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New FCC rules are being considered to protect consumers against international scam robocall campaigns that enter American networks through gateway providers – the on-ramps for international call traffic.

The new rules, proposed by FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, are part of her plan to “shut the avenues by which robocall scammers are using gateway providers to circumvent accountability,” the FCC said in a press release.

In February, Rosenworcel proposed other rules aimed at combatting illegal robocalls, putting forth plans to help protect consumers against automated ringless calls.

The current proposal sets forth new stringent compliance requirements for gateway providers. The proposed rules are designed to complement other FCC efforts, including requirements that providers cease-and-desist from carrying illegal robocall traffic and plans to end the exception to STIR/SHAKEN implementation for certain small carriers.

The new FCC international robocall rules are expected to be voted on at the FCC’s May 19 Open Meeting. If approved, they would require gateway providers to participate in robocall mitigation, including blocking efforts and taking responsibility for illegal robocall campaigns on their networks.

Gateway providers would also need to cooperate with FCC enforcement efforts and react quickly to trace illegal robocalls to their source. Failure to follow the proposed rules, if adopted, would result in the gateway provider being removed from the Robocall Mitigation Database. Violators would also be subject to mandatory blocking by other network participants, essentially ending their ability to operate.

“We are all sick of international scam robocalls. The FCC is taking action to fight back,” Rosenworcel said in a prepared statement about the FCC international robocalls proposal. “International robocallers use these gateways to enter our phone networks and defraud American consumers. But no more. We won’t allow them to bypass our laws and hide from enforcement.”

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