FCC to Block Call Traffic From 20 Companies

The voice providers did not submit adequate robocall prevention plans.

FCC to Block Call Traffic From 20 Companies
Graphic of cell phones. Used with permission.

WASHINGTON, October 16, 2023 – The Federal Communications Commission issued on Monday enforcement orders against 20 companies for lax robocall policies.

Those companies will have until October 30 to demonstrate in writing to the FCC that they should not be removed from the commission’s Robocall Mitigation Database. If companies are not listed in that database, other voice providers are required to block their calls.

Voice providers are required to implement robocall prevention plans under the commission’s STIR/SHAKEN regime, or to detail what they are doing to prevent robocalls if they cannot implement the FCC standard.

That standard requires, among other things, verifying that calls alleging to be from a given number are actually being made from that number.

The voice providers the FCC took action against on Monday did not submit satisfactory filings to the commission, attaching promotional materials, corporate logos, even an image of an “indiscernible object” instead of robocal mitigation plans.

“Companies must actively engage in this consumer protection,” said FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal in a news release. “Ignoring these requirements – or, far worse, supporting illegal callers and scam texters – comes with serious consequences.”

The FCC has been steadily ramping up its robocall enforcement efforts since STIR/SHAKEN was instituted in 2021. New commission rules went into effect on August 21 requiring all providers who transmit phone traffic – not just providers handling the two ends of a call  – to implement the regime.

The deadline for those intermediate providers to comply with STIR/SHAKEN is December 31, 2023.