FCC Consumer Advisory Committee Calls Special Meeting to Consider Call Blocking Recommendation

The Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee has called a special meeting for Thursday, Feb. 13 where it will discuss a single item — robocalls and call blocking.

The meeting, which will be held from 2pm to 3pm EST, is open to the public and will be broadcast live online, and will allow for a “limited” amount of time to hear comments from the general public, according to a release announcing the meeting. The consideration of the recommendation is the only item that will be discussed during the meeting.

During the meeting, the Consumer Advisory Committee is expected to consider a recommendation from one of its working groups. the CAC’s Robocall Report Working Group will “present a recommendation on the gathering of data and/or sources of data relating to the availability and effectiveness of call blocking tools,” according to the release.

The FCC has been working on several fronts to deal with an increase in robocalls. Among some of the steps the regulator has taken is to give carriers more power to unilaterally block calls they deem to be robocalls or to allow consumers to opt into programs that automatically screen and block calls. The FCC has also adopted a rule that bans spoofing of international texts and robocalls.

Companies in the credit and collection industry are concerned about calls being automatically blocked because that could create a situation where legitimate calls — such as those coming from a collection agency — are blocked or labeled as spam or scams and not connected to consumers.

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