Major US Carriers Implement FCC's STIR/SHAKEN Protocol To Cut Robocalls

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Major US carriers including T-Mobile, Verizon and AT&T Inc., have implemented the Federal Communications Commission or FCC's STIR/SHAKEN Caller ID Authentication Standard. The anti-spoofing protocol would help protect consumers against spoofed Robocalls.

In a statement, FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel said the largest voice service providers are now using STIR/SHAKEN caller ID authentication standards in the IP portions of their networks, in accordance with the deadline set on June 30.

STIR/SHAKEN is a protocol that confirms Caller ID is not being illegally spoofed.

T-Mobile said it has completed filing for STIR/SHAKEN certification with the FCC. It was the first US wireless provider to implement number verification in 2019, and work with all other major networks to implement STIR/SHAKEN to fight number spoofing, the company added. T-Mobile authenticates calls with wireless and network providers that collectively represent around 98% of wireless customers in the U.S.

Verizon also completed its wireless network upgrade to STIR/SHAKEN in March of 2019, more than two years ahead of the June 30, 2021 deadline. The company is now exchanging STIR/SHAKEN-enabled calls with wireless carriers that collectively represent around 80% of the U.S. wireless industry.

AT&T said it is now blocking or labeling more than 1 billion Robocalls per month.

Meanwhile, the Commission has granted small voice service providers with 100,000 or fewer subscriber lines an extension until June 30, 2023. The FCC is considering shortening that extension.

According to the Commission, the STIR/SHAKEN standards serve as a common digital language used by phone networks, allowing valid information to pass from provider to provider. It helps voice service providers identify calls with illegally spoofed caller ID information before those calls reach their subscribers.

Rosenworcel said, "While there is no silver bullet in the endless fight against scammers, STIR/SHAKEN will turbo-charge many of the tools we use in our fight against robocalls: from consumer apps and network-level blocking, to enforcement investigations and shutting down the gateways used by international robocall campaigns."

In April, the FCC launched the Robocall Mitigation Database requiring voice service providers to file certifications to inform the agency of their robocall mitigation efforts, including their STIR/SHAKEN implementation status.

The FCC noted that beginning September 28, 2021, if a voice service provider's certification does not appear in the database, intermediate and voice service providers will be prohibited from directly accepting the provider's traffic.

As of now, over 1,500 voice service providers have filed in the database.

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