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FCC to Discuss Call Authentication Plans at Thursday Meeting

caller ID authenticationThe FCC, citing comments from industry stakeholders, is seeking more information on gaps in call authentication requirements for some voice service providers and call authentication on networks lacking the tools to use STIR/SHAKEN processes.

10/25/2022 11:30 A.M.

2.5 minute read

The Federal Communications Commission will consider launching a broader inquiry on call authentication technology for non-IP networks and how best to address the remaining gap in its call authentication plans at its meeting Thursday, Oct. 27.

Non-IP networks essentially don’t have the tools to conduct the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework as required under the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act, which was passed to mitigate illegal and unwanted robocalls, ACA International previously reported.

Earlier this month, the FCC announced it would seek additional comment from industry stakeholders on call authentication processes after a push from ACA and its coalition partners to ensure the standards will reflect concerns from callers and the impact they will have on callers.

Congress has directed the FCC to separately address caller ID authentication for non-IP networks. The TRACED Act required the commission to mandate that voice service providers take “reasonable measures” to implement an effective caller ID authentication framework in the non-IP portions of their networks, according to the FCC.

The FCC adopted rules implementing this statutory direction and, since those rules were adopted, industry technologists have made progress on standards for non-IP caller ID authentication.

Caller ID authentication allows voice service providers to verify that the caller ID information transmitted with a particular call matches the caller’s real number, which in turn helps to determine whether the call should be blocked or labeled, according to the FCC.

Widespread deployment of caller ID authentication will reduce the effectiveness of illegal spoofed caller ID, allow law enforcement to identify bad actors more easily, and better enable phone companies to block illegal calls before those calls reach consumers, the FCC says.

What happens if a network used by a voice service provider can’t support caller ID authentication? The provider needs to switch networks or come up with a comparable technology that can be used on a non-IP network.

This issue is at the center of this comment request and inquiry, but some of the specifics need to be hashed out with industry input.

The FCC seeks comment on these items also slated for discussion Thursday:

  • The prevalence of non-IP technology in the country’s phone networks generally and the impact this technology has on the problem of illegal robocalls.
  • Two standards for caller ID authentication on non-IP networks developed by the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).
  • Any alternative technological or policy solutions to enable caller ID authentication over non-IP networks.
  • The nexus between non-IP caller ID authentication and the IP transition generally, and on specific steps the commission can take to encourage the industry’s transition to IP.

If the notice of inquiry on Thursday is approved, it’s expected that interested parties may file comments by Dec. 12, 2022, and reply comments are due by Jan. 11, 2023. To submit comments on the notice of proposed rulemaking, visit the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System and file under CG 17-59. For more information on the proposed rulemaking, click here.

If you would like to share feedback with ACA on this comment request, contact our advocacy team at [email protected].

If you have executive leadership updates or other member news to share with ACA, contact our communications department at [email protected]. View our publications page for more information and our news submission guidelines here.

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