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Stopping Illegal Robocalls Where They Start

Introducing the ZipDX Robocall Mitigation Database Explorer

STIR/SHAKEN has been years in the making, with legislative and regulatory backing. One of the more exciting and useful outcomes is the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database (RMD). The RMD is not itself part of the new technology but was created to help manage its rollout. This new database was launched by the FCC in April. Service Providers were required to…

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TCPA Has Lawyers Dialing the Wrong Number

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) is the 1995 law that was supposed to protect us from unfettered auto-dialing. The TCPA includes two key provisions guaranteed to keep the legal profession at full employment: Recipients of illegal robocalls have a Right of Private Action, allowing them to bring a civil suit against the caller. Statutory penalties are specified at $500…

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Money: The Fuel Behind Illegal Robocalls

Virtually all stakeholders agree that the most effective place to stop illegal robocalls is at the source – either the entity responsible for initiating the calls, or the voice service provider that is allowing them onto the network. Years ago, it was arduous, time-consuming and sometimes impossible to find the source. Now, traceback lets us identify the gateway provider (and…

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Segmenting the Robocall Landscape

To consumers, a robocall is a robocall is a robocall. But computer-initiated calls can be broken down into three distinct segments, as shown in the chart below. Each segment accounts for roughly a billion calls to Americans every month. Consumers generally are frustrated and annoyed by the YELLOW and RED calls. The RED category can be particularly harmful; those that…

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Putting the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database to Work

BACKGROUND FCC’s 17-97 Second Report and Order (adopted 29-Sep 2020) instantiated the Robocall Mitigation Database. This new Database is expected to establish a chain of trust as calls flow from point of origination to termination through, potentially, a series of providers. Most importantly, if a provider abuses that trust, it gives the FCC a tool to shut down that provider…

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Implementing a Robocall Mitigation Program

This post is written for originating providers that want to meet the FCC’s mandates for effective robocall mitigation. In our last post, we talked about the importance of segregating conversational vs. auto-dialed traffic, and making sure that your customers adhere to the commitments made when you onboarded them. Here are five things to consider: FIRST: Make sure your contract (Terms…

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Structuring an Effective Robocall Mitigation Program

The FCC noted, in its Sep. 29, 2020 Second Report and Order: Section 4(b)(5)(C)(i) of the TRACED Act directs us to require any voice service provider that has been granted an extension to implement, during the time of the extension, “an appropriate robocall mitigation program to prevent unlawful robocalls from originating on the network of the provider.” And in their Dec.…

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FCC: Restoring Trust in the Public Telephone Network

Once upon a time, long ago, Americans trusted the telephone network. When the phone rang, it meant a person – probably someone you knew, but most certainly someone that knew you – was calling. Decades later, when caller-ID was invented, the number displayed really was the number of the caller. That was because the network was “closed.” Only trusted, legitimate…

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FCC Solicits More Comments on Robocalling — Here’s a Summary

Wow, it's been a long time for me away from the blog. Busy with so many other efforts related to the illegal robocall scourge. But I wanted to re-start, and what better way than a quick note about activity at the FCC. They have been ramping up their own anti-robocall efforts, including the issuance in late July of both an…

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On Point Radio takes on Robocalls

WBUR-Boston produces On Point Radio, a call-in program syndicated on NPR. On Tuesday (24-Dec) they invited me to be one of their guests for a show talking about -- what else -- robocalls. Also on the show were Sarah Krouse, a New York-based Wall Street Journal reported who has written a number of great stories on the topic, and Eric…

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