Under FCC rules, phone companies must now block carriers that fail to meet the body’s anti-robocall initiative

The news: Phone companies are now prohibited from accepting calls from providers that did not comply with the FCC’s deadline to register in the Robocall Mitigation Database, per Ars Technica. 

Here’s how it works: The FCC’s solution, known as the STIR/SHAKEN protocol, is a first step to stopping spam callers from pretending to be someone else. 

It works at the network level to automatically show a caller’s true phone number.

  • To date, 4,798 companies, including AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, have filed in the Robocall Mitigation Database. 
  • US residents were pestered by an estimated 45.9 billion robocalls in 2020, per a YouMail report. 

What’s the catch: STIR/SHAKEN isn't a cure-all. The technology’s limitations, particularly with older copper landlines or TDM-based networks, make it difficult to implement. 

  • The FCC has effectively put the onus on smaller carriers to ensure implementation, saying that “providers using older forms of network technology should either upgrade their networks to IP or actively work to develop a caller ID authentication solution that is operational on non-IP networks.”