Industry-Consumer Harmony Should Set Stage For FCC Action
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, October 10, 2018 – Consumer groups are united with the American Cable Association in support of voice providers making robocall blocking tools available to their customers on an opt-out basis.
The Federal Communications Commission receives about 200,000 complaints annually about robocalls — the highest volume of complaints the agency receives. Under the leadership of Chairman Pai, however, the FCC has made strides in mitigating the unlawful robocall problem — a challenge that isn’t easy to solve. The FCC’s continued focus on addressing the issue prompted ACA, in comments last month, to urge the FCC to affirm voice providers’ ability to deploy consumer-friendly robocall-blocking tools broadly to their customers through an informed opt-out process.
In a second set of comments filed yesterday, ACA noted with appreciation that a coalition of leading consumer advocacy groups also filed comments recommending that the FCC encourage phone companies to consider opt-out call mitigation mechanisms. The consumer groups are: Consumers Union, National Consumer Law Center (on behalf of its low-income clients), Consumer Federation of America, Consumer Action, National Association of Consumer Advocates, Public Citizen and Public Knowledge.
In light of industry and consumer advocates being on the same side of this issue, ACA believes the time has come for FCC action in the form of a Declaratory Ruling that produces material results for consumers still being inundated with robocalls.
“Opt-in methods, where consumers need to take steps to engage robocall blocking technologies offered by their voice providers, have not resulted in widespread consumer adoption of effective robocall blocking tools. ACA has encouraged the FCC to affirm that providers may offer such tools on an opt-out basis, which would encourage wider deployment and allow more consumers to enjoy relief from the constant deluge of robocalls. ACA is pleased that consumer groups agree that opt-out tools are part of the solution. Their support should give the FCC even more confidence in granting ACA’s request,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://www.americancable.org/