The FCC Aims to Stem Robocalls But ATT, Verizon and T-Mobile Say Wait

The big phone companies have asked the FCC to delay measures to block robocalls,
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New Robocall Rules Sep 28

Billions of Robocalls

Consumers get billions of robocalls and many if not most of them come from overseas locations including India and the Philippines.

On September 28, the FCC seeks to implement foreign provider regulation that would block most of these incoming calls.  

Under the proposal, foreign carriers have to be approved by the FCC and those spamming calls would be blocked.  

Rule Challenge

Several big phone companies say they are On Board With Robocall Blocking, Just Not Now. 

“We strongly support the direction the FCC is going to address the foreign robocall problem, to police the edge of the U.S. telephone network,” Verizon associate general counsel Christopher Oatway said in an interview. “We would like to pause the process, reexamine what needs to be done and continue to work on ways to create effective barriers to these incessant calls.”

“A slight pause could be helpful” to address unintended consequences, he said. “If the foreign providers aren’t making every effort to complete and certify compliance, there needs to be consequences for that.”

ATT said that legitimate calls might get blocked. The Example ATT gave was a US citizen in India tries to call home but the call initiates from a carrier who is not an approved and thus the call is blocked.

David Frankel, the CEO of a Utah based conference call provider was the only person against the delay citing WiFi, texting, and initiating a call from a hotel as a work around.

“How many Americans are overseas in circumstances where they are trying to call home this way, versus how many people are being bombarded with these illegal calls?” he asked.

There is also a loophole in the regulation in that it only pertains to direct calls not calls that go through a middleman.

The obvious remedy is of course to close the loophole. 

Mish

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