Today's Regulatory Mix: FCC Reports to Congress on Efforts to Combat One-Ring Scams, Chairman Pai Statement On FCC Authorization Of First 6 GHz WI-FI Device, FCC ‘s Hospital Robocall Protection Group Adopts Best Practices Report on Preventing Unlawful Calls
FCC Reports to Congress on Efforts to Combat One-Ring Scams
As required by the section 12 of the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act of 2019 (TRACED Act), FCC Chairman Ajit Pai reported to Congress that it had concluded its required proceeding on one-ring scams by issuing a Report and Order adopting new rules to protect consumers. The Order adopts a new rule that expressly confirms that voice service providers may lawfully block calls that are highly likely to be associated with one-ring scams. It also establishes that that voice service providers that use reasonable analytics to identify and block calls from telephone numbers associated with one-ring scams will be protected from liability under Section 201(b) and other provisions of the Communications Act and related regulations if they inadvertently block calls that consumers wish to receive. Inteserra Briefing Service subscribers see Briefing dated 12/14/20.
The Act defines a "one-ring scam" as "a scam in which a caller makes a call and allows the call to ring the called party for a short duration, in order to prompt the called party to return the call, thereby subjecting the called party to charges." In a typical one-ring scam, a consumer is robocalled, often late at night, with the scammer disconnecting after only one ring to induce the consumer to call back. Despite appearing to come from a domestic United States number, one-ring scam calls generally originate outside the U.S. and consumers who call them back therefore incur toll charges, of which the scammer gets a share.
Chairman Pai Statement On FCC Authorization Of First 6 GHz WI-FI Device
The FCC announced it has authorized the first Wi-Fi device for use in the 6 GHz spectrum band (5.925–7.125 GHz). In April, the Commission adopted new rules to expand unlicensed operations in the 6 GHz band, ushering in Wi-Fi 6—the next generation of Wi-Fi - and boosting the growth of the Internet of Things. In response, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai issued a statement saying in part:
“Today, we get an exciting glimpse of America’s Wi-Fi future. This is the FCC’s first authorization of a device to provide unlicensed services in the 6 GHz spectrum band under the Commission’s new rules. The Commission cleared the way for such advances with its landmark action earlier this year, making up to 1,200 megahertz of spectrum available for higher powered unlicensed use. Today, we are starting to see the fruits of this work, and consumers will now start to benefit in a big way.
We expect Wi-Fi 6 to be over two-and-a-half times faster than the current standard. This will offer better performance for American consumers at a time when homes and businesses are increasingly reliant on Wi-Fi. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all seen how Wi-Fi has enabled everything from work-at-home to telehealth to remote learning to streaming and gaming. Wi-Fi 6 will turbocharge each of these and more, and will also complement commercial 5G networks. Bottom line: The American consumer’s wireless experience is about to be transformed for the better.”
FCC ‘s Hospital Robocall Protection Group Adopts Best Practices Report on Preventing Unlawful Calls
The FCC announced that its Hospital Robocall Protection Group (HRPG), a federal advisory committee, has presented its report containing best practices that voice service providers, hospitals, and federal and state governments can follow to prevent unlawful robocalls from disrupting communications in hospitals. The Report was required by the Pallone-Thune Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act). The Report contains best practices regarding:
- How voice service providers can better combat unlawful robocalls made to hospitals
- How hospitals can better protect themselves from such calls, including by using unlawful robocall mitigation techniques
- How the Federal Government and State governments can help combat such calls
The Report recommends that voice service providers serving hospitals engage in the following:
- Implement STIR/SHAKEN on the IP portions of their networks
- Have appropriate procedures in place to ensure compliance with applicable laws
- Confirm the identity of and properly vet their customers
- Analyze, identify, and monitor traffic on their network for patterns consistent with unlawful robocalls
- Offer call blocking and call labeling services
- Provide materials and opportunities for education and guidance to hospitals
Response and Mitigation
- Prioritize hospital entities as appropriate in response and remediation efforts
- Establish a method to ensure hospitals can expeditiously notify the provider about unlawful robocalls that interfere with patient care and hospital operations
- Initiate tracebacks as appropriate
“As our nation’s hospitals face steep challenges during this unprecedented pandemic, I applaud the thorough and focused efforts of the HRPG to quickly create effective guidelines based on the direction provided in the TRACED Act,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. “The recommendations issued today will help us all work together to put an end to the scourge of robocalls that impact public health and safety for patients and communities across America.”
Recent Briefings from Inteserra!
- FCC Adopts Rules To Allow Blocking Of Calls Associated With One-Ring Scams
- FCC Eliminates Additional UNEs
- FCC Names Somos as Administrator of Telephone Numbers and Reassigned Numbers Database
- FCC Proposes to Revise Rules for Supporting IP-based TRS
- First Set of FCC Rules for 8YY Calls to Become Effective
- Pennsylvania Increases 2021 USF Contribution Rate
- Washington Governor Further Extends Residential Disconnection Prohibition During COVID-19