51 State Attorneys General and 12 Major Carriers Announce Anti-Robocall Principles
In a press release the Attorney General of North Carolina announced they joined 50 other Attorneys General and 12 phone companies to create a set of principles aimed at thwarting illegal robocalls. In the release the AG advised that the phone companies have agreed to adopt eight principles to fight illegal robocalls.
The coalition of attorneys general, led by North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein, New Hampshire Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, and Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, includes attorneys general from all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The coalition of companies includes AT&T, Bandwidth, CenturyLink, Charter, Comcast, Consolidated, Frontier, Sprint, T-Mobile, US Cellular, Verizon, and Windstream.
“Robocalls are the greatest frustration I hear about from North Carolinians,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Last month, my office announced a robocall petition and within days, we’d heard from thousands of people who have been harmed or harassed by these unwanted and illegal calls. Today, I’m proud to lead this national effort to fight illegal robocalls.”
The principles address illegal robocalls in two key ways: prevention and enforcement.
“Robocalls are a scourge – at best, annoying, at worst, scamming people out of their hard-earned money,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “By signing on to these principles, industry leaders are taking new steps to keep your phone from ringing with an unwanted call. They’ve also agreed to do more to help other state attorneys general and me track down the scammers and fraudsters responsible so that we can keep them from preying on people.”
Phone companies will work to prevent illegal robocalls by:
- Implementing call-blocking technology at the network level at no cost to customers.
- Making available to customers additional, free, easy-to-use call blocking and labeling tools.
- Implementing technology to authenticate that callers are coming from a valid source.
- Monitoring their networks for robocall traffic.
Phone companies will assist attorneys general anti-robocall enforcement by:
- Knowing who their customers are so bad actors can be identified and investigated.
- Investigating and taking action against suspicious callers – including notifying law enforcement and state attorneys general.
- Working with law enforcement, including state attorneys general, to trace the origins of illegal robocalls.
- Requiring telephone companies with which they contract to cooperate in traceback identification.
Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 8/23/19.
Responding to the release, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement saluting the effort and the participating state officials and saying he was “pleased that several voice service providers have agreed to abide by them.” He went on to say that the principles “align with the FCC’s own anti-robocalling and spoofing efforts. Earlier this month, the FCC adopted rules to apply anti-spoofing prohibitions to international robocalls, as called for by many of these same state attorneys general. In addition, we continue to see progress toward adoption of caller ID authentication using SHAKEN/STIR standards. And our call blocking work has cleared the way for blocking of unwanted robocalls by default and of likely scam calls using non-existent phone numbers. The FCC is committed to working together with Congress, state leaders, and our federal partners to put an end to unwanted robocalls.”
The Regulatory Mix Today: 51 State Attorneys General and 12 Major Carriers Announce Anti-Robocall Principles, FTC Announces
FY 2020 DNC Registry Fees
FTC Announces FY 2020 DNC Registry Fees
The Federal Trade Commission announced the FY 2020 fees for telemarketers accessing phone numbers on the National Do Not Call (DNC) Registry. Most of the annual fees will increase slightly from FY 2019. Specifically, in FY 2020 telemarketers will pay $65 for yearly access to Registry phone numbers in a single area code, which is an increase of $2 from FY 2019. The maximum charge to any single entity for accessing all area codes nationwide is now $17,765 (up from $17,406 in FY 2019). The fee for accessing an additional area code for a half year will remain the same as in FY 2019, at $32.
All telemarketers calling consumers in the United States are required to download the numbers on the National DNC Registry to ensure they do not call consumers who have registered their phone numbers. The first five area codes are free to download, and organizations that are exempt, such as some charitable organizations, may obtain the entire list for free. Telemarketers must subscribe each year for access to the Registry numbers.
The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of an Inteserra Briefing.