FCC urges US carriers to help in the fight against robocalls

There are few things in this world we can label as "unanimously hated." However short that list is, though, robocalls would most likely be at or near the top of it. The FCC has working for years to get consumer discontent with robocalls and robotexts sorted out, and the agency's latest attempt at doing so involves urging carriers in the US to give consumers more options when it comes to blocking them.

After all, as chairman Tom Wheeler writes in a post on the FCC blog, while the Commission investigates complaints and will go after companies that break the rules regarding robocalls, most consumers would prefer to never receive the calls in the first place. Wheeler says he's written letters to carriers US outlining what he expects them to do to make it easier for consumers to block unwanted robocalls, and there are multiple layers to his plan of action.

The first layer is the aforementioned letters he's sent to both wireless and landline carriers. He wants these carriers to implement call blocking features for their subscribers and he wants these features to be free. He's also sent similar letters to intermediary carriers that actually connect robocallers to our wireless and landline carriers in a effort to remind them that they too play a part in stopping robocalls from reaching consumers who don't want them. Finally, he wants carriers to implement standards that stop robocallers from spoofing caller ID, which is something that prevents users from blocking unwanted calls using the built-in block list features present in iOS and Android.

Wheeler is apparently taking this seriously, because he's given these carriers 30 days to respond with action plans. There's a pretty good reason for Wheeler to get carriers to go along with a plan to block robocalls, as he says they're the number one source of complaints the FCC receives. Should he be able to curb the number of complaints coming in, that would allow the FCC more time to focus on other issues. Wheeler has put the ball in the carriers' court, so let's see what they do with it.

SOURCE: Federal Communications Commission