Proposed default robocall blocking rule is a hot topic
FCC chairman Ajit Pai’s proposed ruling to allow telecom service providers to block robocalls by default has been a hot topic. Here’s a summary of responses we’ve seen so far.
- Voice service providers may offer call blocking by default on an opt-out basis.
- Call blocking or diversion to voicemail may be done based upon any reasonable analytics.
- Providers should clearly disclose to consumers what types of calls may be blocked.
- Information should be provided so that consumers can remain in the blocking program or opt out.
- Call blocking should not interfere with emergency communications.
- More aggressive blocking measures may be offered on an opt-in basis using subscriber whitelists or contact lists.
- The ruling would provide safe harbor for providers who block.
- The proposal seeks comment on whether safe harbor should extend to blocking unsigned calls once STIR/SHAKEN has been implemented.
- This proposed ruling is on the agenda for discussion at the FCC’s June 6, 2019 open meeting.
There has been a flurry of ex parte filings in response to this proposed ruling. Here is a summary of concerns raised in opposition to the proposed ruling:
- Erroneous blocking (a.k.a., “false positives”) could harm consumers.
- The ruling seems contrary to the Communications Act of 1934 and other precedents that have call completion as a top priority.
- In a similar vein, questions were raised about the lack of express statutory authority to make such a ruling.
- Some filings urge that the ruling should focus on illegal calls (e.g., spam robocalls) rather than unwanted calls (e.g., debt collection calls to customers).
- The ruling could be exploited by carriers who might block calls for anti-competitive reasons.
Some responses to the proposed rule were favorable, with a few caveats:
- The ruling would merely confirm that service providers may offer call blocking on an opt-out basis, not mandate it.
- The ruling should clarify that it applies to consumer-facing blocking, not network-level blocking.
- There were some filings that advocated blocking for both illegal and unwanted calls.
TransNexus point of view
Our software products enable carriers to offer a wide range of policy options for blocking or diverting calls to voicemail or a CAPTCHA system. We leave it to the stakeholders to debate the pros and cons and settle on a sensible policy. We’ll make it easy for service providers to comply with the regulations and add value to their services.
TransNexus spam robocall prevention solutions
- Reputation service
- Dynamic traffic analysis
- Blacklisting by calling number, OCN/SPID, and others
- Shield database of high-risk numbers
- Neighbor spoofing prevention
- STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication and verification
- CNAM modifications to communicate the results of reputation and SHAKEN.
Contact us today to learn how we can help you protect your subscribers from spam robocalls.
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