Telecom carriers are going to get another 15 months in which to implement caller ID authentication under the STIR/SHAKEN protocols under a proposal that was released Friday by the Federal Communications Commission.
Carriers were supposed to adopt the STIR/SHAKEN framework and have it working by December 31, 2019, but that deadline came and went with a whimper. Under the new proposal, which the FCC will vote on later this month, carriers would be required to comply with STIR/SHAKEN by June 30, 2021.
“All of us are fed up with robocalls — including me,” said Ajit Pai, chairman of the FCC, in a statement. “We’ve taken many steps to stem the tide of spoofed robocalls. I’m excited about the proposal I’m advancing today: requiring phone companies to adopt a caller ID authentication framework called STIR/SHAKEN. Widespread implementation will give American consumers a lot more peace of mind when they pick up the phone. Last year, I demanded that major phone companies voluntarily deploy STIR/SHAKEN, and a number of them did. But it’s clear that FCC action is needed to spur across-the-board deployment of this important technology. There is no silver bullet when it comes to eradicating robocalls, but this is a critical shot at the target.”
STIR/SHAKEN is technology that allows carriers to verify the accuracy of the caller ID information that is transmitted with a call. Its deployment would likely reduce the frequency of spoofing phone numbers and make it easier for regulators and enforcement agencies to identify perpetrators of illegal robocalls.
The FCC’s hand in mandating the adoption of STIR/SHAKEN was forced by the enactment of the TRACED Act, which made compliance with STIR/SHAKEN mandatory for all voice service providers.
The FCC estimates that the deployment of STIR/SHAKEN could save individuals as much as $3 billion annually by no longer wasting time and the nuisance of receiving scam calls.
Carriers have been announcing deployments of STIR/SHAKEN implementations, but have yet to roll out the technology across all of their calls. Carriers are quick to point out that STIR/SHAKEN does nothing to verify the content of a call, just the number the call is being made from.