Trade Group Supports Agency’s Crackdown On Various Telecom Scams
For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, July 23, 2018 – The American Cable Association applauds Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai for identifying as his top consumer protection priority the fight against unlawful robocalls and call spoofing. Under his watch, the FCC has shown its commitment to protecting consumers through its aggressive crackdown on robocall scams. Chairman Pai and the Commission also deserve praise for taking up several difficult aspects of the robocall problem, including in the call authentication and reassigned numbers proceedings in which ACA has participated.
“As providers of voice services in communities throughout the nation, ACA members know all too well the frustrations and harms that unwanted robocalls generate for consumers. And as smaller providers who generally live within the communities they serve, ACA members have not only a business incentive but a personal stake in protecting their customers, who are friends and family, from the annoyance of excessive robocalls and from predatory robocall scams,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
Under FCC leadership and guidance, the communications industry and its stakeholder partners have also made significant progress on a variety of fronts to stem the tide of illegal and unwanted robocalls. ACA and its members are proud contributors to these efforts as documented in ACA comments filed with the agency on July 20.
One prominent area where significant progress been made is on SHAKEN/STIR. The SHAKEN/STIR authentication framework is a promising tool for protecting VoIP customers from caller ID spoofing through use of a digital certificate scheme to authenticate calls. SHAKEN/STIR reached a milestone in April with the North American Numbering Council’s release of a detailed plan for implementingSHAKEN/STIR under a process of industry self-governance.
ACA and its industry peers have worked quickly to establish a Governance Authority and to lay the groundwork for the selection of a Policy Administrator and the completion of other steps outlined in the plan. As this work progresses, ACA will strive to ensure the framework is implemented cost-effectively and in a manner that encourages participation from small and medium-sized VoIP providers.
ACA has also been active in the development of consensus robocall solutions through its work on the Consumer Advisory Committee (CAC), the multi-stakeholder body chartered to advise the FCC on matters of “consumer protection and education.” ACA proudly serves on the CAC alongside consumer advocates, non-profit and government representatives, and other industry stakeholders. During its current term, the CAC delivered a series of recommendations to the FCC outlining specific steps to help educate and protect consumers from unwanted robocalls.With the CAC charter set to expire in October, ACA encourages the FCC to pursue a two-year renewal so that the CAC can expand and build upon this work.
ACA members of all sizes are using available tools to reduce their customers’ exposure to unwanted robocalls. For instance, ACA members including WOW! and ALLO are working to implement a service from Metaswitch that uses a continuously updated database of blacklisted telephone numbers to screen and block unwanted robocalls.
There are also several ACA members, including SELCO and RCN, that have taken the necessary steps to make their networks compatible with Nomorobo, an unafilliated third-party service that uses a “simultaneous ring” feature to block robocalls after the first ring.
“There is no doubt that unlawful and unwanted robocalls remain a major problem for the industry, the FCC, and consumers. However, with the sustained multiprong effort underway, the FCC and industry can and will continue to make progress in mitigating the problem. Small voice providers are part of the solution, as they are deploying existing tools to combat robocalls and working hard to develop new ones. ACA and its members stand committed to keep doing their part to deliver the right solutions for consumers.,” ACA’s Polka said.
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 800 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/