Press Release

Press Release  Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Calls on FCC to Take Action against Illegal Robocalls

For immediate release:
6/06/2019
  • Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation
  • Department of Telecommunications and Cable

Media Contact for Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Calls on FCC to Take Action against Illegal Robocalls

Jacqueline Horigan, Public Outreach

BostonThe Baker-Polito Administration’s Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) and Department of Telecommunications and Cable (DTC) recently submitted comments encouraging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt rules that would require carriers to quickly and uniformly implement anti-robocall and anti-spoofing technology. The letter was sent in response to the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) the FCC released on February 15, 2019.

“Robocalls and caller-ID spoofing continue to be a leading consumer complaint, and for years, the only solution to avoiding these annoying, and potentially harmful, calls was to not pick up the phone,” said Consumers Affairs Undersecretary Edward A. Palleschi. “The technology exists to give Massachusetts consumers relief from illegal robocalls and it’s time for regulators and telephone carriers to do more to assist consumers from this epidemic.”

This most recent action by the OCABR and DTC continues Massachusetts’s role as a leader on national telecommunications policy. The DTC serves on the North American Numbering Council’s Call Authentication Trust Anchor Working Group. The Working Group made a series of call authentication recommendations that the FCC adopted and are in the process of being implemented. The DTC also submitted comments last June supporting the establishment of a database of reassigned phone numbers to enable callers making legitimate robocalls to avoid calling numbers that they do not wish to call.

“Calls from fake numbers are not only a nuisance, but can also lead to significant financial harm for consumers who mistakenly provide personal or financial information in response to an illegal robocall,” said Department of Telecommunications and Cable Commissioner Karen Charles Peterson. “The DTC will continue to work with the FCC to combat illegal robocalls, as well as caller-ID spoofing using alternative voice service providers, including wireless, wireline, interconnected VoIP, and non-interconnected VoIP providers.”

Earlier today, the FCC voted to adopt an additional Order and NPRM that broadens the authority of telephone carriers to enable anti-robocall technology by default, instead of requiring consumers to turn on the features individually or download robocall blocking apps.

The letter sent to FCC Chairman Pai can be found online: https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/10531930016156/Robocall%20Ex%20Parte%20Letter%20Final.pdf

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About the Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation (OCABR) oversees five regulatory agencies: Division of Banks, Division of Insurance, Division of Professional Licensure, Division of Standards, and the Department of Telecommunications and Cable. OCABR also oversees the state’s Lemon Laws and Lemon Law Arbitration, Data Breach reporting, Home Improvement Contractor Programs, and the state’s Do Not Call Registry. Learn more about OCABR at mass.gov/consumer.

 

About the Department of Telecommunications and Cable

The Massachusetts Department of Telecommunications and Cable regulates the telecommunications and cable industries in Massachusetts and works to ensure that residents receive high-quality communications services at just and reasonable rates while promoting sustainable competition in the communications marketplace. Learn more about DTC at mass.gov/DTC.

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Media Contact for Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation Calls on FCC to Take Action against Illegal Robocalls

Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation 

The Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation protects and empowers consumers through advocacy and education, and ensures a fair playing field for the Massachusetts businesses its agencies regulate.

Department of Telecommunications and Cable 

The Department of Telecommunications and Cable oversees the telecommunications and cable industries in Massachusetts, working to ensure that residents receive high-quality communications services at just and reasonable rates while promoting sustainable competition in the communications marketplace.
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