New FCC rules may require phone companies to authenticate calls


In a bid to block robocalls, specifically those from spoof phone numbers, the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has proposed new rules that would require phone companies to adopt the STIR/SHAKEN protocol — which is an increasingly popular method for caller ID authentication.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced Friday that the agency will give phone and cable companies time until June 20, 2021 to comply with the new rules.

In June, the FCC proposed and sought public comment on whether it should require providers to use the Shaken/Stir protocol that carriers can implement to authenticate the origin of a call and automatically block it if it’s from an illegal robocaller, according to a CNET report.

According to the FCC, US consumers reportedly receive as many as 350,000 unwanted calls every three minutes.

“It’s clear that FCC action is needed to spur across-the-board deployment of this important technology,” Pai said in a statement.

“There is no silver bullet when it comes to eradicating robocalls, but this is a critical shot at the target.”

The four major wireless carriers in the US — AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, and cable provider Comcast — have each begun implementing the Shaken/Stir protocol. The firms all supported the passage of the Traced Act mandating the use of the protocol, the report added.

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