Comments on FCC proposed robocall rules

There were many participants with lots of comments on the FCC’s third inquiry and eighth set of proposed rules for robocalls. This article summarizes the comments and recurring themes.

Recurring themes

Here are a few recurring themes we noticed across these comments:

  • Perhaps the strongest recurring theme in these comments was the concern over mislabeling of legal calls as spam by analytics providers.
    • Several commenters noted an apparent conflict of interest among analytics providers that purportedly mislabel calls as spam and then charge enterprises for services to monitor and correct such mislabeling.
  • Many commenters urged the Commission to mandate notification and redress provisions for derogatory call labeling, as is required for call blocking.
  • Many commenters agreed with the Commission that providing an accurate caller name would be helpful to subscribers.
  • Many commenters advocated for increased use of Rich Call Data to provide accurate, vetted caller names.
  • There was widespread support for immediate call-blocking notification, but commenters differed in their preferred method, e.g., SIP 603+ or SIP 608.
  • Most commenters who discussed mandatory call blocking favor such blocking for DNO, invalid, unallocated, and unused numbers.
  • Mandatory blocking using call analytics was opposed by several commenters and was advocated by few.


There were 381 pages of comments from 25 submissions. We’ve summarized the comments below. If you’d like more information, you can click the filer’s name above each summary to read that organization’s filing.

American Bankers Association et al (Joint Trades)

  • These comments represent an association of nine organizations from the banking and financial services industries.
  • Large bursts of calls, low duration, and completion ratios alone are not sufficient to justify blocking calls. For example, association members send fraud, low balance, past due, and other alerts which would match these criteria but are legal.
  • Support blocking of DNO, invalid, unallocated, and unused numbers.
  • The Commission should no longer allow either SIP 603 or SIP 607 for blocking notification and should delay the endorsement of SIP 603+ pending successful testing.
  • The Commission should require notification to callers of derogatory call labeling and redress options.
  • The Commission should prohibit the display of caller information on the consumer’s caller ID device when the authenticity of the call cannot be verified.

Ad Hoc Telecom Users Committee

  • This joint filing represents comments from financial services, insurance, shipping and logistics, and energy companies.
  • Support blocking of DNO, invalid, unallocated, and unused numbers.
  • The Commission should recommend SIP codes 608 and 603+ for notification of call blocking.
  • The Commission should promote the use of verified caller name along with number. Suggest using a centralized CNAM database along with Rich Call Data.
  • Inaccurate, inappropriate call labeling is a significant problem that the Commission should address.
  • Branded calling providers purport to remove spam call labels, but those services either fail to work or are prohibitively expensive.
  • The Commission should mandate call labeling notification and remediation.

Clinic to End Tech Abuse (CETA)

  • CETA provides digital privacy and cybersecurity services to survivors experiencing technology-facilitated abuse. They’ve observed abusers using spoofing software to circumvent no-contact restraining orders.
  • The Commission should require providers to display authentication status (spoofing information) along with caller name data.
  • Providers should add a reporting option for spoofed caller names or numbers on calls used for harassment or to circumvent no-contact orders.

Cloud Communications Alliance

  • Opposed to mandatory blocking based on analytics, at least for business customers.
  • An analytics-based blocking mandate would require additional guidance on blocking issues.
  • Support blocking of DNO, invalid, unallocated, and unused numbers.
  • The Commission should extend the STIR/SHAKEN framework to include Rich Call Data.
  • The Commission should mandate either SIP 608 or SIP 603+ by a date certain.
    • CCA prefers SIP 608.
  • The mislabeling of legitimate calls as spam is a serious and growing problem. The Commission should extend notification and redress protection to call labeling.


  • The Commission should promote innovative branded calling solutions. (CTIA cites announcements by Hiya, First Orion, Transaction Network Services (TNS), and Neustar/TransUnion as examples.)
  • Rich Call Data is one type of branded calling approach. It leverages STIR/SHAKEN and includes thorough vetting and KYC (Know Your Customer) protocols.
  • The Commission should refrain from regulation or mandates in branded calling and instead follow a flexible and permissive approach.
  • The Commission should increase its enforcement efforts against illegal robocallers by collaborating with federal and state partners, analytics providers, and foreign government counterparts.

Enterprise Communications Advocacy Coalition (ECAC)

  • Spam labeling is often inaccurate. The registration and remediation processes are confusing and often unsuccessful.
  • The analytics engines have created paid solutions to a problem of their own making in the form of reputation monitoring and branded calling.
  • The branded calling marketplace is an anticompetitive pay-to-play market. There is no competitive market pricing. Market access is controlled exclusively by 7 companies.
  • This monopoly power is heightened by the application of spam labels that nobody can remove other than those doing the labeling and charging for removal.
  • Analytics companies have no knowledge of called party consent. Therefore, they cannot determine whether calls are unwanted.
  • Call labeling should require notification.

