FCC Adopts Additional Rules to Battle Spoofed Robocalls

On Tuesday, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) announced that it had adopted new rules to further combat illegal robocalls and implement the TRACED Act. The new rules hinge on the STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication framework, an Internet Protocol (IP) based standard, that works to protect consumers against “malicious caller ID spoofing.”

Specifically, the new rules put in place three requirements: (1) voice service providers must either upgrade their non-IP networks to IP and implement STIR/SHAKEN, or establish a non-IP caller ID authentication solution, (2) intermediate providers must implement STIR/SHAKEN so that IP calls “retain caller ID authentication throughout the call path,” and (3) carriers are prohibited from “adding a line item to the bills of consumers and small businesses for caller ID authentication technology.”

The FCC’s order grants a limited deadline extension to “to small voice providers, voice service providers that are currently incapable of obtaining a ‘certificate’ necessary to implement STIR/SHAKEN, services scheduled for discontinuance, and non-IP networks.” However, providers who receive an extension must still comply with robocall mitigation effort requirements, even for networks not yet able to implement the STIR/SHAKEN framework.

Tuesday’s announcement is the latest in a series of steps the legislative and executive branches have taken to stem the tide of spam calls annoying Americans. The aforementioned TRACED Act was signed into law last December. It gives law enforcement agencies more tools to prosecute individuals and companies who break telephonic consumer protection laws and hastens government and telecommunication industry efforts to end robocalling. In April, the FCC required cell network providers to use caller ID protocol to verify that the caller ID information matches the caller’s phone number.