Are robocallers gobbling up numbering resources?
Are robocallers gobbling up numbering resources? Regulators and legislators in one state think so, and they’ve passed a law to do something about it. Let’s have a look.
The Maine Public Utilities Commission (MPUC) announced that a new Maine law will reduce robocalling and preserve a single area code.
The MPUC found that, of the 3.5 million numbers in service in area code 207, the only area code in Maine, only 1.5 million, or 43%, are held by Voice Service Providers (VSPs) that are contributing to the Maine Universal Service Fund and Maine Telecommunications Education Access Fund.
The Act to Preserve the 207 Area Code and Impede So-called Robocalling requires any VSP holding numbers in service for Maine’s numbering plan to contribute to the state funds listed above.
The MPUC announcement states that “the law is expected to reduce the number of VSPs buying up numbers to use for robocalls.”
“Maine consumers and businesses are paying an unfair share of these costs and this law will allow the Commission to enforce the collection of fees from more providers using 207 numbering resources who should already be contributing,” said Chair Philip L. Bartlett II.
We have seen signs that some robocalls continue to use spoofed calling numbers, while others are using calling numbers that they obtained from DID providers.
Some robocallers obtain a large inventory of calling numbers and cycle through them to send robocalls, a technique called snowshoeing. Robocallers use this technique to evade call analytics techniques to identify, label and block suspicious calls.
It will be interesting to see the impact this law will have on service funds, numbering resources and robocalls in Maine. Will it reduce the number of VSPs gobbling up numbers? Is market demand that price elastic? Or will robocallers keep their numbers and pay any addon charges that VSPs pass along, thereby contributing to the state’s service funds?
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