March 27, 2018
USTelecom Vice President of Law & Policy Kevin Rupy recently participated on an illegal robocalling panel co-hosted by the FCC and the FTC about challenges facing consumers and industry. Rupy spoke specifically about the development of authenticated caller-ID, traceback efforts to identify the source of illegal robocalls, ongoing cooperation with federal agencies to help mitigate robocalls, and resources to help consumers block illegal calls. An agenda for the workshop is available here, and the full workshop can be viewed at the FCC’s website here.
Robocalls are Top Consumer Priority for FCC and FTC
The workshop was kicked off by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who has made combatting unlawful robocalls and malicious caller ID spoofing his top consumer protection priority. Chairman Pai also discussed many of the FCC’s initiatives on robocalls, including the decision to authorize voice providers to block certain calls, ongoing efforts related to implementation of enhanced caller identification, as well as the agency’s recent robocall enforcement actions. The FTC’s Acting Chairman Maureen Ohlhausen discussed her agency’s efforts on robocalls, which includes various enforcement actions, and encouraging innovation in the robocall blocking space.
Panels Discuss Ongoing Industry and Government Efforts
After remarks from Pai and Ohlhausen, three panels discussed various aspects of the robocall issue. The first panel, which included USTelecom’s Rupy as well as representatives from consumer groups and legitimate call originators, discussed why the robocall issue has grown in recent years, and how to ensure legitimate callers do not have their calls blocked. The second panel, which included representatives from the FCC, FTC and the Florida Attorney General’s office, discussed ongoing enforcement efforts at the federal and state level. Finally, the last panel included a variety of stakeholders who discussed consumer tools to help mitigate robocalls.
USTelecom Continues Efforts to Fight Robocalls
USTelecom continues to lead significant industry efforts on the robocall issue. Coupled with its extensive advocacy on robocalls. USTelecom also leads the efforts of the 22 member Industry Traceback Group, which is focused on identifying the source of illegal robocalls. USTelecom’s website provides information regarding the association’s efforts to address robocalls, as well as tools that are available to consumers.