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FCC Proposes Updating Numbering Rules to Fight Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission this week approved a proposal seeking comment on how to modify its policies to reduce access to phone numbers by perpetrators of illegal robocalls.

The proposed rules are part of ongoing Commission efforts to protect Americans from unwanted and illegal robocalls.

The FCC is proposing to update its rules governing interconnected VoIP providers’ direct access to phone numbers to address problems that have arisen from the growth of widely available VoIP software that can allow bad actors to make spoofed robocalls with minimal technical experience and cost.  Following Congress’s directive in the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act), the proposed rules would require VoIP providers applying for direct access to numbers to comply with anti-robocalling obligations.  In addition, the proposal would establish guardrails to safeguard finite numbering resources, protect against national security risks, reduce the opportunity for regulatory arbitrage, and further promote public safety.

This proceeding proposes updates to FCC rules to require Executive Branch review before entities based outside the United States gain access to numbering resources, and would require that applicants for direct access to numbers disclose foreign ownership information.  The Commission also seeks comment on requiring applicants to use numbering resources lawfully; not to encourage or assist and facilitate illegal robocalls, illegal spoofing, or fraud; and to take steps to cease originating, terminating, and/or transmitting illegal robocalls.

Action by the Commission August 5, 2021 by Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 21-94).  Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel, Commissioners Carr, Starks, and Simington approving.  Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel issuing a separate statement.

WC Docket Nos. 13-97, 07-243, 20-67; IB Docket No. 16-155

FCC-21-94A1 08062021 robocalls

FCC ROSENWORCEL statement 08062021

Source FCC

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