Published: Sat, May 18, 2019
IT | By Lester Massey

U.S. FCC delays review of spectrum assigned to vehicle communication

U.S. FCC delays review of spectrum assigned to vehicle communication

According to a news release from the FCC released Wednesday, many providers had held off on developing and implementing call-blocking tools by default because they weren't sure if it was legal under the FCC's rules to implement them. The FCC said its own consumer help line was being used to make illegitimate outgoing calls by spammers. By making it clear that such call blocking is allowed, Pai said, the FCC will give service providers the certainty they've been missing.

Pai and the other four FCC commissioners are set to testify later on Wednesday before a US House panel amid frustration in Congress and among US consumers over the rising number of robocalls. Under the proposal, "carriers would simply have to allow consumers who do not want that kind of service to opt out", Pai said. Customers would be able to draw up a "white list" of contacts, so operators only allow through calls from these known numbers.

Pai said phone companies have been hesitant to deploy automatic robocall-blocking tools because it's unclear whether they're legal under the FCC's rules.

Hardly anyone needs a reminder of how pervasive the problem of robocalls has become, or how ineffective the action against them has been up to this point.

The U.S. telecommunications regulator is expected to approve Pai's proposal at its June 6 meeting.

In recent months, though, Pai has sought to pressure the AT&T, Verizon and other companies to adopt new technology that would present consumers with an alert when they're receiving a call that's coming from a number believed to be fraudulent. He raised the threat of regulatory action if the carriers don't take steps, saying that the agency will "stand ready to take action if the companies do not take the steps necessary to protect consumers".

In November, Pai wrote to the chief executive officers of major providers demanding they launch the system no later than 2019 to combat robocalls.

FCC Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said this week that the FCC should "require call authentication technology" and "make available free tools to consumers to block these calls".

One study says Americans received more than 26 billion robocalls a year ago.

This year, between 60 and 75 billion robocalls are expected to be made, up from almost 48 billion last year. The number breaks down to an average of 10 monthly calls per person.

Of the spam calls received, majority were 'general spam, ' followed by fraud, telemarketers and robocallers.

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