The Federal Communications Commission yesterday took action against Bandwidth and Vonage, saying that the voice providers failed to meet STIR/SHAKEN implementation commitments.
The companies have been referred to the FCC’s Enforcement Bureau for further investigation.
STIR/SHAKEN is one of the FCC’s major efforts to attempt to combat annoying robocalls. At least one report indicates the FCC rules are having some success, though the calls continue at an annoying rate.
STIR/SHAKEN standards provide a common information sharing language between networks to verify caller ID information which can be used by robocall blocking tools, FCC investigators andconsumers trying to judge if an incoming call is likely legitimate or not.
The regulator required large telecom providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN throughout the IP portions of their networks by June 30, 2021. However, providers that committed to and met early implementation goals in December 2020 were given conditional leniencies which grant them some level of flexibility while still requiring them to fully implement STIR/SHAKEN by June 30, 2021.
While most providers who qualified for this statutory exemption maintain that status given their full implementation of STIR/SHAKEN by the deadline, the FCC determined that Bandwidth and Vonage failed to meet the necessary requirements. As a result, those companies are no longer afforded the leniency that the law provided and have been referred to the Enforcement Bureau.
“We will not turn a blind eye to providers that have not done enough to protect consumers from spoofed robocalls,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, in a prepared statement. “The FCC is keeping close watch as phone companies implement STIR/SHAKEN – a critical tool to help robocall blocking and consumer information. We will hold companies accountable if they fail to meet their commitments to protect consumers from robocalls.”