FCC Opens Call Blocking Comment Period; ACA Continues Advocacy for Members


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The comments are part of a FCC report on call blocking tools to be released in 2020.

12/30/2019 14:00

ACA International’s advocacy team is working on comments to inform a Federal Communications Commission study on unwanted-call blocking services as the issue of preventing harm from illegal robocalls on consumers and businesses continues to be at the forefront heading in to 2020.

The FCC announced in late December it is studying the call blocking services and seeking comment through Jan. 29, 2020, as part of a comprehensive report in progress by the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau.

“As the FCC continues to pull out all the stops to protect consumers against scam robocalls and spoofing, we expect phone companies and others to make effective tools available to consumers so they can block unwanted and fraudulent calls,” said Chairman Ajit Pai in a news release. “This report will help us better understand where we stand on call blocking and how the actions we’ve taken to date have worked.”

ACA members can inform the comments and study from the perspective of businesses impacted by default call blocking services by sharing their input with the FCC or working with our advocacy team.

A declaratory ruling released by the FCC on June 6, 2019, allows voice service providers to block illegal and “unwanted” calls as the default before they reach consumers’ phones. The ruling, which went into effect immediately upon its release in June, requires providers to give consumers the opportunity to opt-out of the call blocking service, ACA previously reported.

The ruling also directs the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau to study and report on the current state of call blocking tools and the recent public notice outlines the need for public comment on:

  • Availability of call-blocking solutions;
  • Effectiveness of call-blocking solutions;
  • Impact of FCC actions; and
  • Impact of call-blocking solutions on 911 services and public safety.

The 2020 Call Blocking Report due in June 2020 informed by these comments, according to the FCC, will address:

  • The availability to consumers of call-blocking solutions;
  • The effectiveness of various categories of call-blocking tools; and
  • Direct consumer costs associated with the tools.

ACA members are encouraged to provide feedback to include in ACA’s comments to the FCC. Contact Vice President and Senior Counsel of Federal Advocacy Leah Dempsey at [email protected] to share your feedback.

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