AT&T has made it official. It is now offering default robocall blocking to its subs at no extra charge, expanding its existing AT&T Call Protects regime.
The FCC recently clarified that carriers are allowed to automatically block calls before they reach subs, so long as those subs have a chance to opt out. It did not mandate that the service be free, but signaled that if carriers tried to charge, it was ready to lower that boom on a fast track.
Related: Congress Boosts FCC Robocall Blocking Authority
New customers will get the anti-robocall service by default, while millions more existing customers will have it automatically added over the "coming months."
“The FCC has been a tremendous partner in the war on robocalls,” said Joan Marsh, executive VP of regulatory and state external affairs for AT&T Communications. “The Commission’s recent action builds on a year's-long effort to enable broader adoption of call-blocking tools and allow providers to better protect their customers and networks. AT&T remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls.”
The announcement comes two days before the FCC is scheduled to hold a day-long seminar on the industry's implementation of the SHAKEN/STIR robocall blocking caller ID regime by the end of the year.
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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.