Report: Companies Lag In Anti-Robocall Compliance

    Most U.S. telecommunications providers were required to install caller ID verification to cut back on illegal robocalls by the end of June, but the lion’s share of those companies haven’t done so yet, according to a new report from the U.S. PIRG.

    The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) required companies to adopt STIR/SHAKEN, a suite of protocols meant to combat caller ID spoofing used by robocallers, by June 30.

    A new PIRG report found that of 3,063 telecommunications providers who reported their status to the FCC as of September and who weren’t exempt from submitting the information, just 17% said they had completely implemented the anti-robocall technology.

    Another 27% said they had partially implemented the technology, and 56% said they were using their own methods to fight robocalls.

    “How much longer are we going to tolerate people’s lives being destroyed when they fall for an imposter call that looks like it’s coming from their bank or the IRS?” Maryland PIRG Foundation Advocate Rishi Shah said in a release. “This is inexcusable, it has to stop, and phone company compliance will make a big difference. Phone companies have known about this deadline for five years. The FCC told companies to do this three years ago and Congress passed a law mandating it nearly two years ago.”

    Shah went on to say that illegal robocalls cost Americans billions yearly due to fraud and wasted time.

    Some of the largest telecommunications companies that operated in Maryland reported that they had fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN protocols, including Atlantic Broadband and Comcast.

    Some companies have yet to report their implementation status to the FCC, according to the Maryland PIRG release. On Tuesday, phone providers will be required to block calls from companies that haven’t reported to the FCC their status in implementing caller protections. Smaller companies have until June of 2023 to adopt the protocols, although the Maryland PIRG urged an earlier deadline.

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    Bennett Leckrone
    Leckrone is a December 2019 graduate of the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. He has interned at The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Columbus Dispatch, PennLive.com, The Dayton Daily News and The Troy Daily News. Leckrone is a Report for America corps member.