ACA’s Advocacy Pays Off in FCC’s Vote to Mandate Caller ID Authentication by Phone Companies


The commission also voted to seek public comment on expanding call authentication to include intermediate voice service providers. Editor’s note: This article is available for members only.

4/6/2020 9:00

The Federal Communications Commission unanimously approved its Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on mandating adoption of STIR/SHAKEN by voice service providers and additional measures to combat spoofed calls March 31.

The commission’s approval of the order requires all originating and terminating voice service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN in the Internet Protocol (IP) portions of their networks by June 30, 2021, a deadline that is consistent with Congress’s direction in the recently-enacted Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, according to a news release from the FCC.

In his statement on the order, Commissioner Michael O’Rielly expressly recognized the harms of overbroad call blocking and the need for recourse.

"While we don’t specifically address the issue of improper call blocking and labeling today, I likewise sympathize with the view expressed by commenters in the docket that we need to ensure partial implementation of the STIR/SHAKEN framework doesn’t lead to legitimate calls being blocked or mislabeled," O’Rielly said. "We need to make sure that our implementation of the legislation stays true to this purpose, through meaningful and expeditious redress mechanisms for such callers and providers."

ACA International met with several FCC offices to outline concerns and suggestions before the vote.

O’Rielly also urged the FCC to act on defining an automatic telephone dialing system under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, which ACA and its partners have long advocated for in connection to the ruling in ACA Int’l vs. FCC.

During the meeting, the FCC also adopted a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to take public comment on expanding the STIR/SHAKEN implementation mandate to cover intermediate voice service providers; extending the implementation deadline by one year for small voice service providers pursuant to the TRACED Act; adopting requirements to promote caller ID authentication on voice networks that do not rely on IP technology; and implementing other aspects of the TRACED Act, according to the news release.

In paragraph 121 of the final order, the FCC sought comment on whether and how to address any risks of consumer confusion or competitive issues stemming from call labeling, an issue that ACA and coalition partners outlined to the FCC in recent ex parte filings.

In footnote 97, the FCC also declined to adopt an immediate safe harbor for carriers blocking calls stating, "We intend to address call-blocking issues and the role of analytics in relation to call blocking in a separate item and thus decline to address these requests here."

ACA will continue to advocate for parameters to be set around any safe harbor addressed at a later date.

Comments on the report and order discussed at the meeting also remain open until May 15, 2020 and reply comments are due May 29, 2020.

ACA previously submitted comments to the FCC on STIR/SHAKEN in July 2019 and will respond to the latest proposal on behalf of the industry and members.

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