FCC Releases Second Call Blocking Report

On Tuesday, June 29, 2021, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Report, entitled Call Blocking Tools Available to Consumers: Second Report on Call Blocking, in the illegal and unwanted robocalls proceeding.  As required by the 2019 Call Blocking Declaratory Ruling, the Bureau, in consultation with the Wireline Competition Bureau and Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, solicited input from voice service providers, trade associations, and third-party analytics companies, and drafted the report to detail call blocking initiatives and progress toward protecting consumers from illegal and unwanted robocalls since the June 2020 release of the First Call Blocking Report.  The Bureau received and incorporated comments from 28 parties.

The Report first describes call blocking services utilized by voice service providers, third-party analytic companies, and device manufacturers, which offer blocking and labeling services based on various analytics.  The Report also discusses the effectiveness of these call blocking tools, including in eliminating false-positive blocks—e.g., calls incorrectly identified as being spam or fraudulent and blocked in error.  Next, the Report details the state of deployment of Caller ID Authentication processes, particularly focused on highlighting progress made by the industry toward deploying and implementing STIR/SHAKEN.  Finally, the Report notes the potential impact of call blocking tools on public safety, including the possibility of mislabeling 911 calls.

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