FCC’s Ajit Pai tells carriers to combat spoofed robocalls


Relief from scam calls may be on the way.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday again called for phone companies to implement robust caller ID authentication systems to combat illegal robocalls and spoofing.

“Uniform adoption will help improve authentication throughout the network and make sure no consumer gets left behind,” Pai said in a press release (PDF). “This goal should be achievable for every major wireless provider, interconnected VoIP operator, and telephone company — and I expect those lagging behind to make every effort to catch up.”

This isn’t the first time Pai has called on carriers to step up their game in combating spoofed calls, which come from numbers that may appear familiar but in fact are hijacked by scammers. Pai in November sent letters to the heads of AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile, Sprint, Google and others, urging them to adopt the call authentication system and get it done in 2019.

Some carriers have already committed to rolling out the caller ID authentication system in the upcoming months, but others haven’t, according to the release.

Pai said if major carriers don’t implement this system by the end of this year, the FCC will consider “regulatory intervention.”