TransNexus blog

China cracks down on telecom fraud

Telecom fraud is a big problem in China. The latest response by a large telecom service provider is the most severe action yet. Will it work, or will users just find other ways to communicate? Let’s have a look.

Pending robocall rules raise concern

There has been a flurry of last-minute filings on proposed rules for gateway providers to implement SHAKEN and robocall mitigation. We’ve summarized the discussion for you.

Highlights from the FCC robocalls and SHAKEN draft order

The FCC will consider a draft order during their open meeting on May 19, 2022. There are many moving parts in this order. Here are the highlights.

The evolution of access arbitrage schemes

A discussion is underway to change access arbitrage rules again. Why? Because access arbitrage schemes are evolving, and the rule changes are designed to counter the latest traffic-pumping tactics. Here’s what’s happening.

STIR/SHAKEN statistics from April 2022

The April STIR/SHAKEN statistics show some alarming trends, but help might be on the way. Let’s have a look.

Robocall Trace Back Enhancement Act introduced in Congress

New legislation would amend the TRACED Act to improve robocall traceback. Here’s how it would do that.

FCC to vote on new robocall rules for gateway providers

The FCC announced that they will vote in their next meeting to require gateway providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN and perform robocall mitigation. Let’s review the specific rules, proposed deadlines, and possible last-minute changes.

Changing trickle-down robonomics

A creative regulatory approach to prevent robocalls has been proposed to the FCC. Would it work? Let’s have a look.

Reassigned Numbers Database affordability

Using the Reassigned Numbers Database can be very expensive. Not using it can be even more expensive. Can this be fixed? This article reviews the problems and proposed changes made in a recent waiver request.

Call blocking notification discussion at SIPNOC

There’s been an ongoing debate for almost a year now about how to satisfy the immediate call blocking notification requirements of the TRACED Act. The conversation continued with a very interesting session at SIPNOC 2022. Here are the highlights.

Webinar recording — Prepare for the FCC SHAKEN deadline

This webinar will help you understand the regulatory requirements and processes to register for and deploy STIR/SHAKEN in your network.

New robocall scam

Hiya announced a new robocall scam they’ve observed. Here’s how it works.

Reassigned Numbers Database price changes

The FCC announced a price change for the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND). The change was touted as making the RND more affordable. However, we ran the numbers and found that prices won’t go down for everyone. Let’s have a look.

Industry Traceback Group analyzes robocall tracebacks

The FCC asked the Industry Traceback Group (ITG) for information on robocall tracebacks. The ITG responded with a report that analyzes traceback activity over the past six months. Here are a few highlights that caught our eye.

STIR/SHAKEN statistics from March 2022

The March STIR/SHAKEN statistics are a mixed bag—some numbers got worse, while others improved. Let’s have a look.

Delegate certificate roles and benefits

Who would use delegate certificates, and what other roles are involved in making this happen? What are the benefits? Let’s have a look.

No SHAKEN claims surge in March

The proportion of voice service providers certifying that they have not implemented STIR/SHAKEN surged dramatically in March 2022. This article explains what’s happening and what’s next.

The walls are closing in on service providers for robocalls

Service providers that originate or transit unlawful robocalls are under increasing pressure. And it’s not just from the federal government—states are getting involved too. Let’s have a look at recent events.

Communications networks and quantum computing threats

Quantum computer technology is being developed that can calculate solutions in a fraction of the time required by today’s computers. This technology could also be used to overcome encryption methods used to secure communications networks. How quickly will this happen? What should you be doing now? Let’s have a look.

Call blocking notification details emerge for SIP 603+

The TRACED Act requires immediate call blocking notification. An updated version of the SIP decline message, dubbed “SIP 603+” has been proposed. Would this be sufficient for notification and redress? In this article, we summarize the proposal so you can decide.

A better call blocking notification method?

There are rapid developments underway in call blocking notification. What is it, and how does it work? Let’s have a look.

SHAKEN implementation claims among non-U.S. service providers

There are over 200 STIR/SHAKEN implementation claims from 78 countries other than the U.S. and Canada. Where are these providers located? How are they doing SHAKEN from abroad? Let’s have a look at the numbers and trends.

