Today we are launching a new webpage that showcases the FCC’s work to protect consumers from illegal robocalls, using the tools Congress gave us in the Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence Act (TRACED Act).
The TRACED Act strengthened the Commission’s enforcement capabilities, enabling us to impose greater penalties and giving us more time to conduct our investigations against offenders. It also established the framework for an industry “traceback” program to rapidly identify the origins of unlawful robocalls. We put these tools to good use, recently imposing our biggest fine yet – $225 million – against a telemarketer that made over one billion unlawful calls, and by issuing cease-and-desist letters to robocall-enabling service providers.
The TRACED Act directed us to strengthen our call blocking rules, empowering phone companies to stop illegal and unwanted calls before they reach consumers. We also imposed new limits for the number of calls allowed to residential phone lines and gave consumers the ability to opt-out from receiving calls.
The FCC has also taken steps required under the TRACED Act to mandate Caller ID authentication technology, so you can trust that the number you see on your Caller ID is correct. This STIR/SHAKEN framework is an important tool that can help service providers determine whether a call should be blocked or labeled. Looking ahead, we will open a Robocall Mitigation Database to hold service providers accountable and ensure they are not the source of illegal robocalls.
When you visit our new webpage, you’ll also find details on our work to address one-ring scams, protect hospitals from illegal robocalls, and establish a reassigned numbers database. We still have a few to-dos remaining under the TRACED Act and invite you to follow our progress on the new webpage.