Robocalls: For NTCA Member Companies
How are the government and industry responding to robocalls?
The FCC requires private robocallers to have prior consent to robocall or robotext a cell phone and consumers can register their numbers with the FTC’s Do Not Call list, which requires legitimate telemarketers to stop calling numbers that are registered. Also, there are limits on debt-collection calls and the number and duration of robocalls to collect federal debts. However, technology such as spoofing makes illegal robocallers difficult to detect or stop.
Robocall Strike Force
The FCC assembled a Robocall Strike Force, a coalition of more than 30 tech companies and telecoms, including NTCA member Silver Star Communications (Freedom, Wyo.). The FCC has also established an information page on robocalls at www.fcc.gov/unwanted-calls. This page includes materials from the Strike Force.
The Strike Force issued a Report on October 26, 2016. The Report outlines the Strike Force’s efforts to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions to minimize robocalls and promote greater consumer control over the calls they wish to receive.
In addition, each member of the Strike Force has committed to:
- Conform to VOIP caller ID verification standards as soon as they are made available by the standards setting groups;
- Adopt, if viable, SS7 solutions associated with VOIP calls;
- Work together with the industry along with the standards setting bodies, to evaluate the feasibility of a “Do Not Originate” list;
- Further develop and implement solutions to detect, assess and stop unwanted calls from reaching customers; and
- Facilitate efforts by other carriers to adopt call-blocking technologies on their networks.
What should NTCA member companies do?
The FCC expects that phone companies will respond to consumer requests to block robocalls. Chairman Wheeler sent letters to the CEOs of the large wireless and wireline phone companies asking them to offer call-blocking services to their customers at no cost.
There is no failsafe tool for stopping these calls today. But member companies can inform their customers of things they can currently do to cut down on the number of calls. See the consumers web page for information that carriers might share with their customers.
How is NTCA responding?
NTCA is actively engaged on the issue and is providing information to the Robocall Strike Force and the FCC. We are monitoring technology advancements and industry progress and updating members on legal and regulatory developments.
If you have any questions, please contact NTCA Vice President of Legal and Industry and Assistant General Counsel, Jill Canfield at firstname.lastname@example.org or 703-351-2020.