Robocalls: FCC wants them blocked by default but you may pay extra

Joshua Bennett
June 12, 2019

What just happened? The FCC is moving ahead with laying the groundwork to to eradicate spam calls.

The ruling also encourages carriers to let customers block calls from any number that does not appear on the person's contact list or is in another whitelist.

The commission says the "Do Not Call" registry works for legal robocalls, but an estimated 47% of robocalls are illegal.

In most cases, the customer has to be the one to call up their phone carrier to opt into the service. Carriers already offer call filtering services, but you must opt into them. Commissioner Roseworcel would like the call-blocking tools be provided for free by carriers. The FCC's recent efforts on call blocking are not mandatory, meaning telecom giants simply could choose not to change their practices.

YouMail's estimate of 4.7 billion robocalls bombarding Americans in May actually represented the second consecutive month showing a decline - though the problem is still seriously out of control, since the latest total means we've seen about 25 billion robocalls in the United States year to date. It is an American right to have domestic tranquillity (per the Preamble to the US Constitution), and part of that involves eliminating the constant harassment of automated calls created to do nothing more than unsettle the consumer conscience.

We're optimistic, but we still think you should play it safe and download a free app to block robocalls.

As of 2019, U.S. carriers and AT&T offer some free services for robocall-blocking, but Sprint's Premium Caller ID service charges $2.99 per line for the privilege.

In doing so, though, the FCC stopped short of a broader rewrite of the nation's anti-robocall rules, an overhaul that consumer groups have urged both the agency and Congress to consider. Under a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking also adopted by the Commission, companies that deliver voice communications over the internet are required to implement in-development anti-robocall technologies SHAKEN/STIR, which can identify and stop unwanted calls.

Last month, FCC chairman Ajit Pai was in Oklahoma City reminding Oklahomans that robocalls are a top consumer protection priority. "Unfortunately, advancements in technology make it cheap and easy to make robocalls and to "spoof" caller ID information to hide a caller's true identity".

Even with home phone services, call-blocking technology is a privilege phone users must pay for, at least for now. "Among other things, default call-blocking will reduce the costs of handling the robocalls that flood their networks and save them grief by limiting customer complaints", he said.

The FCC must mild visual show unit whether or now now not suppliers fee for name blockading functions and update the foundations in the occasion that they quit so, said Commissioner Geoffrey Starks.

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