On October 26, 2016, members of the “Robocall Strike Force” met at the FCC’s headquarters to provide updates on the group’s activities since its formation in August.
- First, the Strike Force reported that, in order to facilitate the FCC’s goal of carriers deploying call blocking technologies, it had developed a consumer outreach plan with an FCC-hosted webpage to provide information about call blocking resources. It also announced a proposal for a network-to-device information sharing framework to give consumers better call data and call handling solutions, but did not give a deadline for implementation of the framework. It further reported that a number of downstream providers had committed to facilitating call blocking.
- Second, regarding caller ID authentication standards, the Strike Force announced that it had tasked standards bodies such as such as ATIS (Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions), the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) Forum, the Industry Traceback Group sponsored by the U.S. Telecom Association, and CTIA with developing and testing SS7 authentication standards, which will make it more difficult to disguise caller ID information.
- Finally, the Strike Force reported that its initial “do-not-originate” (DNO) trial, during which participating providers, at the request of the Internal Revenue Service, blocked calls that appeared to come from certain IRS phone numbers, led to a 90% reduction in consumer complaints about IRS scam calls. The group expects to release a full report on the trial after the first quarter of 2017 and plans to expand the trial to include additional providers and telephone numbers.
Chairman Wheeler spoke during the meeting, and asked the Strike Force members to continue pushing for aggressive timelines for achieving its goals. Commissioners Clyburn and Rosenworcel also attended the meeting, and while they expressed appreciation to the Strike Force for its work up to this point, stressed that there is still much to be done.