FCC Acts on Call Blocking and Stopping Illegal Robocalls

Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel advances comment requests and enforcement actions.

4/14/2021 8:00 AM

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FCC Acts on Call Blocking and Stopping Illegal Robocalls

Federal Communications Commission Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced two actions Tuesday regarding call blocking and combating illegal robocalls.

The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is preparing a second call blocking report and seeks updated information on call blocking through public comments, according to a news release from the FCC.

The bureau released its first call blocking report in June 2020 detailing the state of call blocking products and services offered by voice service providers and data analytics companies in the U.S.

The bureau issued a public notice seeking updates from providers on call blocking efforts as the bureau prepares a second call blocking report. Comments in response to the public notice are due Friday, April 30, 2021. Visit the public notice on the FCC’s electronic filing website for more information on filing comments. The bureau specifically asks for data and other information relating to the following topics: 

  • The availability of call blocking tools to consumers.
  • The effectiveness of call blocking tools that are offered to consumers.
  • The impact of FCC actions in empowering providers to protect customers from illegal calls.
  • The impact of call blocking on 911 services and public safety.
  • Any other information that may inform the bureau’s analysis of the state of deployment of call-blocking tools and methods.

In addition, the commission released a new consumer webpage for the FCC’s implementation of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act. The site tracks the commission’s progress in enforcement actions, updating call blocking rules and implementing Caller ID authentication. 

“I’m proud that we continue to find new ways to use all the tools at our disposal to make it clear to illegal robocallers that their days are numbered,” Rosenworcel said.

Enforcement Actions

The FCC’s enforcement bureau sent cease and desist letters to two companies, R Squared Telecom LLC and Phonetime, Inc., dba Tellza, that appear to be transmitting multiple unlawful robocall campaigns. The letters instruct recipients to investigate and cease transmitting the identified traffic. If the recipients do not take steps to mitigate the illegal traffic within 48 hours, downstream voice service providers are authorized to block all traffic from the recipients. The same consequence will occur if the recipients fail to inform the FCC and the Traceback Consortium within 14 days of the steps the recipients took to implement effective measures to prevent illegal robocalls. Failure to implement effective illegal robocall mitigation measures may result in the commission issuing a notice to all U.S.-based voice service providers that they may permanently block all call traffic transmitted over the recipients’ networks.

Read more on the enforcement actions and TRACED Act website here.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

FCC Acts on Call Blocking and Stopping Illegal Robocalls

Federal Communications Commission Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel announced two actions Tuesday regarding call blocking and combating illegal robocalls.

The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is preparing a second call blocking report and seeks updated information on call blocking through public comments, according to a news release from the FCC.

The bureau released its first call blocking report in June 2020 detailing the state of call blocking products and services offered by voice service providers and data analytics companies in the U.S.

The bureau issued a public notice seeking updates from providers on call blocking efforts as the bureau prepares a second call blocking report. Comments in response to the public notice are due Friday, April 30, 2021. Visit the public notice on the FCC’s electronic filing website for more information on filing comments. The bureau specifically asks for data and other information relating to the following topics: 

  • The availability of call blocking tools to consumers.
  • The effectiveness of call blocking tools that are offered to consumers.
  • The impact of FCC actions in empowering providers to protect customers from illegal calls.
  • The impact of call blocking on 911 services and public safety.
  • Any other information that may inform the bureau’s analysis of the state of deployment of call-blocking tools and methods.

In addition, the commission released a new consumer webpage for the FCC’s implementation of the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act. The site tracks the commission’s progress in enforcement actions, updating call blocking rules and implementing Caller ID authentication. 

“I’m proud that we continue to find new ways to use all the tools at our disposal to make it clear to illegal robocallers that their days are numbered,” Rosenworcel said.

Enforcement Actions

The FCC’s enforcement bureau sent cease and desist letters to two companies, R Squared Telecom LLC and Phonetime, Inc., dba Tellza, that appear to be transmitting multiple unlawful robocall campaigns. The letters instruct recipients to investigate and cease transmitting the identified traffic. If the recipients do not take steps to mitigate the illegal traffic within 48 hours, downstream voice service providers are authorized to block all traffic from the recipients. The same consequence will occur if the recipients fail to inform the FCC and the Traceback Consortium within 14 days of the steps the recipients took to implement effective measures to prevent illegal robocalls. Failure to implement effective illegal robocall mitigation measures may result in the commission issuing a notice to all U.S.-based voice service providers that they may permanently block all call traffic transmitted over the recipients’ networks.

Read more on the enforcement actions and TRACED Act website here.


Follow ACA International on Twitter @ACAIntl and @acacollector, Facebook and request to join our LinkedIn group for news and event updates. ACA International members are welcome to submit news items for possible publication to comm@acainternational.org. Visit our publications page for news submission guidelines and subscriptions to ACA Daily, Collector magazine and Pulse.

Advertising is available for companies wishing to promote their products or services. Be sure to visit the ACA Events Calendar on the Education and Training page to view our listing of upcoming CORE Curriculum and Hot Topic seminars featuring critical educational opportunities for your company.


Subscribe to ACA Daily NEWSROOM

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