TransNexus blog

Are you ready to refuse calls from unregistered service providers?

The FCC Second Report and Order on SHAKEN prohibits U.S. providers from accepting voice traffic directly from unregistered providers starting September 28, 2021. Are you ready?

STIR/SHAKEN statistics for August 2021

We’ve pulled SHAKEN statistics from our ClearIP customers in August. How did this initiative do in the second full month since the mandate went into effect? Let’s have a look.

FCC proposes additional robocall rules for gateway providers

The FCC issued a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) on robocalls and SHAKEN. The new rules would place additional requirements on gateway voice service providers to prevent unlawful robocalls originated overseas from entering the U.S. Here’s an overview.

FCC asks whether to revise SHAKEN mandate extensions

The FCC Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) issued a public notice asking for comments on SHAKEN implementation deadline extensions. The WCB wants to know whether these extensions should be kept, extended, or cut short. What brought this up? What’s next? Let’s have a look.

2021 Robocall Virtual Summit—National Association of Attorneys General

The National Association of Attorneys General will hold a Robocall Virtual Summit on September 8-9, 2021. The summit will cover the robocall landscape, industry and government responses, and areas for improvement. The September 8 session is open to the public. It includes an outstanding lineup of sessions and panelists. Here’s an overview.

Robocalls down in August—trend, or blip?

Robocalls in the U.S. were down about 8% in August, according to the YouMail Robocall Index. Is this a trend, or a blip? Let’s have a look.

The ongoing debate over call blocking notification rules

The FCC’s Fourth Order on robocalling required voice service providers that block calls to immediately notify callers of such blocking. The implementation deadline is January 2022. USTelecom filed a petition for reconsideration and clarification, and many interested parties have jumped into the fray. Here’s a recap.

Rich Call Data and Delegate Certificates—a great pairing

Rich Call Data and Delegate Certificates are a powerful combination. They will provide great value to enterprise callers by making their outbound calls trusted. Let’s have a look at how these things work, and what’s needed to bring them into widespread adoption.

Telcos must refuse calls from unregistered service providers

Starting September 28, 2021, FCC rules prohibit intermediate and terminating voice service providers from accepting calls with U.S. calling numbers directly from any voice service provider that does not appear in the Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD). Are you ready to implement this? Here’s how.

Fifty-one state AGs ask FCC to shorten SHAKEN extension

Fifty-one state attorneys general filed reply comments with the FCC urging the Commission to shorten the SHAKEN extension for certain small voice service providers. They called the Commission’s proposed rulemaking a good starting point and urged them to take it further.

Canadian regulator changes service provider SHAKEN qualifications

The CRTC (Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission) issued a highly awaited decision on qualifications for Telephone Service Providers (TSPs) to participate in SHAKEN. Here’s an overview of the decision and how it impacts providers.

July 2021 STIR/SHAKEN statistics

We examined SHAKEN call statistics from our ClearIP customers in July. They received signed calls from 181 originating service providers in July, which gives us insight into trends in SHAKEN usage in the first full month of the mandate. Here’s an overview.

FCC establishes SHAKEN revocation appeals process

The FCC issued a Third Report and Order on SHAKEN. This order establishes an appeals process that a voice service provider may use if their SHAKEN authorization is revoked by the STI Governance Authority (STI-GA). Here’s a summary of the SHAKEN revocation process.

Are SHAKEN and robocall mitigation preventing unlawful robocalls?

STIR/SHAKEN call authentication and/or robocall mitigation programs were mandated to be used starting June 30, 2021. So robocalls plummeted in July 2021, yes? Well, not exactly. Let’s have a look.

Who should sign SHAKEN calls?

Who should sign calls authenticated with STIR/SHAKEN? It seems a simple question. But when you combine complex calling scenarios with current FCC rules, the answers aren’t so easy. Let’s have a look.

Spam robocalls and SHAKEN attestation

We’ve analyzed the relationship between spam robocalls and SHAKEN attestation during the first three weeks after the SHAKEN mandate. Here’s what we found.

Webinar recording — Out-of-Band SHAKEN deployment—everything you need to know

The recording and slides from our recent webinar, Out-of-Band SHAKEN deployment—everything you need to know, are now available.

Evaluating robocall mitigation program certification filings

As of July 21, 2021, there were 3,235 certification filings in the FCC Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD). Who’s filing? How informative are these filings? Legal Calls Only, an online forum for content on the unlawful robocall problem, has been tracking, profiling, and scoring certification filings to answer these questions. Here’s what they’re doing.

SHAKEN attestation statistics for early July 2021

We analyzed statistics for SHAKEN attestation in the early days of SHAKEN after the FCC mandate went into effect. There are some interesting findings here. Let’s have a look.

June 2021 STIR/SHAKEN statistics

We examined SHAKEN call statistics from our ClearIP customers in June. They received signed calls from 131 originating providers in June, which gives us insight into trends in SHAKEN usage. We looked at similar statistics in March–April and again in May. Let’s have a look.

Robocall Mitigation Database filing statistics

The deadline for service providers to file their certification in the FCC Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD) has passed, so we reviewed the filing statistics to see who filed, and how. Let’s have a look.

Robocaller tried to hack SHAKEN

A voice service provider using ClearIP SHAKEN encountered a batch of inbound robocalls signed with a hacked SHAKEN PASSporT. Here’s what happened, and what we think it means.

Will FCC robocall orders block ALL international calls from unregistered service providers?

The i3 Forum published a whitepaper on how FCC robocall mitigation orders will impact international voice traffic to the U.S. This paper includes some astonishing statements on the potential impacts. Let’s have a look.

FCC issues public notice on SHAKEN and robocall mitigation June 30 deadline

The FCC issued a public notice reminder for the June 30 SHAKEN and robocall mitigation implementation deadlines. They also explained potential enforcement actions. Here’s a summary.

FCC to establish a streamlined process for robocall reporting

The FCC adopted rules last week to establish a streamlined process for private entities to report suspected robocall and spoofing violations. Here’s an overview.

