FCC Tells Telcos To Kill Off Those Hateful Robocallers

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is taking a more aggressive tack against telemarketers, including calling for telecom companies to provide consumers with more tools for blocking unwanted robocalls at no extra charge.

Currently, robocalls and telemarketing calls top the list of consumer complaints to the FCC, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler (pictured above) wrote in a post on the agency?EU?s blog Friday.

?EU?The Commission is committed to protecting consumers from unwanted calls and giving them more control over the calls and texts they receive," he said. "We will tackle robocalls on as many fronts as possible, whether by implementing new rules, issuing tailored declaratory judgments, encouraging new pro-consumer innovation or urging the private sector to step up and stop this scourge.?EU?

More Proactive Measures

The FCC already mandates a number of measures to deal with unwanted telemarketers. For example, since 2003 consumers have been able to block unwanted calls through the national Do Not Call registry, which requires telemarketers to have prior consent before contacting consumers by phone.

But in Friday's blog post, Wheeler indicated that the agency will begin acting more aggressively to stop unwanted robocalls, including direct appeals to telecom providers to offer their customers more ways to protect themselves. Wheeler said he has already sent letters to the CEOs of major wireless and landline phone companies pushing them to immediately begin offering call-blocking services to their customers at no additional cost.

The chairman said he has also sent letters to intermediary carriers reminding them of their responsibility to facilitate blocking technologies. ?EU?I am also calling on the carriers and standards groups to accelerate the development and deployment of technical standards that would prevent spoofing of caller ID and thus make blocking technologies more effective, as was done in the battle against spam years ago,?EU? Wheeler said. The FCC has asked...

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