In the News

Shaking up caller ID

Sep 5, 2022 Capacity Media

The FCC is tightening up its rules for voice calls routed into the US, which may offer new revenue opportunities for carriers, writes Alan Burkitt-Gray

The US telecommunications regulator is about to tighten its rules on voice traffic entering the country, in a move to reduce what most of us call “nuisance calls” but Americans call “robocalls”. The changes by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will require the voice industry to spend lots of money in the hope that consumers will come to trust incoming calls once again.

As a result, there will valuable opportunities for wholesale service providers that can offer profitable services to fixed and mobile operators in enhancing calling line identification (CLI) services (or “caller ID”).

The name to hold close is Stir/Shaken, which Wikipedia says is a Bond-like development of “Stir”, an acronym of “secure telephony identity revisited”.

The “Shaken” addition means, according to the same source, “signature-based handling of asserted information using tokens”.

I don’t understand either. But at home in London, the caller ID list on my BT landline phone includes numbers claiming they’re for callers from Cornwall, Derbyshire, Manchester and Newcastle upon Tyne. They weren’t. The callers were lying, just as they were lying about being from BT, trying to help with a non-existent broadband problem, or Microsoft, trying to fix my computer.

That’s what, for the US market, Stir/ Shaken is trying to end. But it is a complex problem and it is expensive for the industry to fix. For example, all those calls to me all had credible, but false, caller IDs…