First Orion Corp.

  • The number of branded calls delivered by First Orion has more than doubled in the last 12 months.
  • First Orion encourages the Commission to continue its light regulatory approach.
  • The Commission should reject the suggestion that providers pass without alteration Rich Call Data or other authenticated caller identification.


  • The Commission should not mandate analytics-based call blocking on an opt-out basis.
  • Providers should be required to use SIP 608 for call-blocking notification.
    • SIP 608 is being used currently by some carriers.
    • If the Commission requires a different SIP code, then it should require SIP 603+ as the next possible option.
  • The Commission should not mandate any further blocking requirements until it settles on a redress mechanism.
  • Calls are being mislabeled as spam.
  • INCOMPAS strongly recommends Rich Call Data as the preferred method for sharing caller data.

Insights Association et al

  • These comments are from five organizations, primarily pollsters.
  • The Commission should not mandate analytics-based blocking. They contend such a mandate would lead to over-blocking of legal calls.
    • Short-duration calls, for example, are often essential.
    • The Commission has the authority to allow analytics-based blocking, but it does not have the authority to mandate it.
  • Support mandatory blocking by using a DNO list.
  • Analytics providers have a strong incentive to over-block and mislabel since they sell both the disease and the cure.
  • Call mislabeling is rampant.
    • Paying analytics providers to resolve issues can cost medium-sized firms hundreds of thousands of dollars a year.

Michael Ravnitzky

  • An individual who expressed his views on robocall rulemaking.
  • Suggested that the Commission should provide more guidance and resources for hospitals to protect themselves from unlawful robocalls.

NCTA - The Internet & Television Association

  • Supports the proposal to require analytics-based blocking.
    • Suggests a six-month deadline.
  • Supports blocking based on a DNO list, such as the ITG list.
    • Suggests a 30-day deadline.
  • Support mandate of SIP 603+ for call-blocking notification.
    • Suggests a 12-month deadline to allow for testing.

NEUSTAR, INC., A TransUnion Company

  • Do-Not-Originate lists are highly effective.
  • Caller name solutions (CNAM, branded calling) are already in the market. The Commission should support their adoption without mandating specific solutions or technologies.
  • Neustar views Rich Call Data as an integral component for the growth of branded calling services.
  • The Commission should not allow callers to send unverified/unvetted information, which can be an attack vector for bad actors.

NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association

  • The Commission should pause the expansion of call blocking until it can ensure that SIP 603+ will work across all networks and provide information for effective redress.
  • Redress information would be lost at non-IP segments in the call path.
  • Should the Commission move forward, it should grant small voice service providers additional time to comply.

Numeracle, Inc.

  • Analytics Engine (AE) providers fail to block and label huge numbers of illegal calls, and they also apply inaccurate labels to legal and wanted calls.
  • Worse yet, AEs are monetizing their failures and insisting that legal callers pay to reduce their risk of inaccurate labeling.
  • Unregulated AEs are imposing inaccurate labeling and then offering to fix it for a fee.
  • A better alternative exists: expanding the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) requirements and using Rich Call Data to ensure that the calling customer’s verified identity is embedded in the call signaling.
  • Callers that have been vetted through a KYC process and whose calls are authenticated with STIR/SHAKEN and Rich Call Data should be notified when their calls are labeled, like call-blocking notification.
  • CNAM is obsolete and insecure.
  • Current branded calling solutions are not secure. If a bad actor spoofs a number registered with a branded calling service, then the spoofed call would display the branded calling information.
  • Secure end-to-end identity with STIR/SHAKEN and Rich Call Data is the future framework for secure calling.

Rural Wireless Association, Inc.

  • RWA generally supports measures to require that terminating providers use analytics-based blocking on an opt-out basis, block a provider when notified by the FCC, and block calls using a reasonable DNO list.
  • However, small and rural providers are unlikely to afford the implementation costs and burdens.
  • Therefore, the Commission should either rely on industry best practices that are more adaptable. Alternatively, the Commission should consider providing federal financial support and a longer compliance deadline.

Somos, Inc.

  • Supports a mandate for all voice service providers, including terminating providers, to block calls based on a reasonable DNO list.
  • A reasonable DNO list should include all categories of numbers.
  • For example, the ITG DNO list does not include enterprise inbound-only call center numbers or toll-free numbers. Bad actors use these numbers to scam customers.
  • The more comprehensive the DNO list, the more spoofed calls will be blocked before reaching the intended victim.
  • The Commission should support the use of delegate certificates.
  • The Commission should support the use of Rich Call Data to authenticate and protect vetted caller names.
  • The Commission should support the use of robust vetting processes to ensure that accurate caller names are used.

