On May 18, 2023, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) that included new rules intended to further protect consumers against illegal robocalls
The new rules extend the FCC’s 24-hour traceback requirement to cover additional voice service providers that were not included in the Commission’s current rules, which require carriers to support FCC and industry efforts to trace illegal robocalls across various networks and back to their originating sources. The rules will also require providers that originate illegal robocall traffic to block that traffic when notified by the Commission.
With these new rules, the FCC now requires all voice service providers to take “reasonable and effective steps” to ensure that any immediate upstream provider from which they accept call traffic is not using it to carry or process a high volume of illegal traffic.
In the NPRM, the FCC also sought public comment on a variety of other anti-robocall tools and strategies, including requiring service providers to adopt analytics-based blocking and to block based on do-not-originate lists. Other proposed strategies include whether to require the display of caller name information in certain cases, and increasing forfeitures for voice service providers that fail to comply with the FCC’s rules.
The FCC’s announcement also included a Notice of Inquiry that seeks input on the tools voice service providers use to combat illegal calls such as honeypots, and on the current state of call labeling, including the extent of its use and its accuracy.
Industry players and consumers will have a thirty-day period to comment on the proposed rules, which begins on the date the NPRM is published in the Federal Register, which will be followed by a reply comment period lasting another thirty days. After considering all comments and replies, the FCC will announce the final rules.