May 2021 STIR/SHAKEN statistics

With the June 30 SHAKEN deadline rapidly approaching, we’ve looked at call statistics from our ClearIP customers to see whether they’re getting many calls that were signed using STIR/SHAKEN. We looked at similar statistics in March and April. Let’s have a look at what we found and what’s changed.

Robocall mitigation plan secrets

USTelecom filed reply comments with the FCC that were sharply critical of recent filings in the Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD) seeking blanket confidentiality for providers’ robocall mitigation plans. Here’s what’s happening.

Webinar recording — Preparing for SHAKEN in Canada

The recording, slides, and questions/answers from our recent webinar, Preparing for SHAKEN in Canada, are now available.

Robocall Mitigation Database filing statistics

We reviewed the progress of certification filings in the FCC Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD) and found some interesting statistics. Let’s take a look.

U.S. — Canada cross-border SHAKEN

As the U.S. and Canadian telephone ecosystems move toward widespread deployment of STIR/SHAKEN call authentication, questions about cross-border SHAKEN are coming up. Can calls signed in Canada be verified in the U.S., and vice versa? How would that work? Let’s have a look.

FCC publishes Small Entity Compliance Guide for robocall blocking

The FCC released a Small Entity Compliance Guide for the Third Report and Order on robocall blocking. This five-page guide summarizes the 71-page Report and Order to help small entities comply with the rules.

FCC — Service providers must now diligently pursue SHAKEN certificates

The FCC has issued a public notice that voice service providers previously unable to obtain a SHAKEN certificate must now diligently pursue a SHAKEN certificate. Here’s an overview.

STI Governance Authority changes effective date of new SPC token access policy

The STI Governance Authority yesterday announced a change in the effective date for their new SPC token access policy. This will make it easier for some service providers to certify either complete or partial SHAKEN implementation in their robocall mitigation filing. Here are the details.

Out-of-Band SHAKEN goes to letter ballot

Specifications developed for Out-of-Band SHAKEN have gone to letter ballot on May 3, 2021. These specifications extend the current SHAKEN framework to enable service providers using TDM signaling in their network or interconnects to participate in the SHAKEN ecosystem without placing any new requirements on authorized SHAKEN service providers.

Webinar recording — Robocall mitigation filing essentials

The recording from our recent webinar, Robocall Mitigation Certification Filing Essentials, is now available.

Robocall mitigation certification filing begins

The FCC has opened the portal to accept robocall mitigation certification filings from voice service providers. All providers that transmit calls with U.S. NANP calling numbers must have a registration on file by June 30, 2021.

Recent STIR/SHAKEN statistics

We’ve looked at call statistics from our ClearIP customers for the last 45 days to see whether they’re getting many calls that were signed using STIR/SHAKEN. Here’s what we found.

Is there a flaw in the FCC Robocall Mitigation Database rule?

USTelecom and several carrier representatives met with FCC officials to alert them to a potential loophole in the Commission’s Robocall Mitigation Database scheme. The loophole could enable foreign-originated illegal traffic to reach U.S. consumers without any meaningful constraints.

FCC issues robocall cease and desist letters

The FCC issued cease-and-desist letters to two voice service providers. These letters instruct the providers to effectively mitigate illegal robocall traffic within 48 hours. If they do not, downstream voice service providers will be authorized to block all their traffic.

Canadian regulator postpones STIR/SHAKEN deadline

The CRTC has postponed the STIR/SHAKEN deadline in Canada. They issued a decision on 6 April 2021 in response to interventions filed by Canadian Telephone Service Providers (TSPs) and industry associations. Here’s an overview of their decision.

U.S. Supreme Court issues decision that will impact robocalls

The U.S. Supreme Court today issued a decision in the Facebook v. Duguid case. This decision resolves a longstanding legal dispute over whether courts should use either a narrow or a broad definition of “Automatic Telephone Dialing System” (ATDS) when interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA).

FCC STIR/SHAKEN deadline extension petitions denied or withdrawn

Four voice service providers had requested deadline extensions for STIR/SHAKEN deployment. Two have been denied, and two have been withdrawn.

FCC intermediate provider registry

The FCC maintains an Intermediate Provider Registry. Originally intended for the Rural Call Completion Third Report and Order, it will also be used as a source for the new Robocall Mitigation Database. Here’s an overview.

Robocall mitigation compliance strategy

The TRACED Act and subsequent FCC orders require action by June 30, 2021. Voice service providers need a compliance strategy. In this blog post, we review the requirements and things you should think about while developing your plan.

Webinar recording — Prepare for the FCC robocall deadline

The recording from our recent webinar, How to Prepare and Register with the FCC’s SHAKEN/Robocall Mitigation Database, is now available.

FCC issues robocall cease and desist letters

The FCC Enforcement Bureau recently sent cease and desist letters to six voice service providers for transmitting illegal robocalls.

Webinar recording — TRACED Act compliance — everything you need to know

The recording from our recent webinar, TRACED Act Compliance — Everything You Need to Know, is now available. It reviews these regulatory requirements and shows you compliance strategies for various types of voice service providers and call scenarios.

A proposal to prevent blocking of legitimate foreign calls

Could legitimate calls from overseas get blocked? The FCC Second Order requires blocking calls from upstream service providers, including foreign providers, not registered in the new Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD). This has raised concerns, and now, a proposed solution.

Why you might use a Centralized SHAKEN Server, and how

ATIS published a technical report that describes a Centralized Signing and Signature Validation Services architecture than can be used in a STIR/SHAKEN deployment. Let’s look at why you might use that, and how.

Robocalls are back

Robocall activity plummeted during the first pandemic wave of March–April 2020. Since then, robocalls have been gradually increasing each month and have returned to pre-pandemic levels, despite increased use of robocall prevention measures. Let’s take a closer look.

Legislation to require Critical Call List reintroduced in U.S. Senate

Legislation has been reintroduced in the U.S. Senate to require the FCC to issue rulemaking that establishes a Critical Call List of calling numbers that are not eligible to be blocked by voice service providers. Here’s an overview.

