s your coupon for 99 cents off your next order at [COMPANY]. [LINK]. Reply STOP to opt out.”

Prohibited content

Bandwidth’s AUP also applies to A2P messaging usage. To highlight and expand on content prohibited by our AUP, Bandwidth will not power A2P messaging campaigns associated with the following:

  • Engaging in an activity in connection or conjunction with any pornographic and/or adult entertainment industry purpose, regardless of whether such activity is lawfully permitted.
  • Depictions or endorsements of violence, hate speech, or otherwise engaging in threatening, abusive, harassing, defamatory, libelous, deceptive, or fraudulent behavior.
  • Content related to the sale or promotion of substances that are classified as controlled substances under federal law, including marijuana (cannabis).

Prohibited campaign types

Unless expressly authorized by Bandwidth, A2P Messaging services may not be used for the following purposes:

  • Third-party or affiliate lead and/or commission generation (see definition below)
  • Advertisements for loans
  • Credit repair offers
  • Debt relief
  • Debt consolidation
  • Debt collection
  • Work from home, secret shopper, MLM, or other similar advertising campaigns

What is third-party or affiliate lead generation?

This is when the party collecting opt-in is doing so for the purpose of collecting, aggregating, converting, or selling consumer information (leads) to third parties for a fee. Typically, a consumer is driven to a website using online advertising and asked to input their information in order to receive offers for general services like payday loans, insurance products, or educational opportunities. The lead generator then either resells that consumer’s information to one or more third parties or continues to send messages to the consumer with links to offers from multiple partners to try and convert a sale.

At best, these offers can give real value to consumers by connecting them with companies that can help fulfill a need. Oftentimes, however, lead generation companies have engaged in aggressive or potentially misleading marketing campaigns, causing consumers to complain and spam blocking to occur.

Examples of prohibited messaging campaigns

"Savings Alert from [COMPANY]: We found a new program that can protect you from costly auto repairs. It's quick and easy to see if you qualify. [LINK]"

"Lending Alert from [COMPANY]: Your first offer! Great loan options may be available to you. It's quick and easy to learn more. Click for details. [LINK]"

"Need help settling your payday debt? [LINK] or call [NUMBER] to speak with an agent. Text STOP to opt out."

"Thanks for being loyal. You can check for approval today. Log in to see how much. We won't send until you okay it. [LINK]. Reply STOP to opt out."

Age-restricted products

Bandwidth will only power A2P messaging campaigns associated with age-restricted products and services, such as alcohol, firearms, or tobacco, on dedicated short codes, if both of the following requirements are met:

  • The customer and/or sending party demonstrate that they have strict age validations in place for message recipients.
  • The customer agrees they'll work with Bandwidth’s messaging product team to ensure that the messaging campaign content is approved.

Bandwidth policy for P2P messaging

Bandwidth’s Acceptable Use Policy (AUP), which incorporates relevant laws and industry guidelines such as CTIA Messaging Principles and Best Practices, will govern conversational P2P messaging usage. If P2P message content or traffic patterns are found to be in violation of Bandwidth’s AUP or CTIA guidelines, Bandwidth reserves the right to block that content or take other appropriate action as detailed in our AUP.

For reference, the CTIA uses the following general guidelines to define P2P traffic. These are guidelines and should not be construed as a guarantee of P2P traffic classification and corresponding treatment by Bandwidth or other carriers in the messaging ecosystem.

  Attribute Notes
Throughput 15 to 60 messages per minute A consumer is typically not able to originate or receive more than about one message per second.
Volume 1,000 messages per day Only in unusual cases do consumers send or receive more than a few hundred messages in a day. A consumer also can't typically send or receive messages continuously over a long period of time.
Unique Sender 1 phone number assigned to or utilized by a single consumer A single consumer typically originates messages from a single phone number.
Unique Recipients 100 distinct recipients/phone numbers per message A consumer typically sends messages to a limited number of recipients (e.g., 10 unique recipients).
Balance 1:1 ratio of outgoing to incoming messages per phone number with some latitude in either direction Consumer messages are typically conversational. An incoming message typically generates a response from the recipient.
Repetition 25 repetitive messages Consumer messages are uniquely originated or chosen at the direction of the consumer to unique recipients. Typical consumer behavior is not to send essentially or substantially repetitive messages.

Article is closed for comments.