On October 1, 2021, the FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) proposing and seeking comment on extending STIR/SHAKEN to gateway providers, which was adopted at the September Open Meeting.
First, the FNPRM proposes to require gateway providers, defined as the first U.S.-based intermediate provider in the call path of a foreign-originated call that transmits the call directly to another intermediate provider or a terminating voice service provider in the U.S., to authenticate caller ID information consistent with STIR/SHAKEN for SIP calls that are carrying a U.S. number in the caller ID field. The FNPRM seeks comment on the proposed definition of gateway provider, whether the scope should be narrowed to subsets of U.S. numbers or widened to non-U.S. numbers, the cost to and ability of gateway providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN, and what the compliance deadline should be for gateway providers to implement STIR/SHAKEN, among other things.
Second, the FNPRM proposes to require gateway providers subject to an extension to implement an appropriate robocall mitigation program. Specifically the FNPRM proposes and seeks comment on: 1) requiring gateway providers to respond to all traceback requests from the FCC, law enforcement, and traceback consortium within 24 hours; 2) imposing mandatory blocking requirements; 3) establishing a know-your-customer requirement; 4) requiring gateway providers to adopt contractual provisions with foreign providers from which they accept calls; and 5) establishing a general duty requiring gateway providers to mitigate illegal robocalls.
Third, the FNPRM proposes and seeks comment on requiring gateway providers to submit a certification to the Robocall Mitigation Database and whether all providers required to file in the Robocall Mitigation Database should be required to submit additional identifying indicia, such as a carrier identification code, operating number, and/or access customer name abbreviation. The FNPRM additionally clarifies that even if the number is not listed in the Robocall Mitigation Database, other voice service providers and intermediate providers in the call path must make all reasonable efforts to avoid blocking calls from PSAPs and government outbound emergency numbers and should not under any circumstance block calls to 911.
Comments will be due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Reply comments will be due 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
On September 9, 2021, the FCC released a Draft Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“Draft FNPRM”). The following substantive changes were made from the draft FNPRM:
- ¶ 33 – defining “U.S. based” as a provider that has facilities in the U.S. including a U.S. located point of presence and seeking comment on whether this should be defined differently. In addition, the FCC seeks comment on whether it should modify its definition to take into account scenarios where a U.S. originated call is routed internationally and then back to the U.S., through either different or the same providers.
- ¶ 34 – including a request for comment on whether there are instances where a provider that brings the call into the U.S. is also acting as an originating provider.
- ¶ 88 – including a request for comment on what contractual provisions may already exist between gateway providers and their partners to validate they are authorized to use the U.S. NANP telephone numbers, their effectiveness in stopping illegal robocall, traffic, and how wide spread they are.
- ¶ 98 – including a request for comment on how, if at all, the FCC should tailor the information gateway providers must submit to the Robocall Mitigation Database to ensure the downstream provider has sufficient information to know whether to block calls depending on the call-by-call “role” of the upstream provider.
- ¶ 110 – including a request for comment on whether the FCC’s analysis that the FNPRM would impose only minimal short-term costs on gateway providers while lowering long-term costs is valid in light of industry’s experience in implementing STIR/SHAKEN and the FCC’s various blocking regimes and whether that experience is equally applicable to gateway providers.
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