FCC Releases PN Notifying Providers of Robocall-Related Permissible Blocking

On November 10, 2022, the Enforcement Bureau released a Public Notice notifying all U.S.-based voice service providers that, pursuant to Section 64.1200(k)(4), they may block voice calls or cease to accept traffic from Urth Access, LLC (“Urth Access”) without liability under the Communications Act or the Commission’s rules.

Urth Access has been identified by the Traceback Consortium as the originator of substantial volumes of apparently unlawful student loan related robocall traffic.

Contemporaneous with the Notice, the Bureau issued a cease-and-desist letter to Urth Access that sets forth investigation and mitigation requirements.  Urth Access is required to: (1) immediately investigate and mitigate the traffic identified in the letter; (2) notify the FCC/Traceback Consortium within 48 hours of the steps taken to mitigate the identified traffic, and (3) inform the FCC/Traceback Consortium, within 14 days, of the steps taken to prevent customers from using the service provider’s network to transmit illegal robocalls.  Failure to comply with these requirements may result in Urth Access’s removal from the Robocall Mitigation Database, obligating all other providers to cease carrying all of its traffic.

In the event that Urth Access fails to comply with the requirements laid out in the cease-and-desist letter, the Bureau will issue a follow-up Order to all U.S.-based voice service providers notifying them of this fact.  In the event that a follow-up Order is issued by the Bureau in this matter, pursuant to section 64.1200(n)(2) of the Commission’s Rules, all U.S.-based voice service providers shall be required to “[t]ake steps to effectively mitigate illegal traffic,” including investigating and taking steps—up to and including blocking, if necessary—to prevent the source of the illegal traffic from continuing to originate such traffic.

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