In the News

The most insane “robocall mitigation plans” that telcos filed with the FCC

Oct 17, 2023 ars Technica

FCC received blank pages, a Windows Printer Test, and an “indiscernible object.”

Twenty phone companies may soon have all their voice calls blocked by US carriers because they didn’t submit real plans for preventing robocalls on their networks.

The 20 carriers include a mix of US-based and foreign voice service providers that submitted required “robocall mitigation” plans to the Federal Communications Commission about two years ago. The problem is that some of the carriers’ submissions were blank pages and others were bizarre images or documents that had no relation to robocalls.

The strange submissions, according to FCC enforcement orders issued yesterday, included “a .PNG file depicting an indiscernible object,” a document titled “Windows Printer Test Page,” an image “that depicted the filer’s ‘Taxpayer Profile’ on a Pakistani government website,” and “a letter that stated: ‘Unfortunately, we do not have such a documents.'”

Yesterday’s FCC announcement said the agency’s Enforcement Bureau issued orders demanding that “20 non-compliant companies show cause within 14 days as to why the FCC should not remove them from the database for deficient filings.” The orders focus on the certification requirements and do not indicate whether these companies carry large amounts of robocall traffic…