ITG report highlights — Combatting Illegal Robocalls

The Industry Traceback Group (ITG) just published a new report, Combatting Illegal Robocalls, with interesting statistics on scam robocalls in the U.S. and progress on eradicating them through traceback. Here are highlights of this report.

FCC to telcos—You cannot be dumb pipes for robocalls

Recently, I had a conversation with Josh Bercu, Vice President of Policy & Advocacy at USTelecom—The Broadband Association, and David Frankel, CEO of ZipDX and Senior Advisor to USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group. Here are some important takeaways for voice service providers.

U.S. Traceback Group questions and answers podcast

In this video podcast, Jim Dalton asks questions he often hears from voice service providers about the USTelecom Industry Traceback Group, which is now the Registered Traceback Consortium in the U.S. Watch these experts share their answers.

U.S. SHAKEN Governance Authority issues year-end report for 2020

The SHAKEN Governance Authority (STI-GA) issued their year-end report for 2020 in which they outlined progress made in STIR/SHAKEN deployment in the U.S. Here are highlights.

Robocall traceback cooperation now required in the U.S.

The FCC now requires all voice service providers to respond to robocall traceback requests. Here’s an overview of the traceback process and cooperation requirements.

Service provider STI fee changes for 2021

The STI Governance Authority (STI-GA) changed the service provider fees for participating in the U.S. STIR/SHAKEN ecosystem in 2021. Here’s a review.

Webinar recording — Complying with the TRACED Act made simple

The recording from our recent webinar, Complying with the TRACED Act Made Simple, is now available. It covers imminent requirements faced by all voice service providers that originate calls with U.S. NANP calling numbers. Here’s a review and recording.

FCC proposes rules on SHAKEN certificate revocation for noncompliance

The FCC issued a Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPR) on January 14, 2021, regarding SHAKEN certificate revocation. Here’s an overview.

FCC seeks comments on voluntary adoption of Hospital Robocall Protection Group best practices

The FCC issued a public notice asking for comments on how to facilitate voluntary adoption of the Hospital Robocall Protection Group’s recommended best practices. Here’s an overview.

FCC issues further restrictions on robocalls

The FCC issued two orders on December 30, 2020, to further protect consumers from unwanted and illegal robocalls. The first order is directed at organizations that make non-commercial robocalls to residential phones, and the second order addresses voice service providers. Here’s an overview.

Top ten blog posts in 2020

Here are the top ten blog posts, based upon readership, that we ran in 2020.

Stimulus bill telecom provisions

The Consolidated Appropriations Act 2021, a.k.a., “stimulus bill,” includes four provisions for the telecommunications industry. Here’s an overview.

SIPNOC webinar recording available—Rich Call Data and Out-of-Band SHAKEN

The webinar recording from Alec Fenichel’s SIPNOC2020 presentation, Real World Benefits of Rich Call Data and Out-of-Band SHAKEN is available for viewing. We encourage you to check out this informative presentation and demonstration.

ATIS announces SHAKEN demonstration using Distributed Ledger Technology

The ATIS Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Focus Group recently demonstrated STIR/SHAKEN using DLT to members of the IP-NNI Task Force. Here’s a summary.

Hospital Robocall Protection Group issues recommended best practices

The Hospital Robocall Protection Group (HRPG) issued a recommended best practices document on December 14, 2020. Here’s an overview.

TCPA and robocall prevention before the U.S. Supreme Court

Oral arguments were heard on December 8 in a case before the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) that could decide the fate of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA). The Court’s ruling in this case, Facebook v Duguid, could have huge implications for laws and regulations against unwanted robocalls. Here’s an overview.

FCC asks for comment on proposed robocall complaint portal

The FCC proposed rules and requested comment on these rules to establish an online web portal for private entities to report robocall violations. Here’s an overview.

FCC Selects SomosGov for Telephone Number and Reassigned Numbers Database administrator roles

The FCC announced that it’s selected SomosGov as the next administrator for various telephone number management roles. Here’s an overview.

FCC Report and Order on one-ring scam calls

The FCC released a Report and Order on one-ring scam calls. In this order, the Commission implemented addresses such calls as required by the TRACED Act. Here’s an overview.

Service providers request SHAKEN extensions

AT&T, Lumen and US Cellular filed requests with the FCC for deadline extensions to implement STIR/SHAKEN. Verizon asked for a ruling to confirm that they don’t have to deploy STIR/SHAKEN in part of their network. Here’s an overview.

FCC to host Quantum Internet Forum

The FCC announced that it will host an online event, Quantum Internet Forum, to present and discuss developments in quantum computing and its implications for communications networks. Here’s an overview.

FCC SHAKEN Second Report and Order deadlines

The FCC Second Report and Order was published in the Federal Register today, which sets its effective date, at which point it will be written into the rules, at December 17, 2020. These rules contain several deadline dates. Here’s a quick overview.

U.S. STI-GA to update the Service Provider Code token access policy for STIR/SHAKEN

The U.S. STI Governance Authority (STI-GA) today announced an update to the Service Provider Code (SPC) token access policy. This policy determines the requirements that a voice service provider (SP) must meet to obtain SHAKEN certificates used to authenticate calls. Here’s an overview.

“Stay home” robocalls — more information

New information from Hiya, a provider of robocall prevention, questions whether the “stay home, stay safe” robocalls reported recently were a political plot to undermine the election. Let’s review this information.

FCC to host a holiday consumer protection webinar

The Federal Communications Commission announced today that they will host a one-hour webinar to help protect consumers from scams during the upcoming holidays. This would be of interest to enterprises and service providers that want to offer similar guidance to their customers.

Domestic telecom toll fraud is still a problem

The FCC adopted an order on September 26, 2019 designed to prevent access arbitrage, i.e., domestic traffic pumping telecom toll fraud. Since then, service providers have noticed domestic traffic pumping attacks still occur. How is this possible, given the new rules on who pays? We review the situation here.

Update caller display name to advise customers of potential spam calls

Call authentication and analytics can identify potential spam calls. There isn’t yet a standard for display relevant information to the called party, but standards are emerging. Here’s an overview.

