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FCC chairman warns carriers with regulatory intervention about robocalls

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Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has recently said to major telecommunications providers that the agency would take action if the companies didn’t implement a plan to fight robocalls this year.

In November, Pai sent letters to several companies, asking them to use a caller authentication system to battle call spoofing, a technique robocallers use to imitate other numbers. Pai’s letter said he expected the companies to implement the plan by the end of this year, and also said that the agency would take action if carriers didn’t follow the plan.

Some of the companies has said that they would need more time than the end of the year to completely implement the anti robocalls policy. AT&T said it was fully committed to this innovation, but that significant work remains. Its response said its implementation plan would stretch into 2020.

In response, Pai released a statement today criticizing the responses from some of the companies. “It’s time for carriers to implement robust caller ID authentication,” Pai said in the statement. “Uniform adoption will help improve authentication throughout the network and make sure no consumer gets left behind.” If major carriers fail to implement a plan this year, the statement said, the FCC will have to consider regulatory intervention.

Pai has already mention it several times that cracking down on robocalls is a priority of his tenure leading the agency. Lawmakers have also pressed legislation. In November, a group of senators promoted a bill that would give the FCC more power to impose higher fines against robocallers.

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