FCC Chairman Pai proposes blocking robocalls by default

FCC Chairman Pai proposes blocking robocalls by default

Service providers have historically been reluctant to develop and deploy call block tools by default due to uncertainty regarding their legality under the FCC's rules.

There would not be legal liability for companies that employ the "shaken/stir" technology to block calls that have "not been authenticated under the framework", according to Pai. Under the rules, consumers would be able to opt-out of the service if they wished, and carriers must clearly disclose to customers what types of calls may be blocked.

Allowing the default call-blocking could significantly increase development and consumer adoption of the tools, Pai said, adding that providers should offer call blocking services for free. According to YouMail, a company that blocks and tracks robocalls, there were almost 48 billion unwanted calls in the usa in 2018 and an estimated 4.9 billion last month alone.

Currently, consumers often must elect to use carriers' robocall-blocking tools, some of them costing a monthly fee, which means "fewer people are using these services", Pai said.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai will reportedly crack down on illegal robocalls on Wednesday.

The U.S. telecommunications regulator is expected to take action on Pai's proposal at its June 6 meeting.

New measures by US regulators could help thwart some of the billions of robocalls received in the U.S.

The bill would also make it easier for the FCC to impose financial penalties. So even if the FCC's new measures pass, carriers could undermine them by charging consumers.

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Pai said this week he expects major phone providers to implement those caller ID standards this year and will host a summit on July 11 to review the industry's progress.

The idea put forward by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai - and pending approval from the agency's commissioners - encourages carriers to enable their anti-robocall technology by default, as opposed to waiting for consumers to turn on those features themselves.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said this week the FCC should require call authentication technology and make available free tools to consumers to block calls.

She also urged the FCC to set up a robocall enforcement division.

The number of unwanted robocalls skyrocketed 46% from 2017 to 2018.

Along with analytics, companies could also allow customers to submit a so-called "white list" of allowable numbers, which would rely on existing contacts.

The top area codes that were targeted by spam callers in 2018 were Texas cities including Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth.

Many robocalls are not scam calls, though, but calls from debt collectors and telemarketers selling insurance, cruises and the like.

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