Comments on caller ID authentication best practices

The CATA Working Group of the NANC issued a best practices document, and the FCC asked for comments. Here’s a summary of the feedback they received.

Catch robocalls in real time with dynamic traffic analysis

The TRACED Act and FCC orders require service providers to use STIR/SHAKEN or robocall mitigation for calls that they originate. There are many ways to catch robocalls at origination. One of the most effective is using dynamic traffic analysis. Here’s an overview.

STIR/SHAKEN, least cost routing and attestation

As STIR/SHAKEN becomes used more widely, callers will want their calls authenticated with full attestation, and called parties will be more likely to answer calls with full attestation. There are many arrangements in the telecom ecosystem that will make this difficult. Participants need to understand their options and develop a strategy.

Reply comments on caller ID authentication progress

A few organizations have filed comments on the progress of caller ID authentication implementation, as required by the TRACED Act. Here’s a summary.

FCC fines telemarketer $37.5 million for illegal robocalls

The FCC fined Affordable Enterprises of Arizona $37.5 million for making more than 2.3 million illegal robocalls over a 14 month period in 2016-17. The calls spoofed caller ID with calls intended to obtain something of value, a violation of the Truth in Caller ID Act.

Standards-based STIR/SHAKEN

What is a standards-compliant STIR/SHAKEN system, and why does it matter? Here’s a quick overview.

Pending SCOTUS case will have a big impact on robocalls in the U.S.

There’s a landmark case before the Supreme Court of the United States regarding autodialers and robocalls. Twenty-one members of the U.S. Congress have recently joined to file an amici brief on the case. Here’s a review of the pending case and what this brief adds.

SHAKEN benefits for enterprise callers

You probably know about the benefits STIR/SHAKEN call authentication will provide to consumers: by identifying caller ID spoofing, it will help bring unwanted and illegal robocalls under control. But what about enterprise callers? How will SHAKEN help you? Let’s look.

CNAM alternatives

CNAM, caller ID name, can be a valuable service that makes subscribers more likely to answer incoming calls. Traditional CNAM, however, has some limitations. There are newer alternatives that promise better benefits. Here’s a quick overview.

PASSporTs used with STIR/SHAKEN

STIR/SHAKEN uses PASSporTs to carry information about caller identity. There are different types of PASSporTs, and it can be confusing to keep it straight. Here’s a simple overview.

How to register with the STI Policy Administrator to authenticate calls with STIR/SHAKEN

Registering with the STI-PA to authenticate calls with STIR/SHAKEN is a strategic capability that every service provider should control. Some may be tempted to outsource this to another organization, but we encourage you to do it yourself for three simple reasons:

Should US service providers file for the voluntary SHAKEN exemption?

The TRACED Act directed the FCC to allow voice service providers to file for a Voluntary STIR/SHAKEN Implementation Exemption in 2020. Should you do that? We cannot and would not offer legal advice, but we can share some information that might be useful as you ponder this situation.

International SHAKEN — how that might work

Initially, STIR/SHAKEN will be rolled out country-by-country. Ever wonder how these separate deployments might be joined together? Here’s a quick overview of a roadmap for that.

Appropriate measures for robocall mitigation

The FCC second report and order on STIR/SHAKEN, adopted September 29, 2020, provided four extensions on the STIR/SHAKEN implementation deadline for certain scenarios. However, any voice service provider taking an extension must use an appropriate robocall mitigation program for calls that it originates. What does that mean? In this blog post, we review various techniques that could be used.

FCC changes rules for intercarrier compensation on toll free calls

The FCC adopted a report and order to change the rules for intercarrier compensation on toll free calls. The rule changes are designed to remove underlying incentives for 8YY arbitrage schemes, for example, fraud schemes that exploit the intercarrier compensation rules. Here’s an overview.

Best practices for call authentication – first proposal

The FCC asked the Call Authentication Trust Anchor (CATA) working group to recommend best practices for the implementation of call authentication. The TRACED Act required this step. The CATA has recently issued a report with proposed best practices. Here’s a summary overview.

Spam robocalls hinder Covid-19 contact tracing efforts

CNN reporter Faith Karimi wrote an article about Covid-19 contact tracers and their struggle to get people to answer the phone. Subscribers are wary of spam robocalls and are reluctant to answer calls from a number they don’t recognize. Solutions are available, but not yet widely deployed. Let’s have a look.

Three requirements from the FCC SHAKEN orders that will apply to most U.S. providers

There’s a lot to read and digest in the FCC first and second report and order for SHAKEN. Wading through the rules and exemptions, we’ve identified three simple rules that will apply to most voice service providers in the U.S. Here we go…

What changed in the final version of the FCC SHAKEN second order

The FCC released the final approved version of their Second Report and Order on SHAKEN implementation. There was a major deadline change, along with a few minor changes from the draft version released three weeks earlier. Here’s an overview of what the second order contains and what changed in the final version.

FCC approves second order on SHAKEN

The FCC announced on September 29, 2020 that they have adopted new rules to promote implementation of STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication. Here’s what we know so far.

Robocall traceback in the U.S.

The USTelecom Industry Traceback Group (ITG) has become increasingly effective in speeding up the traceback of illegal robocalls. Ever wonder how it works? Here’s an overview.

SHAKEN, robocall mitigation, or both?

In the U.S., the TRACED Act, and FCC orders that come from it, will require voice service providers to deploy and certify their use of STIR/SHAKEN call authentication or, in certain circumstances, a robocall mitigation program, by June 30, 2021. Here’s an overview of what this means.

What’s an autodialer?

What is an autodialer? Seems like an easy question, but disagreements over the definition have caused conflicting decisions in important court cases. Now the U.S. Supreme Court is going to address the issue in an upcoming case, and their decision could have a big impact on robocall and telemarketing law. Here’s an overview.

VoIP provider hit with large fine for fraud and illegal robocalls

Globex Telecom, a VoIP service provider, and its subsidiary companies and associates will pay $2.1 million in fines to settle charges brought by the FTC and State of Ohio. This is the FTC’s first consumer protection case against a VoIP service provider. Here’s the story.

