The rules build on existing robocall mitigation efforts and seek to close the gap in voice service providers’ implementation of the FCC’s call authentication framework.
03/24/2023 3:05 P.M.
3 minute read
The Federal Communications Commission has adopted new rules on illegal robocall mitigation and to expand requirements for voice service providers to implement the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework.
The action “will build on FCC and industry success in implementing the framework used to trace back, block, and/or identify originators of illegal spoofed robocalls,” according to a news release from the FCC following its March 16 meeting where the rules were passed.
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 International previously reported.
Specifically, the new rules will “require intermediate providers that receive unauthenticated IP calls directly from domestic originating providers to use STIR/SHAKEN to authenticate those calls.”
This measure will close the gap between originating voice service providers with systems that cannot accommodate the framework and others that “may deliberately fail to authenticate calls,” according to the FCC.
“By requiring the next provider in the call path to authenticate those calls, the FCC closes a gap in the caller ID authentication regime and facilitates government and industry efforts to identify and block illegal robocalls,” it reports.
In addition, the new rules will expand robocall mitigation requirements for all providers through the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database.
In enforcement components of the rule, the “FCC made clear that violations of its mandatory blocking rules could result in substantial fines using per call forfeiture calculations.”
The FCC also adopted a further notice of proposed rulemaking at the March 16 meeting to continue to build on robocall protections for consumers as well as new regulations to target “scam text messages” through mitigation by wireless carriers, ACA previously reported.
The mitigation includes requiring wireless carriers to block text messages that appear to be from invalid, unallocated or unused numbers that are unlikely to send text messages, according to the FCC.
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 the March 16 meeting with proposed additions to FCC’s report and order on text message blocking, including the point of contact for blocked text messages that is addressed in this new rule.
The joint industry trade groups appreciate the FCC’s quick actions to help curb illegal robotexts and “support regulation of texts sent from invalid, unallocated or unused numbers and those on Do Not Originate lists and are pleased to see the Commission take action to block such texts,” according to the recent letter.
However, there is more work to be done in the 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.