FCC proposes tougher action against robocalls with blocking by default

Wednesday 15 May 2019 | 16:15 CET | News

The FCC has announced plans to take a tougher approach against robocalls in the US. At its next meeting in Jne, it will vote on a proposal to make nuisance call blocking the default option for phone lines, rather than the opt-in, voluntary arrangements used to date in the industry. 

The proposal is expected to lead to more widespread adoption of the Shaken/Stir authentication standard developed by the industry to stop the telemarketing calls. Customers would be able to draw up a 'white list' of contacts, so operators only allow through calls from these known numbers. 

The announcement from the FCC comes the same day as an oversight committee in the US Congress heard from FCC chairman Ajit Pai. Mike Doyle, the Congressman who chairs the subcommittee on communications and technology in the House, said that the robocalls "problem is out of control". Americans this year will receive 12 billion more robocalls then they received last year, and the monthly amount of calls has gone from 2 billion to 5 billion in just three years. "We are past the point of band-aids," he said. "We need real solutions to address this problem, and real protections for the American people."

If approved, the FCC rules would propose a safe harbour for providers that implement network-wide blocking for calls that fail caller authentication under the Shaken/Stir framework once it is implemented. Shaken/Stir stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) and the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR). Under the framework, calls travelling through interconnected phone networks would be “signed” as legitimate by originating carriers and validated by other carriers before reaching consumers. 

Pai wants carriers to provide these blocking services for free, with strong protections so that emergency calls are not blocked. People would also be given the chance to opt out of any blocking services they might not want. 

The chairman added that he is seeking public comment on how the Shaken/Stir caller ID authentication standards can inform call blocking. The measures proposed will be considered by the full commission at its 6 June meeting.

Free Headlines in your E-mail

Every day we send out a free e-mail with the most important headlines of the last 24 hours.

Subscribe now

Categories: General
Companies: FCC
Countries: United States
::: add a comment

Add comment

We welcome comments that add value to the discussion. We attempt to block comments that use offensive language or appear to be spam, and our editors frequently review the comments to ensure they are appropriate. If you see a comment that you believe is inappropriate to the discussion, you can bring it to our attention by using the report abuse links. As the comments are written and submitted by visitors of the Telecompaper website, they in no way represent the opinion of Telecompaper.


T-Mobile, Comcast to give customers new anti-robocalling feature

Published 17 Apr 2019 16:50 CET | United States
T-Mobile US and Comcast said they became the first to provide consumer protection from robocalls and spam across networks. The ...

TNS, Metaswitch launch hosted robocall blocking service based on STIR/Shaken

Published 10 Apr 2019 09:43 CET | World
Transaction Network Services (TNS) and Metaswitch launched Call Guardian Authentication Hub, a new hosted Stir/Shaken platform. ...

FCC tells operators to halt scam robocalls by end of year

Published 15 Feb 2019 11:27 CET | United States
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has released the agency's first ever report on illegal robocalls, with chairman Ajit ...

FCC moves to halt scam robocalls by 2019

Published 06 Nov 2018 11:00 CET | United States
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has launched a campaign to urge the phone industry to adopt a call authentication ...

FCC toughens stance against toll free texts, wants comments on intercarrier payments for toll free calling

Published 08 Jun 2018 13:50 CET | United States
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken a tougher stance against the fraudulent use of toll free numbers in text ...

FCC issues USD 120 mln fine for spoofed robocalls

Published 11 May 2018 09:32 CET | United States
The Federal Communications Commission fined Adrian Abramovich USD 120 million for malicious spoofing that was part of his massive ...

Calendar   /   Industry Events

21 May Telefonica Deutschland AGM
21 May 1&1 Drillisch AGM
21 May NGON & DCI World
21 May Connections 2019
21 May Small Cells World Summit
21 May ICT Spring Europe
21 May Honor press conference
21 May MVNOs World Congress
22 May Analog Devices fiscal Q2
22 May Network Virtualization & SDN Europe
22 May China Mobile AGM
23 May Lenovo fiscal Q4
23 May MTS Q1 2019
23 May Weibo Q1 2019
23 May Sina Q1 2019
23 May ViaSat fiscal Q4
23 May Bezeq Q1 2019
23 May United Internet AGM
24 May Ice Group Q1 results
27 May Telkom FY results
28 May Cellcom Q1 2019
28 May Pareteum investor day
28 May Computex
::: More Calendar Items