FCC issues Report on Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau today released a Report on Robocalls. This report fulfills a requirement to describe progress made in combatting illegal robocalls and the remaining challenges.

Highlights

This report provides a broad overview of the context of the unwanted robocall problem, including:

  • Applicable federal laws and rules
  • Legitimate versus illegal uses of robocalls
  • Overview of the state of robocall activity and expectations for the future
  • Recent progress in rules, such as allowing carriers to block Do Not Originate calls and calls from invalid, unallocated and unused numbers
  • The STIR/SHAKEN protocol for authentication and verification of caller ID
  • Recent enforcement actions (fines levied against robocallers)
  • Importance of call traceback
  • Reassigned numbers initiatives

Remaining challenges

The report identified three key challenges:

  1. Many perpetrators are located overseas. While the FCC has jurisdiction over foreign caller ID spoofers for calls to the U.S., enforcement would require the cooperation of foreign governments.
  2. Majority of originating service providers are VoIP providers. Many do not keep updated contact information with the FCC nor accurate records of all calls made across their networks.
  3. Statute of limitation for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act is one year, which is often not enough time to bring action.

The full report is available online.

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