The evolution of SHAKEN implementation claims

STIR/SHAKEN implementation claims certified in the Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD) are evolving. This article reviews the trends.

STIR/SHAKEN statistics from February 2022

Here are the latest STIR/SHAKEN statistics from February 2022. Let’s review the latest trends and the potential impact of upcoming events in the SHAKEN ecosystem.

New interest in securing internet amid risk of cyberwarfare

In 1989, three engineers came up with a short-term solution to fix internet routing issues. They drew it up on two napkins over lunch. Thirty-two years later, their “two-napkin solution” is still used for global internet routing. However, the solution is vulnerable to hacking and hijacking. With escalating concerns over cyber risk and warfare, an inquiry has been launched to fix it. Let’s have a look.

U.K. regulator taking additional steps to combat scam calls and texts

Ofcom, the U.K. regulator for communications services, just announced their plans to respond to the problem of scam calls and texts. Here’s a summary and comparison of their approach with policies in the U.S. and Canada.

Impact of FCC challenges to robocall mitigation filings

We’ve heard that the FCC recently began challenging robocall mitigation filings. The impact is already showing up in the Robocall Mitigation Database. Let’s have a look.

Reply comments on immediate blocking notification rules

Here’s the final round of reply comments to proposed rules for immediate call blocking notification. There are some much more substantive comments on both sides the issue in this round. Here’s a review and recap of themes.

FCC questions some SHAKEN implementation claims

The FCC has begun questioning SHAKEN implementation claims made by some voice service providers in their certification filings in the Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD). Here’s what’s happening.

U.S. senators ask for more info on robocall traceback activity

Senators Edward Markey and John Thune sent a letter to FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel asking for more details on robocall traceback activity. Let’s take a look at their request and what started it all.

STIR/SHAKEN statistics from January 2022

Hot off the press, we have a fresh set of STIR/SHAKEN statistics from January 2022 to track progress in call authentication to help combat illegal robocalls. Let’s have a look at the latest trends.

Call blocking notification—old technology or new?

The FCC asked for comment on its Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) on immediate notification of call blocking. Here’s our review and recap of recurring themes.

Reassigned Numbers Database cost-benefit

Subscriptions to the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND) can be expensive for high volume callers. However, the cost of not using the RND can be much higher. Here’s why.

Accelerated SHAKEN deadline effective date set

The FCC Fourth Order on SHAKEN was published in the Federal Register on Tuesday, January 25, 2022. This sets its effective date 30 days later, on Thursday, February 24, 2022, which is important for other deadlines. Let’s have a look.

Cybersecurity warnings for telcos

The FCC is urging communications companies to protect their networks from cyber threats. This follows close on the heels of a Cybersecurity Advisory from the U.S. government and not too long after a series of denial-of-service attacks against telcos. Let’s review what’s happening.

Call blocking notification issues

The FCC has asked for comments on immediate notification of call blocking. We’re hearing discussion of issues. In this article, we review the issues, questions, and answers.

STIR/SHAKEN statistics for December 2021

There was a sharp uptick in signed robocalls received in December 2021. Read all about it in this article on STIR/SHAKEN statistics from the last month in 2021.

Reply comments on proposed rules for gateway providers

Twelve organizations filed reply comments on the FCC’s proposed robocall rules for gateway providers. We’ve summarized each filing and recurring themes across all filings.

State attorneys general urge tough robocall rules

Fifty-one members of the National Association of Attorneys General joined in reply comments on the FCC’s proposed robocall rules for gateway providers. In their comments, the attorneys general gave an account of the problem from their perspective and the actions they believe the Commission should take to provide relief from illegal robocalls.

Robocalls drop sharply in December 2021

Robocalls in the U.S. during December were down 12.5% from the previous month. Here’s an overview and a look behind the numbers.

Top ten articles from 2021

Here are the top ten stories on our website in 2021 based upon readership. Click the headlines to view each article.

FCC changes guidelines for the Reassigned Numbers Database

The Reassigned Numbers Database (RND) went live on November 1, 2022. There’s been some confusion about using the RND. This is important, because the RMD response affects safe harbor eligibility for callers. The FCC has supplemented their guidance on the RND. Here’s what’s happening.