TCN Inc.

  • The Commission should adopt a single SIP code, preferably 608, for call-blocking notification.
  • Alternatively, SIP 603+ may be feasible if testing is successful and carriers uniformly implement and use it.
  • DNO lists should include only invalid, unallocated, and unused numbers.

Transaction Network Services, Inc

  • The Commission should endorse SIP 603+ for call-blocking notification and reject the adoption of SIP codes 607 and 608.
  • Providing accurate caller name is beneficial, but the Commission should not mandate the use of a specific CNAM database, or Rich Call Data.
  • The Commission should further address improper attestations and insufficient KYC practices before considering Rich Call Data.
  • The Commission should not inhibit the growth and development of enterprise branded calling solutions.


  • Either SIP 603+ or SIP 608 has the potential to provide meaningful call blocking information. However, SIP 603+ would be a better solution than SIP 608 because SIP 603+ provides the necessary redress information in a streamlined design.
  • Providing accurate caller name could provide real benefits to consumers. Rich Call Data is the best method for conveying accurate and trustworthy caller names.

Unified Office

  • Changing or removing the name of a caller is a form of spoofing and should not be tolerated by the Commission.
  • Unified Office asked the Commission to include end-to-end customer name verification and authentication along with the phone number. The originating service provider should attest to and sign both the telephone number and customer name.
  • If a call is labeled spam likely, the party responsible for this labeling should be required to send a reason code to the originating service provider.
  • Rich Call Data, with proper vetting, would give a boost to caller name accuracy.
  • Terminating carriers should be required to always present the caller’s name even if they choose to label the call as spam.
  • Terminating carriers should be required to present calling party names at no charge, not as an optional feature.

USTelecom - The Broadband Association

  • Blocking mandates should be flexible and pragmatic.
  • The Commission should exempt legacy TDM and legacy IP networks with more limited capabilities from analytics-based blocking rules.
  • Extending the DNO requirement is unnecessary. If it does, the Commission should allow more than 30 days to implement.
  • The Commission should not move too fast to issue mandates related to Rich Call Data or branded calling at this time.
  • To improve the accuracy of call labeling, the Commission should take action regarding number rotation practices and address the lead generator loophole.
  • The Commission should address inconsistent signing practices, such as call signing by third parties with the third party’s token, which undermines the analytical value of STIR/SHAKEN information.
  • The Commission should adopt SIP 603+ as the exclusive means of immediate call-blocking notification. It would meet the calling community’s demand for redress information in a more streamlined timeline.


  • Providers should be able to block highly suspect traffic from their networks without obtaining either an opt-out or opt-in from each end-user customer.
  • The Commission should affirm that the ITG DNO list is reasonable.
  • Verizon supports moving forward with SIP 603+ for call block notification.
  • STIR/SHAKEN will not live up to its promise until participants are held accountable for signing unknown traffic with A attestations and until A attestations significantly outweigh B and C attestations.
  • The Commission should issue guidance confirming that B attestation is only appropriate when an originating carrier knows the identity of the calling party.
  • The Commission should not require providers to display legacy CNAM information alongside STIR/SHAKEN authentication.
  • It would be premature to mandate that providers transmit or display Rich Call Data. Industry is just beginning the work necessary to make RCD function across the calling ecosystem.

Voice on the Net Coalition

  • Supports the adoption of SIP 608 for call-blocking notification.
  • The Commission should allow at least one year for implementation of SIP 608.
  • Advocates for the industry-wide adoption of Rich Caller Data.
    • The Commission should embrace RCD with a realistic timeline of at least one year to require all providers to accept and pass along RCD that is attached to the SIP header.
  • Advocates the development of industry-wide best practices for the use of CNAM databases.
  • Branded calling hinders competition and is expensive. The same analytics providers and terminating service providers responsible for mislabeling and inappropriate blocking are the ones profiting from a service to correct these problems.

YouMail, Inc.

  • If the Commission mandates analytics-based blocking, then it should define metrics of effectiveness.
  • Supports mandatory blocking when notified by the Commission.
  • A mandate to block “substantially similar” traffic would be problematic.
  • The Commission should extend record retention requirements to all voice service providers.
  • The Commission should consider rules to require call originators to meet or exceed minimum call durations.
  • When a call is properly authenticated with A attestation, the caller’s name should be displayed, rather than be overridden by a “scam” label.


  • ZipDX developed a robocall surveillance platform, called RRAPTOR. This system receives more than 10,000 calls every weekday. It integrates STIR/SHAKEN data to identify call sources. The comments describe the system in detail.

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