All four of the major U.S. wireless carriers are joined hands with developers, device makers and network designers on Friday to form a new robocall strike force.
As proposed by FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, the new 33-member group will seek to develop and implement solutions to stop unwanted calls from reaching customers.
The new task force includes an all-star lineup of company names, including Apple, Blackberry, British Telecom, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Ericsson, Google, LG, Microsoft, Nokia, Qualcomm, Samsung, Syniverse, and Windstream. The United States’ four tier-1 carriers are also involved in the effort.
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson will chair the industry-led group, AT&T said in a statement.
“The fact that we are all here speaks to the breadth and complexity of the robocall problem,” Stephenson said Friday. “This is going to require more than individual company initiatives and one-off blocking apps. Robocallers are a formidable adversary, notoriously hard to stop. And technology such as spoofing makes it easier for them to work around our various fixes and hide their tracks. So far, we’ve all been coming at this problem piecemeal with limited success, because robocalls continue to increase. This strike force will need to take a different approach.”
According to Stephenson, the strike force members have agreed to collaboratively address five key points as part of their efforts, including conforming to VoIP caller ID verification standards as soon as they are made available; adopting SS7 solutions for VoIP calls if they’re viable; evaluating the feasibility of a “Do Not Originate” list; working further to develop and implement solutions to detect, assess and stop unwanted calls; and cooperating to facilitate efforts by other carriers to adopt call-blocking technologies on their networks.
Stephenson said the government will also have a role to play in stopping robocalls via enforcement actions.
Stephenson said the strike force will begin work on a solution today, with the goal of reporting back to the commission in 60 days on October 19. The report, he said, will include “concrete plans to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions” and will also include recommendations for steps the FCC can take to help.
Filed Under: Industry regulations