Robocall Mitigation Efforts Target of FCC Proposed Rulemaking

FCC proposed rulemakingThe FCC proposed rulemaking and request for comment builds on the commission’s actions to stop foreign-originated illegal robocalls by considering if more controls are needed.

08/05/2022 11:00 A.M.

2.5 minute read

The Federal Communications Commission is considering more robocall mitigation efforts in a notice of proposed rulemaking focused on foreign-originated illegal robocalls and call authentication, among other topics.

Comments on the proposed rulemaking are due Aug. 17, with reply comments due Sept. 16.

The FCC says in the proposal it is taking further steps to stop foreign-originated illegal robocalls and seeking comments on additional ways to address such calls.

ACA International and joint industry trade groups are reviewing key issues in the proposal, including requiring telecom companies to treat so-called non-conversational traffic differently than “conversational traffic.”

Non-conversational traffic is typically high volume auto-dialed calls. Similar to the problem with the use of “reasonable analytics,” both legal and illegal autodialed calls could fall in this category. And any attempt to impose additional requirements on telecom providers carrying non-conversational traffic (assuming that could be sufficiently defined) risks having carriers either refuse to carry such traffic or puts them at such risk that they impose new costs on callers.

Non-conversational traffic could easily include alerts or other informational calls, which means the FCC should be cautious in how it approaches that component of the proposed rulemaking.

Comments Needed

The portion of the proposed rulemaking related to non-conversational and conversational traffic begins on page 70 and includes paragraphs 183-186.

  • The FCC seeks comment on whether, and if so how, it should further clarify its rule requiring providers to take affirmative, effective measures to prevent new and renewing customers from using their network to originate illegal calls. In a previous order, the FCC allowed providers flexibility to determine compliance with the requirement and is evaluating if it should modify that approach.
  • The FCC seeks comment on the proposed definition of “non-conversational traffic” as having an average call duration of less than two minutes. While some illegal calls are “conversational,” many are not. The FCC’s proposal states that stopping non-conversational illegal calls would significantly reduce the number of illegal calls consumers receive.
  • It also seeks comment on whether providers with a direct relationship to callers are in the best position to know what traffic a caller seeks to originate or if should include other providers, such as intermediate providers.
  • The FCC also seeks comment on extending some of the new requirements it imposes on gateway providers today to all domestic providers, including: expanding the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication obligation to all intermediate providers; applying certain existing mitigation obligations, including to a broader range of providers; enhancing the enforcement of its rules; clarifying certain aspects of its STIR/SHAKEN regime; and placing limits on the use of U.S. NANP numbers for foreign-originated calls and indirect number access.

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.

ACA will file comments on the proposed rulemaking. If you would like to share feedback to inform ACA’s comments, 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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