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.
The FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to protect Americans from one-ring scam calls, also known as Wangiri. In this scam, the perpetrator uses an autodialer to place calls that ring once and hang up. The calling number is a high cost premium rate number. The perpetrator hopes that victims will return the call, thereby incurring expensive telephone charges.
There were some recurring themes in these comments:
- Several commenters urged the FCC to adopt a broad safe harbor for robocall blocking, saying this would encourage providers to block illegal calls.
- Commenters felt that one-ring robocalls are just another variety of robocall and therefore would be covered by existing rules.
- The Commission had asked whether gateway providers should be required to determine the nature and purpose of international calls brought into this country. Several commenters were opposed to this suggestion, saying it would be burdensome and unnecessary.
Here are summaries of comments. Click the company name in the header to read the full comments filed with the FCC.
- FCC should adopt USTelecom’s robocall mitigation proposal for service providers to register with the FCC and certify that they are taking reasonable steps to avoid originating illegal robocalls.
- STIR/SHAKEN likely will never be sufficient to address one-ring scams. Overseas originators don’t sign calls, and gateway attestations aren’t useful.
- One-ring scam call blocking doesn’t require its own safe harbor. But service providers need protection from liability for erroneous call blocking. The FCC should adopt broad call-blocking safe harbor.
- General robocall mitigation techniques are sufficient to address one-ring scams.
- Broad safe harbor would further encourage providers to block these calls.
- Providers should not be required to verify the nature and purpose of calls originated in foreign countries.
- FCC should require service providers to provide three levels of call blocking:
- Opt-out screening of scam calls, including one-ring scam calls
- Opt-in to more comprehensive technologies
- Personal blacklists.
- FCC should require all providers to adopt traceback and know-your-customer procedures.
- Service providers have broad authority to block illegal calls, including one-ring scam calls. Special provisions for one-ring calls are not necessary.
- The FCC should provide broad safe harbor to encourage blocking illegal robocalls.
- Encourage FCC to adopt a broad safe harbor for robocall blocking
- Encourage the FCC to engage with foreign governments to reduce call originations for one-ring scams and reduce terminations by close scrutiny of parties that offer premium rate services.
- Encourage the FCC to add to the permissible blocking categories unallocated international numbers and international premium-rate numbers.
- One-ring scam robocalls can be mitigated with many of the same tools as other robocalls.
- FCC should focus on consumer education about one-ring scams.
- A new rule to require gateway providers to verify the nature and purpose of calls with foreign origination would be unnecessary and burdensome.
- Advocates their AB Handshake technology as a solution for one-ring scam calls. This technology facilitates direct out-of-band exchange of call information between the originating and terminating providers.
NCTA – The Internet & Television Association
- FCC should permit one-ring scam call blocking.
- FCC should establish broad safe harbor for call blocking, including one-ring scam calls.
- FCC should not establish prescriptive requirements for how providers communicate with their subscribers, e.g., call labeling.
Risk & Assurance Group
- STIR/SHAKEN will not eliminate one-ring scam calls.
- Advocates their RAG Wangiri Blockchain, a distributed mechanism for telcos to share data about one-ring scam calls.
- Encourages the FCC to adopt a broad safe harbor for robocall blocking.
- The FCC should require gateway providers to authenticate calls with gateway attestation to facilitate traceback.
- Opposed to requirements that gateway providers should verify the nature and purpose of foreign originated calls.
Transaction Network Services
- Existing rules allowing robocall blocking are sufficient to cover blocking of one-ring scam calls.
- Encourage the FCC to adopt a meaningful safe harbor for robocall blocking.
- FCC should not impose any new rules or requirements to block one-ring scam calls. Existing rules are sufficient.
- FCC should adopt broad safe harbor for robocall blocking based upon reasonable analytics.
- FCC should continue consumer education.
- FCC should continue to work with the Industry Traceback Group (ITG).
- FCC should establish a broad safe harbor for robocall blocking.
- FCC should not require gateway attestation by gateway service providers.
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