FCC Approves Blocking of Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reports that "month after month, unwanted robocalls and texts, both telemarketing and informational, top the list of consumer complaints received by the Commission." The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports that in the fourth quarter of 2012, robocall complaints exceeded over 200,000 per month.

As a result of the growing complaints against robocalls, the FCC issued a new order on June 18, 2015, that clarifies the rules for blocking robocalls. The order "affirms that nothing in the Communications Act or our rules or orders prohibits carriers or VoIP providers from implementing call-blocking technology that can help consumers (residential and business) who choose to use such technology to stop unwanted robocalls."

More explicitly, the order states that "telephone carriers may legally block calls or categories of calls at a consumer’s request". The problem of unwanted calls is so significant that both the FTC and FCC agree that "consumers need new and better tools to stop robocalls to their homes and wireless numbers."

The FCC will hold an open workshop to focus on robocall blocking and caller ID spoofing at its headquarters in Washington, DC on September 16, 2015. The workshop will be an all-day event with panelists representing service providers, developers of call-blocking solutions, consumer groups and others.

TransNexus now offers robocall prevention solutions that service providers can offer to their subscribers. These features automatically blocks or diverts inbound phone calls that are identified as robocalls or fraud.