FCC Implements New Rules To Battle Influx Of Robocalls

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Gateway carriers are now more responsible for screening calls that may be spam.

The Federal Communications Commission took action against illegal spam calls contacting American phone lines from overseas by adopting new protocols that mandates service and gateway providers take additional steps to verify the identity of calls they rout.

As part of the announced rule on Thursday, officials cited the statistic that 65 percent of the voice service providers deemed transmitting these spam calls were foreign-based or gateway carriers. 

“Gateway providers serve as a critical choke-point for reducing the number of illegal robocalls received by American consumers,” the press release said. “The new rules require gateway providers to participate in robocall mitigation, including blocking efforts, take responsibility for illegal robocall campaigns on their networks, cooperate with FCC enforcement efforts and quickly respond to efforts to trace illegal robocalls to their source.”

In conjunction with this new order, the FCC will review how and possibly when anti-robocall rules will be applied to intermediate providers along with gateway providers. 

Carriers who are not in compliance with the new rules and don’t screen transferred calls sufficiently may suffer mandatory blocking by other networks.

Federal agencies and Congress have both worked to curb the high volume of spam calls targeting Americans over the past few years. In 2019, a team of bipartisan lawmakers introduced the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act, which was signed into law in December that year.