The governor of Maine has signed a bill into law that will require telephone companies that offer services aimed at reducing the number of robocalls received by their subscribers to do so “at a reasonably affordable cost” in an attempt to reduce the number of robocalls received by residents of the state. The bill originally proposed making those services available for free, but was subsequently amended.
The law, LD 511, will go into effect on January 1, 2022.
Telephone companies that use technology to block calls made by an automated telephone calling device or an artificial or prerecorded voice “shall inform each subscriber as to the nature and cost of any such service offered and describe how the subscriber may elect to enroll in or take advantage of such service,” according to the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Patti Dodge earlier this year. The state of Maine defines an automated telephone calling device as “any system or equipment, including a facsimile machine, that selects, dials or calls telephone numbers and plays recorded messages or attempts to send facsimiles.”
“This bill is a product of constituents reaching out and voicing their concerns,” said Rep. Dodge, a Democrat, in a published report. “No one enjoys picking their phone up only to realize it’s a spam call. I am grateful to the governor for signing this bill into law, as it will have a direct impact on people across the state.”
Rep. Dodge said she introduced her bill after learning that the TRACED Act requires the Federal Communications Commission to make sure that robocall blocking services are made available to individuals, but did not require telephone companies to actually implement those blocking requirements.