Meeting via conference call yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission has formally adopted a rule that will require phone carriers to deploy STIR/SHAKEN call authentication technology by June 30, 2021.
STIR/SHAKEN is technology that allows a carrier to verify the caller ID information matches the caller’s actual phone number. It is intended to stop individuals who spoof phone numbers by using different caller ID information to make it look like someone else is calling.
The FCC had originally mandated that carriers deploy the technology by the end of last December, but that deadline came and went without any of the major carriers fully deploying it.
“Widespread implementation of STIR/SHAKEN will reduce the effectiveness of illegal spoofing, allow law enforcement to identify bad actors more easily, and help phone companies identify — and even block — calls with illegal spoofed caller ID information before those calls reach their subscribers,” said Ajit Pai, commissioner of the FCC, during the meeting. “Most importantly, it will give consumers more peace of mind when they answer the phone.”
The FCC also announced during its meeting yesterday that it is moving forward with Further Notices of Proposed Rulemaking that will seek comment on:
- Expanding the STIR/SHAKEN implementation mandate to cover intermediate voice service providers
- Extending the implementation deadline by one year for small voice service providers pursuant to the TRACED Act
- Adopting requirements to promote caller ID authentication on voice networks that do not rely on IP technology
- Implementing other aspects of the TRACED Act.
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.