FCC Press Release
June 10, 2019
WASHINGTON, June 10, 2019—Today, FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks sent letters to the major voice service providers seeking details about their plans to offer free, default call blocking services to consumers to combat disruptive and dangerous robocalls.
The following statement can be attributed to Commissioner Starks:
“Carriers made clear to the Commission: they want to offer call blocking services to consumers by default. My colleagues and I made clear to carriers: they should not charge consumers for these services. The Commission has acted. Now it is industry’s turn to put these new tools to work for consumers. I’m looking forward to learning the details of their plans to do so.”
Commissioner Starks sent letters to executives of 14 major phone and voice service providers seeking details about how and when they plan to roll out default call blocking and whether they intend to charge consumers for these services. Responses will be due by July 10, 2019. Specifically, the letters ask the companies to:
- Indicate whether they will offer customers default call blocking services on an informed opt-out basis and, if so, provide details of plans to deploy these services, including a timeline for implementation.
- Describe how they intend to inform consumers about the service.
- Indicate whether they expect to act contrary to the Commission’s clear expectations and nevertheless charge customers for these services.
- If they do not currently plan to offer customers default call blocking services on an informed opt-out basis, they are asked to explain why.
Last week, Commissioner Starks voted to approve a Declaratory Ruling and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rulemakingthat clarified that voice service providers could, without violating Commission rules, deploy call blocking offered to consumers by default on an informed opt-out basis. The action also proposed rules for requiring providers to implement Caller ID authentication through the SHAKEN/STIR framework in the event that major carriers fail to deploy this technology by the end of this year. Finally, the action expressed the Commission’s expectation that these services would be offered to consumers for free and positioned the Commission to act quickly to prohibit any fees that may be charged.
Office of Commissioner Geoffrey Starks: (202) 418-2500
ASL Videophone: (844) 432-2275
TTY: (888) 835-5322
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC, 515 F.2d 385 (D.C. Cir. 1974).