The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau’s first RoboBlocking order will compel voice service providers to block and cease accepting traffic from international gateway provider One Eye within 30 days.
International gateway providers are the “on ramp” for traffic from outside the United States. The FCC says that One Eye most recently “facilitated” illegal robocall traffic involving the impersonation of a major financial institution and claims of “preauthorized order[s]” placed in consumers’ names.
One Eye was formally notified in February that it had to cease and desist carrying traffic that, according to FCC investigators and the Industry Traceback Group, was comprised of illegal robocalls. Today’s RoboBlocking Order requires immediate downstream providers to stop accepting traffic from One Eye within 30 days.
“The Enforcement Bureau team has built a fair, transparent, but tough process by which we can essentially shut down access to U.S. communications networks by companies such as One Eye that are targeting consumers with illegal robocalls,” FCC Enforcement Bureau Chief Loyaan Egal said in a press release.
“Today’s action demonstrates another cutting-edge tool in our robocall enforcement options and represents a landmark date in our efforts to protect consumers from scam calls.”
The FCC identified steps it took in the matter before blocking access:
- The FCC cited the predecessor entity, PZ/Illum Telecommunications, for transmitting illegal campaigns
- A cease-and-desist letter was sent in February saying that the company’s rebranding as One Eye didn’t change the situation
- A K4 Notice was issued that encouraged other providers to not carry the company’s traffic
- Last month, the FCC issued an initial determination order against One Eye requiring the company to cease carrying the illegal robocall traffic and warning the company that if it did not comply, the commission would take the action it has taken today.
The FCC has been keeping tabs on the company for some time. In October 2021, it sent cease and desist letters to three firms – Duratel, Primo Dialler and PZ/Illum Telecommunications. It said at the time that PZ/Illum allegedly originated substantial numbers of calls posing as the Department of Homeland Security, the Social Security Administration or the Federal Reserve.
In today’s press release, FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said, “This company — what’s left of it — will now have a place in robocall history.”