Tomorrow the Federal Communcation Commission (FCC) will hold its latest Open Commission Meeting. On the agenda is consideration of a Report and Order that addresses the blocking of unlawful robocalls.

According to the agenda,

The Commission will consider a Report and Order that would expressly authorize voice service providers to block certain types of robocalls that falsely appear to be from telephone numbers that do not or cannot make outgoing calls. It also would prohibit voice service providers from blocking 911 calls under these rules, encourage voice service providers to provide a mechanism to allow subscribers whose legitimate calls are blocked in error to stop such blocking, and clarify that providers may exclude calls blocked under these rules from their call completion reports. (CG Docket No. 17-59)

In Sepbember the FCC's Consumer Advisory Comittee met to discuss recommendations for the Commission. 

In March a Robocalls Working Group developed a set of recommendations that were made available in a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and Notice of Inquiry (NOI). The goal of the rulemaking activity was to facilitate voice service providers’ blocking of illegal robocalls. You can download the complete text of the NPRM and NOI here. You can read insideARM's summary of their recommendations here.

The FCC Commission meeting will take place on Thursday November 16 (tomorrow), from 10:30am-12:30pm EST. It is open to the public and will be live streamed here

insideARM Perspective

insideARM first covered this topic on August 2, when the FTC announced it would start sharing complaint information about illegal robocalls with companies developing technology to stop them.

On September 11, as more became known, we covered the latest developments in this growing avalanche.

In late October Hiya - a mobile phone app company that develops software in this space - announced it had closed on $18M in funding. As we also reported at that time, there is an industry effort underway, led in part by PACE (the Professional Association for Customer Engagement), to work together to address this and other issues with the carriers and software providers. 

On November 3, USTelecom, the Broadband Association, hosted a robocall scoring and analytics workshop. Approximately 75 representatives of carriers, analytics companies, regulators, consumer advocates attended. I represented the debt collection industry on a panel and shared - among other things - the unique challenges related to FDCPA compliance and third party disclosure.

The Innovation Council, a part of the Consumer Relations Consortium, holds its third meeting of the year this week. In conjunction with the primary topic of 'competing on data analytics,' we will engage in an in-depth discussion of the fast-moving robocall blocking and labeling initiative. Joining us will be executives from several of the analytics companies -- those firms developing the apps that can be downloaded directly by consumers, and developing the software that is used by major carriers.

insideARM will continue to share information on this topic as it unfolds.


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