The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday proposed granting AT&T, Verizon and other telecom carriers clearer powers to block suspected spam calls from ringing consumers' phones, a move that comes a month after robocallers dialed Americans almost 5 billion times, according to one industry estimate. "If this decision is adopted, I strongly encourage carriers to begin providing these services by default-for free-to their current and future customers".
"Allowing call blocking by default could be a big benefit for consumers who are sick and exhausted of robocalls".
The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday that it will vote in June on whether to allow to carriers block spam calls by default, which should mean that more spam calls are blocked. Carriers are able to block calls that come from non-existent area codes, or from calls that are on the Do Not Originate list, meaning those numbers to do not make outbound calls. Those three carriers already offer some spam and robocall blocking services to customers.
The FCC is seeking to broaden the uptick of call blocking services, which customers must now engage in voluntarily, as well as empower providers to further develop the technology.
Chairman Ajit Pai made another aggressive move towards eradicating unwanted robocalls once and for all.
Voice service providers must provide sufficient information so that consumers can remain in the program or opt out. The Shaken/Stir framework would validate where calls originate and where they claim to be coming from, and would allow for faster tracing of illegal calls to find out who's responsible for them.
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.
Wireless carriers have been challenged in combating robocalls and call spoofing practices, which have grown enormously over the last few years.
The FCC has not yet released the specific details of its proposal - in particular, what kinds of guidelines the agency will provide companies for determining whether a call is "wanted" or "unwanted".
In its analysis, Hiya found that people received an average of about 10 spam calls per month.
Providers should clearly disclose to consumers what types of calls may be blocked. The new rules would also allow carriers to help consumers to block calls not on their own contact list. At its June 6 meeting, the United States telecommunications regulator is expected to take action on Pai's proposal.