Tech Giants Join Hands To Fight Against ‘Robocalls’

by CXOtoday News Desk    Aug 22, 2016

Telecom The latest technological war in the United States is the war on unwanted pre-recorded voice calls, being dubbed the ‘robocalls’. Some 30 major technology giants are joining hands to combat the problem, including the likes of Alphabet, AT&T, Apple, Verizon, and Comcast among others, and have even met the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding their issues. The group is now calling themselves the ‘Robocall Strike Force’ and is working on what they call the automated voice calls, a scourge. 

According to the statement by Randall Stephenson, the Chairman & CEO of AT&T, the ‘Strike Force’ will be meeting the FCC by October 19 this year to discuss concrete plans ‘to accelerate the development and adoption of new tools and solutions’, as Reuters reported. The main task for the group, would be to block calls from ’spoofed’ numbers by creating a ‘do not originate’ list to stop the impersonators from duplicating their origins with legitimate phone numbers from banks, governments, and others. In fact, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has urged everyone in the group to take new action to block these ‘robocalls’ which often are used as a popular method by telemarketeers and other scam artists. 

Stephenson had been putting forward his word on the complexities and breadth of the problems at hand. He said, “This is going to require more than individual company initiatives and one-off blocking apps.” He then added, “Robocallers are a formidable adversary, notoriously hard to stop.”

The FCC does not require robocall blocking and filtering, but has strongly encouraged phone service providers to offer those services at no charge. The strike force brings together carriers, device makers, operating system developers, network designers and the government, towards a common issue. 

Stephenson also explained, “We have calls that are perfectly legal, but unwanted, like telemarketers and public opinion surveyors. At the other end of the spectrum, we have millions of calls that are blatantly illegal.” He did mention that technical experts representing the companies involved had ‘preliminary conversations about short- and longer-term initiatives’ which clearly the aggression with which the issue is being perused. However, Joan Marsh, the AT&T Vice-President of Federal regulatory issues, was a bit more skeptical about the problem, and called the problem more ‘complicated’. “We have been wrangling with this problem long enough to know there is no silver bullet,” she said. “Nothing by itself is going to do it,” she added. 

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