i3forum, a not-for-profit industry body enabling and accelerating transformation across the carrier ecosystem, has released a report outlining its perspective on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) robocalls order issued in 2020. The release, drafted by i3forum’s Technology work group, shares insights into how robocalling regulations will impact the termination of traffic to the US and the wider international carrier community.
In 2020, the FCC issued the Second Report and Order on Call Authentication, affecting all US domestic voice traffic as well as foreign generated voice traffic with calling identity belonging to portions of the North American Numbering Plan (NANP). The goal of this regulation is to combat robocalling by being able to identify the real source of illegal traffic thanks to call authentication technologies. For international carriers, this requires imminent action.
“Robocalling is a nuisance for consumers and carriers alike. Robocalling in the US accounts for tens of billions of calls per year, which can be delivered from abroad using Caller ID spoofing. As an industry, we must tackle robocalling and cooperate to comply with new regulatory frameworks, while making sure that legitimate US bound traffic originated abroad, such as call centres or roaming traffic from American travellers, is not affected and is still delivered with the highest possible quality,” said Philippe Millet, Chairman of i3forum. “Our objective is to provide everyone with a comprehensive understanding of what the situation is and what the options are for international carriers, so they can minimise impact on voice traffic to the US. i3forum is bringing the carrier community together to share expert insights and enable members and non-members to understand the challenges and take action.”
The FCC issued a Public Notice announcing the establishment of the Robocall Mitigation
Database (RMD) portal for certifications regarding robocall mitigation programs and
providing guidance on filing procedures. The deadline to file certifications is June 30, 2021. From September 28, 2021, intermediate and terminating voice service providers must only accept traffic from providers that appear in the FCC’s certification database.
“Even though FCC regulation applies only to voice traffic with a US originating number, terminating operators in US may require their interconnected partners to register with the RMD. Otherwise, they could be stopped from delivering legitimate international voice traffic to US fixed and mobile subscribers,” said Filippo Cauci, Head of Service Platforms Engineering at Telecom Italia Sparkle and Chair of the i3forum Technology Work Group. “International carriers must be able to collaborate to the traceback activity in order to identify the source of illegal traffic. They must also stop delivering traffic received from their interconnected partner identified as sender of illegal traffic, should a complaint arise.”
The full paper “FCC Robocalls Order: Impacts on International Voice Traffic to USA” includes all timing and filing requirements set by the regulation, and actions required by wholesale operators to continue delivering traffic towards US fixed and mobile subscribers. It also outlines possible enhancements that could be adopted by non-US based operators in order to protect voice calling party identity from being tampered or manipulated along the call path.