Initial reactions to FCC Second Order on SHAKEN

A few organizations have met with the FCC on their Second Report and Order Promoting Caller ID Authentication to Combat Spoofed Robocalls, i.e., second SHAKEN order. Here’s what they had to say.

Another way to prevent neighbor-spoofed robocalls

Bad actors often spoof caller ID with numbers that are like the called number, a tactic called neighbor spoofing. Here’s a simple method to block such calls that we’ve found can be quite effective.

Robocall mitigation program mandate

The FCC’s Second Report and Order on SHAKEN deployment extended deadlines to deploy STIR/SHAKEN in some situations. However, any provider that accepts one of these extensions must deploy a robocall mitigation program by June 30, 2021. Enforcement is strict. Here’s what that means.

New robocall blocking safe harbor rules will take effect in October

New robocall blocking safe harbor rules approved by the FCC have been published in the Federal Register today. This sets their effective date on October 14, 2020.

How the Reassigned Numbers Database will work

The Reassigned Numbers Database (RND) will enable callers to verify whether a telephone number has been permanently disconnected, and potentially reassigned, before calling that number. The intent is to reduce the number of unwanted calls made to reassigned telephone numbers. Here’s how it will work.

FCC issues further rules on SHAKEN and robocall blocking

The FCC today published the next round of rules for robocalls and STIR/SHAKEN deployment. There’s quite a lot in this 93-page document. We’ve summarized it for you here.

How to turn annoying robocalls into cash

A consumer credit consultant in McKinney, Texas, has figured out a way to turn annoying robocalls into cash. Here’s how it works.

Comments filed on FCC robocalling fourth FNPRM

Comments were filed on the FCC’s fourth further notice of proposed rulemaking on robocall blocking issued on July 17, 2020. Comments were received from 32 organizations. We’ve summarized these comments for you.

New robocall study shatters some myths

A recent robocall study report from researchers at North Carolina State University has shattered some myths about robocalls. The report describes the results of an 11-month study using a honeypot with over 60,000 numbers to log robocall activity.

Update to SHAKEN standard improves authentication of forwarded and diverted calls

The SHAKEN standards are changing for calls that are diverted by features such as call forwarding. This blog post briefly explains how this brings the benefits of SHAKEN authentication to diverted calls, and what’s changed in this new version of the standards.

Robocalls trending up again in the U.S.

After a sharp decline in monthly robocalls in March and April, the numbers are trending upward over the past three months. Here’s an overview.

New legislation would expand funding to replace prohibited telecom equipment

New legislation was introduced in the U.S. Senate to expand funding for telecom service providers and educational institutions to rip-and-replace prohibited equipment from dangerous resources, including Huawei and ZTE. Here’s an overview.

FCC clarifies rules on emergency COVID-19 related calls

The FCC Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau issued a public notice to clarify rules of the emergency exception to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) for calls related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s an overview.

FCC designates Industry Traceback Group as the registered Traceback Consortium

The FCC announced that they have designated the USTelecom Industry Traceback Group as the registered traceback consortium to coordinate and lead efforts to trace back the origin of illegal robocalls. This appointment fulfills a requirement in the TRACED Act. Here are the details.

FCC approves new robocall blocking rules on safe harbor

The FCC today voted to approve new robocall blocking rules required by the TRACED Act and published by the FCC in their rulemaking on March 31, 2020. These rules involve safe harbor. Here’s an overview.

Hospital robocall protection group forms

The FCC announced the formation of the Hospital Robocall Protection Group, its members and first meeting date. Here’s an overview.

Reply comments on FCC NPRM to combat one-ring scams

The FCC received comments and reply comments on their initiative to combat one-ring scams as required by the TRACED Act. Here’s an overview.

Supreme Court rules on challenge to TCPA robocall ban and federal exemption

The Supreme Court issued their findings on a legal challenge to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (TCPA), which prohibits robocalls to cellphones and home phones. The Court decided the ban should remain, with some changes.

FCC announces compliance dates for Reassigned Number Database data collection

The FCC announced that, beginning July 27, 2020, voice service providers must start maintaining data for the Reassigned Numbers Database. This database will be used to reduce the number of phone calls intended for someone else.

FCC issues staff report on robocall blocking tools

The FCC has issued a 41-page staff report on the availability and effectiveness of robocall blocking tools. This report follows the FCC 2019 Call Blocking Declaratory Ruling, which authorized blocking by default. The order also directed the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau to prepare a report to help the Commission and consumers understand how the ruling is impacting the call blocking tools ecosystem.

Webinar recording — Protect Your Business with Robocall Prevention

Robocalls aren’t just annoying—they’re an existential threat to your voice service provider business. You need to protect your customers from robocalls and TDoS attacks to protect your business.

FCC proposed record $225 million fine for robocallers

The FCC announced a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, or NAL, against Texas-based telemarketers. They made approximately 1 billion illegally spoofed robocalls in early 2019 to sell health insurance plans. The proposed fine would be the largest ever.

USTelecom files letter of intent to apply for the Traceback Consortium role

In response to the FCC public notice on April 20, USTelecom filed a letter of intent on May 21 to serve as the registered traceback consortium required by the TRACED Act. USTelecom currently administers the Industry Traceback Group, a collaborative effort of voice service providers to trace the source of illegal robocalls.

Round 2 — FCC, FTC demands gateway providers cut off robocalls

The FCC and FTC sent letters to three gateway providers to demand that they cut off illegal robocalls originated overseas. If they don’t cut off these robocalls, then the FCC and FTC ask USTelecom members to block all calls from these gateway providers.

SIP Forum announces STIR/SHAKEN Virtual Summit

The SIP Forum has announced that it will host a STIR/SHAKEN Virtual Summit during the week of June 22, 2020. This series of webinars will provide educational content and facilitate discussion focused on the challenges and opportunities related to STIR/SHAKEN call authentication.

Telecom fraud prevention demand in Latin America

An interesting article was recently published in CFCA Communicator about strong demand by businesses and consumers in Latin America for telecom fraud prevention solutions. This is a huge market opportunity for voice service providers operating in the region.

