All State AGs Ask FCC to Move Up Deadline for Small Telecoms to Comply with STIR/SHAKEN

If it’s one thing that all the Attorneys General across the country — regardless of whether they are Democrat or Republican — can agree on, it is their combined hatred of illegal robocalls. AGs from all 50 states and the District of Columbia yesterday filed a joint comment seeking to have the Federal Communications Commission move up the deadline for small telecom companies to implement STIR/SHAKEN technology to help identify legitimate callers

Through the National Association of Attorneys General, the AGs want the FCC to cut the deadline for small telecom companies to implement the STIR/SHAKEN framework by a full year, to June 30, 2022. Currently, small telecom companies will have until June 2023 to roll out the technology. All other telecom carriers were required to have STIR/SHAKEN in place last month.

The argument put forth by the AGs is that it is the small telecom carriers that are “more often responsible for illegal robocalls” and should be held accountable.

The FCC defines small carriers as though with 100,000 of fewer subscribers.

STIR/SHAKEN was originally supposed to be deployed by December 31, 2020, but carriers said they needed more time to update their systems to be able to install and perfect the technology. Under STIR/SHAKEN, call authentication protocols were built to combat the illegal spoofing of phone numbers and provide consumers with a level of comfort that the phone numbers they see on their caller IDs are actually the people who are calling them.

The Federal Communications Commission has estimated that STIR/SHAKEN could save consumers as much as $3 billion a year by no longer wasting time answering nuisance calls or illegal robocalls.

“As our offices turn our collective attention and investigative resources to the subset of small voice service providers that originate high volumes of illegal robocall traffic, we are finding that these providers can also serve as points of entry that allow illegal robocalls to enter the U.S. public switched telephone network from foreign sources, as well as serve as intermediate providers that route these calls across the country to reach our consumers,” the AGs wrote in their letter. “In order to meaningfully disrupt the onslaught of illegal robocalls and call spoofing perpetrated by and/or through these providers, it is critical that each provider be required to take steps to mitigate its illegal call traffic by, at the very least, implementing the STIR/SHAKEN call authentication framework as soon as possible.”

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