The requirements include voice service providers not currently covered by FCC call blocking rules. The commission is also seeking comment on further call blocking issues, such as notifications to callers.
05/22/2023 1:35 P.M.
4 minute read
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New rules from the Federal Communications Commission expand call blocking requirements and the scope of voice service providers required to comply.
The FCC adopted its 7th report and order on call blocking May 18 as part of its “multi-pronged approach” on the issue.
“With the [r]eport and [o]rder adopted today, FCC rules will further enlist service providers in the fight against unwanted robocalls by extending our 24-hour traceback requirement to cover all voice service providers,” according to a news release from the FCC. “Carriers will be required to support FCC and industry efforts to trace illegal robocalls across various networks and back to their originating sources. The rules will also require providers that originate illegal robocall traffic to block that traffic when notified by the [c]ommission.”
The FCC also extended the requirement to take reasonable and effective steps to ensure all voice service providers are not using their networks to carry or process a high volume of illegal calls. This means providers accepting call traffic from an “upstream provider” must know their processes, ACA International previously reported.
The FCC will seek public comment on:
- Requiring voice service providers to adopt analytics-based blocking.
- Requiring providers to block calls based on reasonable do-not-originate lists.
- Whether to require the display of caller name information in certain cases, and increasing forfeitures for voice service providers that fail to comply with the FCC’s rules.
The FCC will also seek comment on a number of other call blocking issues, including on requiring a single Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) code for immediate notification to callers whose calls are blocked based on analytics and requiring terminating providers to display caller name information when they provide an indication to the call recipient that the call has received “full” or “A” attestation.
As you may recall, the last time the FCC addressed this issue, it authorized use of the 603 SIP code along with 607/608. Since then, the industry developed the 603+ code, ACA previously reported.
SIP codes are programmed to inform callers with certain responses.
In addition to advocating for SIP codes 607 and 608 in meetings with the FCC, ACA and joint industry trade groups have also called for the commission to sunset the use of SIP code 603, which only signals to the caller that the recipient declined the call, not that the call was subject to blocking by voice service providers, ACA previously reported.
ACA members and staff were on Capitol Hill for the Washington Insights Fly-In at the same time the FCC held its meeting and voted on the new rules. David Williams, president of Williams & Fudge Inc. and ACA board member, ACA CEO Scott Purcell and Leah Dempsey, shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck and ACA’s lobbyist, had a meeting with the FCC to discuss ongoing call blocking and labeling issues, legislation and regulations.
ACA, with its Telephone Consumer Protection Act coalition, as it has done several other times, filed comments outlining callers’ concerns. ACA continues to have discussions with the FCC about this topic.
In March, the FCC adopted new rules on illegal robocall mitigation and to expand requirements for voice service providers to implement the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework.
The rulemaking (PDF) closes a significant gap in the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework, increases robocall mitigation requirements for all providers, enacts more robust enforcement tools, and seeks feedback on more steps to further improve the effectiveness of the STIR/SHAKEN framework, ACA previously reported.
ACA and joint industry trade association partners have also advocated with the FCC to ensure important illegal robocall blocking measures do not impact calls from legitimate businesses consumers want and need, as documented in a letter (PDF) recapping a meeting with these groups and the FCC on its Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls.
They also submitted a letter (PDF) before a March meeting with proposed additions to the FCC’s report and order on text message blocking, including the point of contact for blocked text messages.
The joint industry trade groups appreciate the FCC’s quick actions to help curb illegal robotexts and overall support regulation; however, there is more work to be done in the text message blocking rule, which ACA members can read about here.
Meanwhile, the FCC’s modified rule on call exemptions and obtaining consumers’ consent will take effect on July 20, 2023, meaning compliance is required for certain call exemptions and call limits by that date, ACA previously reported.
To learn how this could impact your business and call flow, ACA members can listen to this recent ACA Huddle episode presented by Mark Brennan and Katy Milner, partners at Hogan Lovells.
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