No more mulligans--FCC drops robocall warnings

The Federal Communications Commission announced it will no longer warn robocallers before issuing penalties. This change was enabled by the TRACED Act.

FCC issues proposed rulemaking on one-ring scam calls

The FCC today issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to protect Americans from one-ring (also known as Wangiri) scam telephone calls. Here’s an overview.

FCC requests letters of intent for traceback consortium

The FCC has directed the Enforcement Bureau to select a single entity to serve as the registered traceback consortium required by the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act. Today, the Enforcement Bureau requested letters of intent for parties that wish to be considered for selection in this role.

Telephone pollsters see increased productivity during shelter in place

Here’s a surprising side effect of widespread shelter in place during the pandemic: telephone pollsters are getting more responses to their calls and having longer conversations than they did before.

Voice calls surge during shelter in place

What’s the hot new app during widespread shelter in place? Zoom? Google Hangouts? Actually, it’s plain old voice phone calls.

Who may authenticate calls for STIR/SHAKEN

STIR/SHAKEN provides a way to authenticate caller ID as a safeguard against spoofing, a common robocall tactic. The framework relies on a governance structure that vets and approves who can authenticate calls. This blog post gives an overview of the current policy around authentication approval in the U. S.

FCC and FTC demand gateway providers cut off COVID-19 scam robocalls

The FCC and the FTC demanded that voice service providers block coronavirus-related scam robocalls from reaching U.S. consumers within 48 hours. If they don’t, other phone companies will be able to begin blocking all traffic from these gateway provider networks. Here’s an overview.

FCC issues STIR/SHAKEN mandate

On March 31, 2020, the FCC issued a mandate for telephone companies to implement STIR/SHAKEN call authentication to combat spoofed robocalls. Here are the highlights.

Robocall blocking report reply comments

Comments were filed by 33 organizations, with a total 215 page of commentary. We’ve summarized it for you.

FCC Chairman Pai announces proposed mandate for STIR/SHAKEN

On March 6, 2020, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed new rules requiring implementation of call authentication using STIR/SHAKEN. The Commission will vote on these rules during its Open Meeting on March 31, 2020.

Webinar recording – Get Ready for the STIR/SHAKEN Call Authentication Mandate

We presented a webinar recently, Get Ready for the STIR/SHAKEN Call Authentication Mandate. This one-hour presentation reviews the requirements of the recently enacted TRACED Act and shows how some NTCA members are quickly getting ready today. Here’s a recording of the webcast for your review.

NexOSS enhancement highlights

We want to share with you highlights of updates to our NexOSS software product during the past year. There have been many, but there are a few performance and functionality enhancements that we want to highlight.

Canadian SHAKEN action plans due to CRTC

In December 2019, the Canadian regulator asked Canadian telephone service providers to submit an action plan to it by 24 February 2020 describing progress in implementing STIR/SHAKEN. Here’s an overview of the background leading up to this request and the information they want.

FCC proposed rules to establish robocall traceback consortium

On February 6, 2020, the FCC issued a notice of proposed rules for the registration of a single consortium to conduct private-led traceback of suspected unlawful robocalls. The FCC is required by the newly enacted TRACED Act to establish these rules by a prescribed timetable. Here’s a quick overview.

FCC asks gateway providers for help against foreign robocalls

The FCC Enforcement Bureau asked seven gateway voice service providers for their support in stopping the flow of illegal robocalls that originate outside the U.S. To this end, the Commission asked the these providers the following six questions about their business practices:

Industry comments for robocall blocking report

In December 2019, the FCC issued a call for comments on robocall blocking. These comments were due January 29, 2020. Twenty-eight responses were filed. Don’t have time to read them all? We’ve provided a brief summary of each response.

U.S. Justice Department brings legal action against VoIP carriers for robocalls

The U.S. Department of Justice (USDJ) has filed landmark legal actions in two cases against five U.S.-based VoIP carriers for serving as gateway carriers for robocalls to U.S. subscribers. This is the first time that authorities have brought legal action against the carriers of robocalls, in addition to the perpetrators.

TRACED Act calls for one-ring scam protection

The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, which was signed into law on December 30, 2019, includes requirements for the FCC to initiate a proceeding to protect called parties from one-ring scams (also known as Wangiri, Japanese for one-and-cut). Here’s an overview of one-ring scams, the roadmap for this FCC directive, and what protection looks like.

Pipeline article - Restoring Telecom Trust

TransNexus contributed an article on Restoring Telecom Trust to Pipeline Magazine. This article reviews three emerging technologies that, when combined, will give consumers relief from unwanted robocalls and make telephone service a more effective and enjoyable means of communication.

NTCA discusses barriers to SHAKEN faced by rural carriers

In a meeting with the FCC on January 14, 2020, the NTCA explained that 93% of its members have IP-enabled switches, yet most are unable to participate in STIR/SHAKEN. The problem is not a lack of IP-enabled equipment. The problem, says the NTCA, is that upstream carriers are unwilling to exchange voice traffic with rural carriers over IP.

Top ten telecom stories in 2019

Here’s a list of the top ten telecom stories and whitepapers we published in 2019—the year in review!

STIR/SHAKEN mandate signed into U. S. law

President Trump signed the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act into law on December 30, 2019. This legislation includes several measures to combat unwanted robocalls, including a mandate for voice service providers to use STIR/SHAKEN call authentication.

U. S. Senate passes Pallone-Thune TRACED Act unanimously

The U. S. Senate passed the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act on December 19, 2019, with a unanimous vote.

Robocaller fined almost $10 million for unlawful calls

The Federal Communications Commission on December 12, 2019 issued a $9,997,750 fine against a robocall perpetrator for making 47,610 calls on May 30–31, 2018. The Commission based this fine upon its evaluation of several laws that were violated.

U.S. SHAKEN Governance Authority announces SHAKEN go live

The U.S. Secure Telephone Identity Governance Authority (STI-GA) today announced that the nation’s Calling Number Verification Service, which is based on the SHAKEN framework, will launch Monday, December 16, 2019. Here’s what they said.

