FCC cuts off a voice provider for failing to protect against robocalls

It's the first time the agency has shut off access to other networks.

Thai Liang Lim via Getty Images

The Federal Communications Commission didn't take long to start isolating voice providers that don't do enough to block robocalls. The regulator has cut off provider Global UC from other networks after allegedly failed to meet requirements for protecting against scam robocalls. Now that the company is no longer in the Robocall Mitigation Database, other carriers (including intermediaries) will have to stop accepting its traffic.

The FCC said in October that it planned to cut off Global UC and six other firms that didn't share their anti-robocall strategies despite warnings. The Commission required that all US-based carriers with IP-based networks use STIR/SHAKEN anti-spoofing measures by the end of June 2021, and told providers to start blocking companies outside of the Robocall Mitigation Database after September 28th of that year.

It's not certain when other offenders might face punishment. However, the FCC said it was still reviewing responses from firms that had been asked to show their strategies for limiting robocalls. Those that can provide concrete plans should avoid cutoffs.

The crackdown isn't guaranteed to reduce the volume of robocalls, particularly those originating outside the US. Even so, the FCC clearly hopes Global UC's fate will send a message to American companies hoping to skirt the rules. If they don't take action, they risk losing business as customers are forced to head elsewhere.