FCC reevaluates SHAKEN extensions

The FCC Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) did their annual reevaluation of SHAKEN implementation extensions, as required by the TRACED Act. Here’s what happened.

Comments on FCC proposed rules for gateway providers

Fifteen organizations have filed comments on FCC proposed rules to require gateway providers to implement SHAKEN and robocall mitigation. Here’s a recap of the comments filed.

Legislation introduced to enhance robocall traceback

New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate to strengthen robocall traceback and allow public disclosure of uncooperative providers and providers found to originate or transmit unlawful robocalls.

FCC changes immediate call blocking notification order

The FCC changed the rules that require immediate notification of call blocking starting January 1, 2022. There’s a lot going on here. This article will give you a quick overview of the essential facts.

FCC accelerates SHAKEN deadline for some small providers

The FCC adopted new rules that accelerate the SHAKEN implementation for some small voice service providers. This article reviews the new rules.

Recent activity on pending and proposed robocall rules

As 2021 winds down, there’s been a flurry of activity on pending and proposed rules for robocall mitigation and SHAKEN call authentication. Here’s a quick recap.

Telecom fraud losses increasing, according to CFCA report

The Communications Fraud Control Association (CFCA) has released its 2021 Fraud Loss Survey Report. This biennial report describes the latest trends in telecommunications fraud as reported by fraud prevention professionals. Here are a few highlights.

SHAKEN statistics for November 2021

We’ve collected SHAKEN statistics from our ClearIP customers from November 2021. This article reviews the evolution of SHAKEN activity, participation, and robocall trends since the SHAKEN/robocall mitigation implementation mandate.

FCC new rules for gateway providers—would they work?

The FCC’s proposed rule changes for gateway service providers would have them significantly raise their game in SHAKEN call authentication and robocall mitigation. But would this be enough, or do the proposed rules leave loopholes? Let’s have a look.

Canadian SHAKEN mandate approaches

In recent remarks to the Canadian Telecom Summit, Ian Scott, CEO of the CRTC, led off with SHAKEN. “On November 30, STIR/SHAKEN technology will become a mandatory condition of service for telecommunications service providers.” In this article, we review recent developments in the Canadian SHAKEN ecosystem.

Ohio robocall legislation passed

Another state is moving toward enacting robocall legislation. The Ohio legislature has passed Senate Bill 54 in both houses. The legislation is directed at robocallers and voice service providers who enable their robocalls. Here’s an overview.

State Attorneys General—tighten access to numbers

Fifty-one State Attorneys General sent reply comments to the FCC urging the Commission to reduce access to numbers by voice service providers (VSPs) that do not have meaningful Know-Your-Customer policies. The State AGs contend that such service providers undercut anti-robocall efforts such as SHAKEN call authentication and the call blocking and labeling tools that SHAKEN enables.

SHAKEN for TDM podcast

In this audio podcast, Andrew Ward and Alec Fenichel discuss the two new standards that enable using SHAKEN with calls that transit TDM segments along their call path. These standards enable much broader, widespread use of SHAKEN call authentication to help combat illegal robocalls.

New York governor signs robocall legislation

New York Governor Kathy Hochul signed two pieces of legislation into law to combat illegal robocalls. The laws enable enforcement actions by New York state officials, including fines. Here’s an overview.

SHAKEN statistics for October 2021

We’ve collected SHAKEN statistics from our ClearIP customers from October 2021. This article reviews SHAKEN activity, participation, and robocall trends in the fourth month since the implementation mandate.

Robocall trends in the new SHAKEN era

Robocalls in the U.S. were up 3.3% in October, according to the YouMail Robocall index. Are SHAKEN and robocall mitigation working? What does the future hold? Let’s have a look.

Canadian SHAKEN token access policy revised

The Canadian Secure Token Governance Authority (CST-GA) has revised its policy to enable more Telephone Service Providers (TSPs) to obtain SHAKEN tokens so they can sign their own calls. Here’s an overview.

Will call blocking notification happen on January 1?

