Last month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted unanimously to allow carriers to block robocalls by default. This move will allow carriers to take more action against those pesky automated calls. Robocalls are the number one issue consumers file complaints about to the agency. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai had proposed the blocking rule two weeks before it was voted on to give carriers more “certainty” about whether automatic blocking was permitted or not. Here is a quote from the FCC’s press release on the vote,

The Commission approved a Declaratory Ruling to affirm that voice service providers may, as the default, block unwanted calls based on reasonable call analytics, as long as their customers are informed and have the opportunity to opt out of the blocking.

The FCC also voted to move forward on a proposed rule that would require carriers to adopt the SHAKEN / STIR caller ID authentication system if they don’t do it themselves by the end of the year. Some carriers have already offered services to block robocalls, but they were opt-in services. The new ruling allows carriers to enable the services by default, but it doesn’t require them to enable the service. The ruling also doesn’t mandate that the service has to be free for customers. We will have to see if carriers decide to offer the robocall blocking for free or if customers will have to pay extra for it.  

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