The FCC has taken yet another step in the regulator’s attempt to stymie illegal spoofing and robocalls.
The new rules adopted for gateway providers are designed to intensify compliance oversight to ensure that these providers comply with STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication protocols. The new rules also require that gateway providers take additional measures to validate the identity of the providers whose traffic they are routing.
International robocall scams are widely understood to be a huge part of the robocall and spoofing problem facing American consumers and businesses, prompting the proposal of the new rules last month. In 2021, the Industry Traceback Group reported that 65% of the voice service providers identified as transmitting illegal robocalls were either foreign-based or gateway providers, prompting the FCC to concentrate its most recent robocall fighting effort on foreign-originated calls.
The gateways serve as on ramps to bring those calls into the U.S. The new rules require gateway providers to participate in robocall mitigation, including blocking efforts, take responsibility for illegal robocall campaigns on their networks, cooperate with FCC enforcement efforts, and quickly respond to efforts to trace illegal robocalls to their source.
Non-compliance may result in the offending gateway provider being removed from the Robocall Mitigation Database and subject to mandatory blocking by other network participants, essentially ending its ability to operate, according to the FCC press release.
The regulator said it will also seek further public comment on expanding robocall mitigation requirements to all U.S.-based intermediate providers, not just gateway providers.
The FCC plans to review the latest rules to determine how, if and when anti-robocall and spoofing rules may be applied to intermediate providers, some of the few remaining participants in the voice service ecosystem that do not yet fall under the requirements to file a certification and mitigation plan in the Robocall Mitigation Database.