In their Fourth Report and Order on unlawful robocalls, the FCC requires Terminating Service Providers (TSPs) to provide callers with immediate notification of call blocking starting January 1, 2022. The Commission has received many requests to delay this rule. Some providers say they will stop blocking illegal robocalls if the rule goes into effect. What’s happening here? Let’s have a look.

Enforcement action against robocallers in the SHAKEN era

The FCC recently sent cease-and-desist orders to three voice service providers for originating and transiting illegal robocalls. These providers have certification filings in the FCC Robocall Mitigation Database. Examining these filings alongside the cease-and-desist letters show how robocallers are adapting to the SHAKEN and robocall mitigation environment. Let’s have a look.

STI-GA announces support for enhanced SHAKEN functionality

The U.S. Security Telephone Identity Governance Authority (STI-GA) announced support for two measures that expand SHAKEN functionality and participation in the SHAKEN ecosystem. Delegate certificates will be supported, and Resp Orgs can participate directly in SHAKEN. Here’s a brief overview of how this works and what it will mean.

STIR/SHAKEN statistics for September 2021

We’ve collected SHAKEN statistics from our ClearIP customers for September 2021. The data confirm some trends we’ve seen in recent months and introduce new trends. Let’s have a look.

CATA report on SHAKEN deployment by small providers

The Call Authentication Trust Anchor (CATA) Working Group of the North American Numbering Council (NANC) held a meeting to discuss and approve their new report, Deployment of STIR/SHAKEN by Small Voice Service Providers. The report urges the FCC, STI Governance Authority, and industry to take specific steps to promote ubiquitous SHAKEN implementation. Let’s have a look.

SHAKEN implementations are evolving

We’re seeing a shift in the way SHAKEN implementations are being certified with the FCC. The numbers raise questions about what’s really going on in the SHAKEN ecosystem. Let’s have a look.

Out-of-Band SHAKEN with a private Call Placement Service

With the approval of the ATIS Out-of-Band SHAKEN standard, we’ve received questions about the Call Placement Service (STI-CPS) that it uses. Is this resource accessible to the public? Could it be used in a private network? In this article, we’ll explain how this works. Let’s get started.

The legal landscape emerging from the TRACED Act

We recently sat down with a legal expert to discuss requirements for voice service providers emerging from the TRACED Act and the FCC orders that followed. Things are changing, risks are emerging, and service providers need to know. Let’s have a look.

Must you verify the originating service provider for each call?

We’ve received several anxious calls from voice service providers about the Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD) and the call blocking rule that just went into effect. They’re worried about whether they must check that the Originating Service Provider (OSP) for each call they receive is in the RMD. In this video podcast, we discussed this question with Josh Bercu, Vice President of Policy and Advocacy at USTelecom. Have a listen to get the scoop.

Many SHAKEN certifications, few authorized providers

The deadline for filing robocall mitigation certifications in the FCC Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD) is now behind us. The number of SHAKEN certifications is surprisingly large, considering the number of SHAKEN authorized providers. Let’s have a look at what it tells us.

Denial-of-service attacks target telcos

Several voice service providers have been targeted recently by distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Here’s a recap.

Which calls from unregistered providers should you refuse?

The FCC Second Report and Order says intermediate and terminating service providers should not accept traffic directly from unregistered voice service providers. Seems simple enough, but there are some serious complications hidden beneath the surface. Let’s have a look.

Are you ready to refuse calls from unregistered 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 new 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.

Robocall 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 combo

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 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 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 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.

Out-of-Band SHAKEN—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 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 order block ALL international providers calls?

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 notice on SHAKEN 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 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 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 get 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 SPC policy effective date

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.

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 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 on 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

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.

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.

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.

Critical Call List legislation 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 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.

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

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 Hospital Robocall Protection

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.

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 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.

US STI-GA to update SPC 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 for 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 for 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 service providers file 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 FCC SHAKEN orders apply to most 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 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 gets large fine for 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.

Robocall blocking safe harbor takes 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 on 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 TCPA federal exemption for robocalls

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.

Webinar recording — How to build a CPS for Out-of-Band SHAKEN

This webinar shows you how to build a Call Placement Service (CPS) for Out-of-Band SHAKEN.

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.

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 applies 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.

FCC, FTC demand 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.

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.

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