Published: Wed, June 12, 2019
Tech | By Anita Cain

The FCC is finally taking robocalls seriously

The FCC is finally taking robocalls seriously

While the FCC has been working on solutions to illegal robocalls for a long time, it announced the now-enacted default call blocking declaratory ruling less than a month ago on May 15.

The FCC is also looking to have phone companies improve caller ID .

I sought to rectify this potential harm by requesting that the item at a minimum require carriers to implement a redress process for erroneously blocked calls. These calls often use spoofed numbers featuring the recipient's own area code, a deception that aims to trick the consumer into thinking they're receiving a local call.

The FCC on Thursday ended up voting in favor of allowing carriers to "aggressively block unwanted robocalls before they reach consumers". "I think we can anticipate some really strong opposition, depending on the way the call blocking technologies are implemented".

Moving forward, the firm plans to "evolve" its service, taking advantage of the new flexibility the FCC has provided. The move could curb a torrent of phone-based scams and unwelcome interruptions that have afflicted millions of consumers, said the FCC.

"There is nothing here that prevents companies from charging each of us whatever additional fees they want to put this call blocking technology on our line", Rosenworcel said.

Every year Americans are inundated by tens of billions of spam and scam calls, and every year the problem gets worse, undermining the benefits of having a mobile phone. Pai says there should be a process in place for companies and consumers to appeal call-blocking decisions in the event a communication is warranted. It is an American right to have domestic tranquillity (per the Preamble to the US Constitution), and part of that involves eliminating the constant harassment of automated calls created to do nothing more than unsettle the consumer conscience. Consumers can also ask their company not to block anything. "I think it's going to be a much bigger challenge for carriers to get comfortable at blocking a lot more robocalls by default".

And while the FCC is urging wireless carriers to offer call blocking for free, the order would not mandate it.

FCC chairman Ajit Pai said Thursday that it's in the best interest of the phone companies to offer the service free of charge.

"Americans receive, I didn't believe this number when it was first given to me, five billion robocalls a month", he stated.

The FCC also voted to adopt a notice of proposed rulemaking that, as described in the FCC's press release, would "require service providers to implement the SHAKEN/STIR caller ID authentication framework, if major voice service providers fail to do so by the end of this year". "Among other things, default call-blocking will reduce the costs of handling the robocalls that flood their networks and save them grief by limiting customer complaints", he said.

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