Pai and Scott make first official cross-border call using STIR/SHAKEN

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and CRTC Chairperson and CEO Ian Scott completed the first official cross-border call using STIR/SHAKEN call authentication. The call took place on December 9, 2019. Pai and Scott issued a joint statement about this call.

Canadian regulator announcements on STIR/SHAKEN

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) today announced that it’s stepping up efforts to combat spoofed calls. To that end, the regulator issued three regulatory statements. Here an overview.

Pallone-Thune TRACED Act passes the U.S. House

The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act (S.151) passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday, December 4, 2019, by a vote of 417–3. This bill mandates STIR/SHAKEN and other measures to combat unwanted robocalls. The next stop for the legislation is the U.S. Senate.

Robocall prevention with STIR/SHAKEN – a report from SkySwitch Vectors 2019

Alec Fenichel, TransNexus Senior Software Architect, appeared at the SkySwitch Vectors 2019 conference in Orlando in late October 2019 to present a session on “What the VoIP Industry Can Do About Robocalls.” SkySwitch published a recent blog post on this topic, including an interview with Alec by Erik Linask, Group Editorial Director of TMC.

Pallone-Thune TRACED Act text released

Committees in the House and Senate have released the text of the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, proposed legislation to combat unwanted robocalls with tougher penalties and a mandate for call authentication in both VoIP and non-VoIP networks. Let’s take a look.

Eric Burger joins White House Office of Science and Technology Policy

Eric Burger has accepted a position as Assistant Director for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP). In this role, he will take responsibility for the telecommunications and cybersecurity portfolios. Mr. Burger is a former Chief Technology Officer with the FCC and a Research Professor of Computer Science at Georgetown University.

T-Mobile, Comcast, Inteliquent announce STIR/SHAKEN across three networks

T-Mobile, Comcast and Inteliquent on November 21, 2019 announced that they have completed end-to-end STIR/SHAKEN call verification across three networks. The announcement represents further progress in attaining readiness for caller ID authentication and verification in the battle against unwanted robocalls.

Robocall and TDoS case studies

November 17-23, 2019 is International Fraud Awareness Week. The Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA) has encouraged members to share information so we can work together to combat it. So, we’re sharing three case studies of a series of domestic telecom robocalls and TDoS attacks we observed just last month, in October 2019. Here’s what happened.

Agreement reached on robocall prevention legislation

Six legislative leaders announced on Friday, November 15, 2019, that they have reached an “agreement in principle” on legislation to combat the robocall epidemic. The legislation is called the Pallone-Thune Traced Act. Here’s what we know so far.

Pindrop report finds 90 voice fraud attacks occur every minute

Pindrop, a provider of voice security solutions that analyze audio, issued their annual Voice Intelligence Report. In this report, they found that 90 voice fraud attacks occur every minute.

Robocalls spike in October to an all-time high

The numbers are in, and they show that robocall activity spiked in October 2019 to an all-time high. Here’s an overview.

AT&T strengthens robocall prevention

AT&T recently announced three new features to its Call Protect application. These enhancements give subscribers more options for preventing unwanted robocalls.

New FCC proposed rules would ban Huawei and ZTE

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced proposed rules to protect communications networks from national security threats. The proposed rules aim to prevent eligible companies either from purchasing or continuing to use network equipment from Huawei or ZTE.

FCC denies stay request on their Access Arbitrage Order

The FCC Wireline Competition Bureau on October 25, 2019 denied a stay requested by five petitioners for the FCC Access Arbitrage Order issued on September 26, 2019. Here’s an overview.

Wangiri telecom fraud activity reported in Canada

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre has reported a recent wave of Wangiri telecom fraud calls to Canadian telephone subscribers in the Montreal area. Here’s what’s happening.

The evolution of the phone call

The conventional wisdom is that younger generations don’t like to talk on the phone—they’d rather text or use social media. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal paints a different picture: research suggests that the phone call isn’t dead—it’s evolving.

TDoS – An emerging threat to businesses

We’ve noticed an uptick in the number of businesses contacting us for help in preventing Telephony Denial of Service (TDoS) attacks. This seems to be an increasing threat. Here’s how you can protect your organization.

CTIA, NCTA and USTelecom urge broad safe harbor for robocall blocking

Representatives of the CTIA, NCTA, and USTelecom met with members of the FCC on October 8, 2019 to urge the adoption of a broad safe harbor for robocall blocking. Here’s why.

California enacts law to mandate STIR/SHAKEN

The governor of California, Gavin Newsom, signed the Consumer Call Protection Act of 2019 on October 2, 2019. This law requires telecommunications service providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN on or before January 1, 2021.

Researchers identify Asterisk vulnerability

Researchers from Check Point Software recently identified a vulnerability in Asterisk FreePBX software that hackers used to gain control of the PBX server, read call files, listen to recorded calls, and make spoofed calls with complete anonymity.

FCC filings calling for Out-of-Band STIR/SHAKEN call authentication

STIR/SHAKEN can identify caller ID spoofing, a robocall tactic. It’s an important tool to deliver relief from unwanted robocalls. But it won’t work unless the SHAKEN Identity token survives transit across the telephone network. In today’s network, it won’t. That’s why several organizations have filed comments with the FCC urging support for Out-of-Band STIR/SHAKEN call authentication.

FCC issues order to prevent access stimulation

We’ve been reporting many discussions and filings with the FCC about their proposed rule to redefine access stimulation. Today, the FCC issued an Order to enact the rule changes. The intention is to prevent access stimulation, which often presents as domestic traffic pumping.

NTCA responds to FCC draft order and its proposed access stimulation definition

On September 5, 2019, the FCC issued a draft order with a proposal to change the definition of access stimulation. In their meeting and ex parte filing with the FCC, the NTCA showed the impact that this definition would have on carriers who would become inadvertently swept up in this definition.

