New robocall rules from the FCC circulated
The FCC has circulated a draft of new rules, proposed rules, and a notice of inquiry to be voted on in their next open meeting. Let’s have a look.
The circulated draft includes the following documents:
- Seventh Report and Order on robocalls (CG 17-59) and call authentication (17-97)
- Eighth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on robocalls (FNPRM)
- Third Notice of Inquiry on robocalls
24-hour traceback response
All providers must fully respond to traceback requests from the Commission, civil and criminal law enforcement, and the registered traceback consortium within 24 hours.
The previous rule required a response “in a timely manner”.
Originating providers must block or cease accepting suspected illegal traffic when notified by the Commission.
If the notified provider fails to comply after receiving a notification and initial determination order, then the Enforcement Bureau shall issue a final determination order to direct downstream providers to block and cease accepting all traffic directly from the identified provider.
The previous rule required the notified provider to effectively mitigate suspected illegal traffic. Notified providers could block or cease accepting the traffic, but they were given the option to mitigate and explain how they did that to the Enforcement Bureau.
Know your upstream provider
All providers accepting traffic from an upstream provider must take reasonable and effective steps to ensure that their immediate upstream providers are not carrying a high volume of illegal traffic.
All providers must describe these steps in the robocall mitigation plan that they file in the Robocall Mitigation Database.
Proposed rules that didn’t make the cut
The Report and Order listed a few items that were discussed in this rulemaking process but were declined by the Commission.
- More specific description or explanation of “effective robocall mitigation” methods
- Differential treatment of non-conversational traffic
- Strict liability for an originating provider when its customer initiates illegal robocalls
- Make traceback information publicly available.
This draft document does not provide effective dates or compliance dates. It notes that reviews will be made by the Office of Management and Budget as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act and the Congressional Review Act.
The Commission proposes additional rules that would require the following:
- Analytics-based blocking by terminating providers on an opt-out basis. Current rules allow but do not require such blocking.
- Call blocking by all providers using a reasonable Do-Not-Originate (DNO) list.
- Mandatory blocking by non-gateway intermediate and terminating providers. This would extend the mandatory blocking rules for gateway and originating providers to all other providers.
- Immediate notification of call blocking using one of the following: SIP 603+, SIP 608, or SIP 603. SIP 608 had been mandated in the Fourth Robocall Order, but this was suspended in an Order on Reconsideration. Since then, a standard for SIP 603+ has been approved.
In addition, the FNRPM seeks comment on the following:
- An accurate caller name display, along with full attestation, would increase trust. The FNRPM seeks further information on practices currently in use and potential requirements to improve caller name usage.
- Base forfeiture (penalty) for service providers that fail to mitigate robocalls.
- What tools are service providers using to identify and combat illegal calls?
- What is the current state of call labeling? Is there anything the Commission can do to improve the availability and accuracy of call labeling?
The order, proposed rules, and notice of inquiry will be discussed and votes taken in the Commission’s open meeting on Thursday, May 18, 2023.
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