The FCC is getting set to remove seven voice service providers from the Robocall Mitigation Database.
The companies are Akabis, Cloud4, Global UC, Horizon Technology Group, Morse Communications, Sharon Telephone Company, and SW Arkansas Telecommunications and Technology. Removal from the database would make it impossible for them to pass traffic to other networks, essentially preventing them from completing customers’ calls.
The FCC’s Robocall Response Team’s order gives seven companies 14 days to show that they should not be removed from the database. During the two weeks, these companies must demonstrate that they meet robocall mitigation requirements, including the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN throughout their IP networks. If they fail to do so, they can be removed from the database, which means that intermediate providers and terminating voice service providers no longer will take their traffic.
The FCC’s comment suggests a reprieve is unlikely. “These providers have fallen woefully short and have now put at risk their continued participation in the U.S. communications system,” Loyaan Egal, acting Chief of the FCC Enforcement Bureau, said in a press release. “While we’ll review their responses, we will not accept superficial gestures given the gravity of what is at stake.”
In April, the FCC said that it was considering rules to stop scam robocalls at the border. The proposal was aimed at complementing other FCC efforts to stop robocalls and to speed the tracing of calls that get through to their source.
Those rules were adopted a month later when the commission took steps to ensure that international gateway providers comply with STIR/SHAKEN. The new rules mandated additional steps toward validating the identity of providers whose traffic they are routing. The FCC warned that non-compliance could result in the gateway provider being removed from the Robocall Mitigation Database.
The initiative to compel compliance by gateway providers began almost exactly a year ago. On September 30, 2021, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPR) that targeted networks that serve as entry points for scam robocall traffic from other countries.