FCC Adopts Rules To Combat Call Spoofing

The Federal Communications Commission yesterday announced the adoption of a number of new rules aimed at getting voice service providers to have STIR/SHAKEN protocols ready by the agency’s deadline of June 30, 2021, while also prohibiting those providers from adding line-item charges to customers’ bills for the caller ID technology.

Carriers were originally supposed to have deployed STIR/SHAKEN technology by Dec. 31, 2019, but that deadline was extended until 2021 earlier this year. 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.

Under the new rules, which were originally to be discussed at a meeting of the FCC’s commissioners today, voice service providers will be required to either upgrade their non-Internet Protocol (IP) networks to IP and implement STIR/SHAKEN or figure out a non-IP solution to authenticate caller ID. Intermediate providers are also going to be required to implement STIR/SHAKEN so that calls retain the proper caller ID authentication for the duration of the call path.

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.

For companies in the credit and collection industry, having their caller ID information verified should reduce the number of instances where their calls are labeled as spam or potentially spam, and may result in more individuals answering the phone when called by a collector.

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.

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