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Stopping Illegal Robocalls Where They Start

The Ad Hoc Alliance to Stop Illegal Robocalls at the Source has come together as another element in the fight against the robocall scourge.

Collectively, Alliance Members are providers of telecommunications services to hundreds of millions of Americans. Our consumer and small-business customers are fed up with the worsening epidemic of illegal robocalls. All of us have taken steps necessary to prevent these calls from originating on our platforms. We do this by vetting our customers, limiting high volume placement of calls, and routinely auditing for suspicious traffic. We all recognize that it is far more effective to stop illegal calls at the source, so when problematic calling campaigns are identified, we cooperate to trace them to their point of origin to take appropriate action.

When ALL telecommunications providers work together this way, we will have a measurable impact on this scourge. We formed our Alliance to share best practices and respond rapidly to new methods of attack; we invite every provider to join. In the past, our traceback efforts have sometimes been stymied by uncooperative upstream providers. Going forward, when we identify illegal traffic, we will insist that the provider(s) sourcing that traffic take proactive steps to mitigate illegal calls. That includes retaining identification of volume calling customers and promptly sharing the source of problematic calls in response to traceback requests. Our contracts and tariffs already prohibit illegal calling. Now we will require our network partners to be diligent in meeting that constraint.

The focus of our efforts is illegal calls, starting with the most prolific offenders. Providers (and their customers) that are not conduits for these illegal calls will not face new obligations from our initiative, but all providers – and their customers – will benefit when we together turn the tide on illegal robocall volume. Even calls from overseas must enter the USA network through some USA provider. We have an opportunity and an obligation to pursue this initiative as part of a multipronged approach to the illegal robocall problem.