The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has called upon all voice service providers to report how they intend to reduce illegal robocalls.
Issuing a statement on April 20, the FCC introduced a new database where voice service providers upload details of their plans to stop these types of unwanted, sham calls.
The new Robocall Mitigation Database will be available for the public to browse, and as of September 28, 2021, phone companies will have to block incoming calls from numbers not listed on the database.
Companies add their reports through the database's portal, in which they should detail the efforts they'll put in place to stop robocalls from happening on their networks.
The crackdown on robocalls continues. More cease and desist letters to shut down illegal robocalls. Inquiries to carriers to identify what free tools they make available to consumers to help stop these annoying calls. https://t.co/G6brxnMWTK— Jessica Rosenworcel (@JRosenworcel) April 14, 2021
"Protecting consumers from scammers that use robocall and spoofing tools is a top priority,” said FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel.
"To succeed, we not only need an all-hands-on-deck response from the government, but we need industry commitment and focus. Our message to providers is clear: certify under penalty of perjury the steps you are taking to stop illegal robocalls, or we will block your calls," she continued.
How to weed out robocalls
It's still unclear how the FCC intends to go through the various reports, and how it'll deal with companies that don't block robocalls. However, the Commission has previously issued significant fines on such sham calls. For instance, last year a man was fined $13 million for making over 6,000 racist robocalls across a number of U.S. states.
On the other side of the spectrum, companies like Google are creating new caller verification services to weed out robocalls, scams, and unwanted telemarketing calls.
It's great to see agencies like the FCC taking a clear stance against such unsolicited phone calls, which seem to keep increasing year on year.