FCC Means Business in Fight Against Robocalls

By Greg Tavarez, TMCnet Editor  |  November 22, 2022

The Federal Communications Commission made it a requirement for voice service providers to implement protocols to better protect consumers against scam robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing. If those protocols cannot be implemented, the FCC (News - Alert) requires detailed robocall mitigation plans.

And for good reason, too. Based on results from the FCC’s Robocall Response Team in protecting consumers, Robokiller reported a 99% drop in volume of an auto warranty scam robocall campaign, STIR/SHAKEN standards are widely implemented across IP networks and gateways used by international robocallers to reach American phones are closed.

So, what will the FCC do when providers fail to meet its standards? We now know. The FCC is showing it isn’t afraid to take action against Robocall Mitigation Database certification applicants that fail to meet the robocall mitigation standards. Those who fail to meet the standards receive notification from the FCC’s Wireline Communication Bureau and, if they fail to respond and correct their filing, a “show cause” order is issued from the Enforcement Bureau.

Ultimately, as we have now seen, the FCC will take even more drastic measures. For the first time, it is cutting off a voice service provider from other networks for failing to meet requirements. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau ordered the removal of Global UC from the database, and order that “requires all intermediate providers and terminating voice service providers to cease accepting the company’s traffic.”

“For too long, robocalls have flooded our phones and facilitated fraud,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel. “We are cutting providers off and preventing them from accessing our networks when they fail to demonstrate they will protect consumers.”

Executing this action is a way to display the seriousness in stopping robocalls.

The FCC isn’t stopping with the removal of Global UC either. The FCC said it continues to review responses to “show cause” orders requiring other providers show their concrete steps taken to protect consumer from scam robocalls and spoofing.

“While this is a steep and impactful penalty, it underscores the importance we place on complying with our rules, which are designed to eliminate the ability of bad actors to use the U.S. communications networks to harm consumers,” said Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan A. Egal.

Edited by Erik Linask