FCC Comments on TRACED Act

Last month a who’s who of staff from the FCC spoke on a panel during the STIR/SHAKEN Virtual Summit regarding their approach to implementing the TRACED Act passed by congress. Organized by the SIP Forum, this week-long virtual conference covered everything you would ever want to know about the SIP- based STIR/SHAKEN authentication, and an end goal of complying with the directive from Congress to stop the Robocall scourge.

By No Means a Quick Fix

As further proof that a fully operational nationwide STIR/SHAKEN network is likely to be years away, one of the sessions was titled, “The 800lb Gorilla in the Room: Navigating the IP Interconnection Nightmare”, referring to the intermediate providers who maintain interconnection points that must be converted to IP for interoperability with STIR/SHAKEN. Most of these interconnects are owned by the Tier II carriers who have commented to the Commission on the cost and length of time required to bring them into compliance. During the FCC Keynote and Panel Discussion one attendee asked, why are voice providers not being required to implement currently available call blocking measures, since it may take years for STIR/SHAKEN to be fully deployed? Jerusha Burnett, a legal advisor to the FCC responded by saying  that she was unsure why the Commission has not taken that approach, but added that they have taken an aggressive stand on permitting voice providers to offer call blocking to their customers.  Burnett added that most of the rural providers offering call blocking tools require consumers to opt-in or opt-out and their consent signifies a customer acceptance that they want call blocking, even at the risk of not receiving calls from some legitimate callers. 

Alternative Methodologies Addressed

Matthew Collins, Assistant Chief in the Competition Policy Division of the Wireline Competition Bureau  also addressed the question by referring to the Alternative Methodologies provisions of the TRACED Act. Collins stated  that the FCC has sought and received comments on other currently available call blocking solutions during what is shaping up to be a very long extension of compliance period.

With no quick end in sight, consumers will continue to get hammered with timely scams like the Amazon Robocall scam. This may cause more voice providers to ask themselves should I do the right thing now for customers or wait for STIR/SHAKEN?

Contact your Innovative Systems Sales Director today if you want to join other operators who are protecting their customers.