The FCC has come out swinging against robocalls. Ajit Pai, the commission’s chairman, has sent a letter to over a dozen mobile providers in the United States today warning them of action if they don’t implement caller ID authentication by 2019 to prevent automated spoof calls. He’s calling on the carriers to adopt an industry-wide method of preventing these calls from even going through so that the end user doesn’t have to worry about picking up a call that appears suspect.
“Carriers need to continue working together to make this happen and I am calling on those falling behind to catch up,” he writes in the letter, adding that “if it does not appear that this system is on track to get up and running next year, then we will take action to make sure that it does.”
The system would validate calls that are legitimate across cellular networks. The phone company of the end user will be able to verify that the call is from the person that’s supposedly making it. Spammers normally make it look like the call is coming from a local number through caller ID spoofing. This system will put an end to that.
Pai has asked carriers about their implementation plan and while he warns of action, the letter doesn’t mention what steps the FCC might take in the event a carrier falls behind. “If industry starts to fall behind, the commission stands ready to ensure widespread deployment to hit this important technological milestone,” the FCC said in a release.