On Wednesday, October 26, the FCC held its second Robocall Strike Force meeting. Just two months ago, industry leaders came together for the first time to address the robocall epidemic. It all began when Chairman Wheeler called for a 60-day action plan to provide consumers with the tools they need to stop unwanted robocalls. This meeting’s purpose was for the Robocall Strike Force to report on the status of that plan.
AT&T’s President of Technology Development, Melissa Arnoldi, presented an overview of Chairman Wheeler’s points of focus and the recommendations to achieve those goals. These areas included “filtering and blocking technology for consumers, accelerating development and the climate of caller ID authentication to increase the accuracy in the identification of incoming calls and solutions to mitigate, such as the Do Not Originate lists.”
One deliverable that is available to consumers now is the FCC’s new website: FCC.gov/unwanted calls. This site provides consumers with information on how they can protect themselves from unwanted robocalls. It makes no mention of third party apps, but it’s a start.
Commissioners Clyburn and Pai, who have been active in speaking out against robocalls (and visited Hiya in September, along with Chairman Wheeler), had the opportunity to speak and we were thrilled with what they had to say:
“Thankfully, there are companies like Hiya, a startup I visited in Seattle, that are implementing and empowering consumers with the tools needed to block unwanted calls. Today, we are applauding those who have stepped up to the plate, with solutions.” -Commissioner Clyburn
“I had the pleasure, a few weeks ago, of meeting with an innovative company called Hiya, up in Seattle, and one of the things they showed me was that Americans have received 984 million robocalls on their cell phones, in September alone. That’s 4.5 robocalls for each mobile phone in the United States. That’s why I think it’s so important for this industry, including those participating in the Robocalls Strike Force, to do this job.” -Commissioner Pai
Chairman Wheeler closed the meeting with appreciation, but also a firm stance that there was more work left on the table. “You have delivered on some of those goals, but there is significantly more work to be done. We are not yet where we want to be. […] We will be asking you all in six months to give us an accounting of exactly what has happened to bring your hard work to reality so that consumers have something that is actually happening, not something that is being talked about.”
Your move, Robocall Strike Force.