Apple begins support for carrier-verified call display in iOS 13 using STIR/SHAKEN

The Apple iOS 13 features list includes a feature for “carrier-verified calls.” This feature will indicate calls that have been verified by STIR/SHAKEN.

FCC and HD Tandem further discuss access stimulation

Representatives of HD Tandem, a provider of virtual tandem and termination services, met with several FCC Commissioners, their staff, and Chairman Pai on September 11–12, 2019 to discuss access stimulation. Here’s a recap.

SIP Network Operators Conference – SIPNOC 2019 – will focus on STIR/SHAKEN

The SIP Forum released the conference topics and schedule for the ninth annual SIP Network Operators Conference, SIPNOC 2019, to be held December 3–5, 2019 in Herndon, Virginia. This conference will focus exclusively on STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework to prevent caller ID spoofing, a common tactic used with unwanted robocalls.

FCC responds to NANC request for another delay on Reassigned Numbers Database

The FCC Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau and Wireline Competition Bureau responded to the NANC request for another delay on the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND) project. They granted a part, but not all, of what the NANC requested.

Hiya 2019 Half-year Robocall Report

Hiya, a maker of robocall prevention software for mobile phones, released their State of the Call robocall report for the half-year 2019. There are some interesting findings in this report.

How STIR/SHAKEN can help defend against AI voice fraud attacks

In a story reported by the WSJ, fraudsters created fake voice recordings of a German CEO using Artificial Intelligence (AI). Then they called the CEO of a British subsidiary and convinced him to wire USD $243,000 to a Hungarian supplier within the hour. The British CEO sent the money. Why? Because the AI-generated recording was that convincing.

NTCA, Sprint, and HD Tandem discuss access stimulation with the FCC

This was an interesting round of ex parte filings to document discussions with the FCC over their Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to address access stimulation, i.e., domestic traffic pumping. Three organizations, NTCA, Sprint, and HD Tandem, presented three markedly different views.

Inteliquent urges FCC to adapt access stimulation prevention rules

Inteliquent filed an ex parte presentation with the FCC recently in which they proposed rule changes to prevent access stimulation, e.g., domestic traffic pumping. Their suggestions address a new form of access arbitrage that’s been growing lately.

Canadian service providers required to block invalid calling numbers

The CRTC issued a mandate on 19 December 2018, CRTC 2018-484, that requires Canadian carriers and other telecommunications service providers to block calls terminating on their networks with invalid calling numbers. The implementation deadline is twelve months from the date of this decision, 19 December 2019.

Somos responds to NANC request for extension on Reassigned Numbers Database

Somos, a registry management and data solutions company and the administrator of the Toll-Free Number database registry, submitted an ex parte filing with the FCC in response to the NANC NAOWG’s request for a 7-month extension on the technical requirements document and funding report for the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND). In their filing, Somos stated that the delay was unwarranted.

STI-GA contract in place with iconectiv as STI-PA Policy Administrator

The STI-GA Governance Authority announced that they have executed the contract naming iconectiv as the STI-PA Policy Administrator. In their policy administrator role, iconectiv will enforce the rules defined by the governance authority to put SHAKEN into operation.

Industry replies to proposed FCC rule changes on robocall blocking

Thirty-four organizations filed replies to the first round of comments on the FCC Declaratory Ruling and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) regarding robocall blocking and SHAKEN/STIR deployment. Here’s a summary of their replies.

Coalition of 12 telephone companies agree to fight robocalls

North Carolina attorney general Josh Stein announced a coalition of 12 telephone companies and 51 attorneys general to adopt a program to fight unwanted robocalls. This program includes 8 principles to protect phone users from unwanted robocalls and make it easier to prosecute unlawful robocall perpetrators.

NANC requests extension for Reassigned Numbers Database

In a letter dated August 14, 2019, the North American Numbering Council (NANC) formerly requested a 7-month extension to develop a technical requirements document and a report outlining the fee structure, pricing, and funding mechanism for the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND).

FCC Chairman Pai statement on SHAKEN/STIR progress and expectations

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement on August 14 about progress by major phone companies in implementing caller ID authentication. His statement was a reaction to news that AT&T and T-Mobile are beginning to roll out SHAKEN/STIR.

AT&T and T-Mobile begin cross-network STIR/SHAKEN

AT&T and T-Mobile announced yesterday, August 14, that they have begun to rollout cross-network call authentication using STIR/SHAKEN.

TransNexus comments on FCC robocall blocking notice

The FCC issued a call for comments on proposed rulemaking for robocall blocking. TransNexus responded to share our experience in deploying STIR/SHAKEN and robocall prevention solutions in telecom service provider networks. Here are highlights.

House passes Stopping Bad Robocalls Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (HR 3375) on July 24 by a vote of 429–3. The legislation now moves to the Senate for consideration.

Stopping Bad Robocalls Act reported out of committee to the full House

The Energy and Commerce Committee favorably reported the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act (HR 3375), as amended, out of committee today to the full U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 48–0.

TransNexus at FCC SHAKEN/STIR Robocall Summit

TransNexus CEO Jim Dalton participated in the FCC SHAKEN/STIR Robocall Summit in Washington D.C. on July 11, 2019. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced this summit to review progress made toward deploying SHAKEN/STIR and identify challenges to deployment and how to overcome them.

Carriers respond to Commissioner Starks about their robocall blocking plans

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks released responses to his inquiries to 14 voice service providers about their plans to block suspected spam robocalls by default, on an opt-out basis. Here are highlights and excerpts from their responses.

July holiday week telecom fraud attack profiles

We noticed a spike in attempted telecom fraud attacks in the U.S. during the Fourth of July holiday week. Here’s an overview of the attack profiles. The more you know about telecom fraud attacks, the better you can keep your network and subscribers safe.

FCC proposes rules against caller ID spoofing of text messages and foreign robocalls

The FCC today announced proposed rules banning malicious caller ID spoofing of text messages and foreign robocalls.

Robocall legislation consolidated in House Subcommittee

The Communications Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee yesterday voted to consolidate four other bills into the Stopping Bad Robocalls Act. This omnibus legislation will next be considered by the full committee.

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