Groups Call on FCC to Require Notification of Blocked Calls

A number of financial services trade organizations, including ACA International, are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to require that telecom companies notify businesses when their calls are being blocked or labeled as spam.

The organizations, which also included the American Bankers Association, the American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, and the Student Loan Servicing Alliance, said that the FCC should use mechanisms under the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence (TRACED) Act and the proposed STIR/SHAKEN framework to require notification protocols, as well as remove erroneous blocks within 24 hours of being notified.

The comments were filed as part of a proposed rulemaking announced by the FCC seeking “Advanced Methods to Target and Eliminate Unlawful Robocalls.”

Noting that they have submitted “extensive” data illustrating that “lawful and important” calls are being blocked and labeled as “spam” and that the problem is not getting any better, the associations had a number of requests for the FCC, including:

  • Requiring immediate notification when a call is blocked, including blocking based on STIR/SHAKEN information, and a remedy for erroneous blocking within 24 hours
  • Prohibiting voice service providers from blocking unsigned or unattested calls originating from providers unable to implement the STIR/SHAKEN framework
  • Confirming that voice service providers must provide equivalent redress to mislabeled outbound calling numbers

“… the Commission has not fully discharged the TRACED Act’s mandates to
provide ‘effective redress’ and ‘transparency . . . for . . . callers,’ ” the associations argue in their letter. “It also underscores the need for additional Commission action to effectuate Congress’ intent that lawful calls be protected.”

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