TCPA Regulatory Update — Commission Adopts New Rules for “Gateway Providers”

At its Might open assembly, the Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) adopted a Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”), that might outline and impose plenty of new obligations on sure intermediate voice service suppliers when accepting foreign-originated name with U.S. numbers. The Report and Order is the results of an October Additional Discover of Proposed Rulemaking (“October FNPRM”) through which the Commission sought touch upon plenty of proposals designed to handle the continuing downside of unlawful robocalls originating abroad and having access to U.S.-based networks by way of “gateway providers.”

The Report and Order largely adopted the proposals outlined within the October FNPRM together with defining a gateway supplier as a “U.S.-based intermediate provider that receives a call directly from a foreign originating provider or foreign intermediate provider at its U.S.-based facilities before transmitting the call downstream to another U.S.-based provider.” The Report and Order additionally expands the Robocall Mitigation Database (“RMD”) guidelines by requiring gateway suppliers to take plenty of actions:

  • submit mitigation plans describing their robocall mitigation practices and certifications stating that they’re adhering to these practices to the RMD;

  • start offering STIR/SHAKEN caller I.D. authentication to all unauthenticated, foreign-originated SIP calls with U.S. numbers within the caller I.D. discipline by June 30, 2023;

  • reply to all traceback requests inside 24 hours;

  • block unlawful visitors upon notification by the Commission or danger the Commission directing downstream suppliers to dam all of the gateway supplier’s visitors;

  • block all calls on an inexpensive do-not-originate listing;

  • take steps to make sure that the gateway supplier’s fast, international upstream suppliers usually are not utilizing them to transmit excessive volumes of unlawful robocalls onto their U.S. networks; and

  • take cheap steps to mitigate robocalls on no matter whether or not they have carried out STIR/SHAKEN on the IP parts of their networks.

The Commissioners praised the steps taken within the Report and Order. Commissioner Carr remarked that that he was supportive of the Report and Order as a result of the brand new guidelines “focus[] exclusively on the IP portions of a provider’s network and [therefore] do[] not require any upgrades of network infrastructure.” Equally, Commissioner Starks praised the Report and Order as a result of it “takes robust steps to stop robocalls before they reach our domestic networks.” He concluded that: “If [the Commission] can make it more difficult for these illegal and unwanted calls to hit our networks, we will be much closer to winning our fight.” Chairwoman Rosenworcel, noting the progress the Report and Order represents, reiterated her view that extra work remains to be wanted to actually remove illegal robocalls.

Thus, regardless of the actions taken within the Report and Order, the Commission additionally proposed plenty of rule modifications to additional stop illegal visitors from spreading by way of U.S. networks. These embrace:

  • requiring U.S. intermediate suppliers to authenticate unauthenticated SIP calls and search touch upon non-IP authentication strategies;

  • an extension of the 24-hour traceback requirement to all voice service suppliers;

  • requiring all suppliers to dam unlawful calls when notified by the Commission;

  • a clarification of the rule that every one suppliers take affirmative, efficient measures to stop clients from utilizing their networks to originate unlawful calls, and block all visitors from any upstream dangerous actor;

  • requiring all voice service suppliers, no matter their implementation of STIR/SHAKEN to take cheap steps to mitigate robocalls; and

  • plenty of enhanced enforcement measures equivalent to particular forfeitures for violations of the Commission’s robocalling guidelines and subjecting repeat offenders to bans from future vital affiliation with entities regulated by the Commission.

The Commission additionally took motion, through an Order on Reconsideration, to increase the requirement that home voice service suppliers solely settle for visitors from international originating suppliers which can be registered and have submitted certification within the RMD to international intermediate suppliers. The Commission had not been imposing that beforehand adopted requirement, so additionally lifted the keep of its enforcement.

Lastly, in her statement on the adoption of the Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration and FNPRM, the Chairwoman as soon as once more requested further authority from Congress. Specifically, Chairwoman Rosenworcel urged Congress to move laws redefining “autodialer” in gentle of the Supreme Courtroom’s Facebook choice, in addition to laws to offer the Commission with further enforcement instruments equivalent to the power to go on to courtroom to gather fines from robocallers. These actions, in keeping with the Chairwoman, would enable the Commission “to fight this scourge on all fronts” and “catch those behind [the illegal] calls.”

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