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ACA: FCC Needs More Input on VoIP Robocall Proposal

The American Cable Association is applauding the FCC's efforts to combat illegal robocalls, but it is cautioning it that a possible authentication solution for the voice over IP (VoIP) phone service cable broadband operators offer needs more vetting when it comes to smaller providers.

ACA represents small and midsized telecoms.

In comments to the FCC (opens in new tab), ACA said that the SHAKEN/STIR digital certificate verification and identification proposal the FCC sought comment on may well prove to be an effective "partial" solution to reining in illegal robocalls, its members were not at the table when the authentication protocols were developed.

"Before taking any steps to endorse formally or adopt the SHAKEN/STIR framework, the FCC should seek broader industry input, including from small interconnected VoIP providers, to ensure that the SHAKEN/STIR standards are feasible and cost-effective for all facilities-based VoIP providers, ACA said in its comments.

The Shaken/Stir (insert James Bond Joke here) solution was developed by Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), and the SIP Forum.

To get that smaller ISP input, ACA said the FCC could convent a working group that includes smaller VoIP providers are incentivize smaller providers to help evaluate the framework and its cost-effectiveness.

"Reducing the implementation costs for smaller providers of any call authentication solution that the Commission may consider approving can only help to advance the Commission’s goals by promoting the comprehensive adoption authentication solution among all industry segments and all operators, large and small. "

If the FCC does go with SHAKEN/STIR, ACA suggests its members may need a "longer glide path" to implementation.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has made cracking down on robocalls a signature issue of his administration, including levying a record $!20 million robocall fine in June.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.