FCC March Open

FCC March Open: Robocalls Top the List

Today, Chairman Pai resided over his first FCC March Open meeting. Top of the agenda? Robocalls and how to stop them. Hear! Hear!

The proposed rule-making and inquiries were broken down into two parts:

Rules that remove regulatory uncertainties so voice service providers can block certain robocalls without fear.

With this proposal, providers may block spoofed calls when the actual subscriber to the spoofed number makes a “do not originate” request. Additionally, this would give the green light for legislation to allow additional call blocking of the following numbers:

  • Invalid Numbers: this includes numbers with unassigned area codes, numbers that use N11 codes (such as “911” or “411”) in place of an area code, and numbers not allocated by the North American or International numbering plan administrators
  • Valid numbers that are not allocated to a provider
  • Valid numbers that are allocated to a provider but not assigned to a subscriber  

The team also asked for comment on how to treat calls that originate internationally.

Notice of Inquiry that expressly permits providers to block calls that don’t follow one of the above criteria but do appear to be illegal.

Here, the team stated they were looking for objective criteria that a provider might use to identify illegal robocalls and the accuracy of these methods. They also asked what protections could be established to ensure that legitimate calls, that share similarities to illegal robocalls, won’t be blocked.

The first proposal of the FCC March Open passed.

Now, let’s put an end to those robocalls!

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