FCC allows Consumers to stop Robocalls

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Thursday agreed that Verizon, AT&T and other telecommunication carriers aren't duty-bound to connect annoying ‘robocalls’.

The Federal Communications Commission on Thursday stated that Verizon, AT&T and other telecommunication carriers will not be bounded to connect annoying ‘robocalls’ if a consumer doesn't want them.

FCC commissioners mostly agreed that call blocking technology should not only be allowed, but encouraged too. The FCC also voted in favor of expanding its Lifeline program to provide low-income subsidies for broadband service.

The major thing for the FCC in this case was to question the widespread appeal of battling unwanted robocalls, which last year alone generated 215,000 complaints to the agency.

Consumers Union in February launched a national petition drive against unwanted robocalls, and it was joined by five other consumer groups in urging federal officials to act.

It is said that the FCC didn’t give consumer advocates everything they sought. But it came through with crucial updates to rules implementing 1991’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act, a law enacted long before the complications of cellphones and Internet-based phone systems.

The new rules seem to be enough to help consumers reclaim a little peace and quiet at dinnertime.

Wireless phones, automated dialers, and voice-over-Internet-protocol (VOIP) technology all conspired to weaken the law, which enabled consumers to reject calls from individual telemarketers, and the Do Not Call list, which allowed them to block such calls more broadly.

Some further damage was done by caller ID spoofing, a technique that enables both legitimate businesses and scammers to hide or disguise the origin of calls.

The new rules enable consumers to say ‘Stop’ to robocalls and robotexts directed at either their cellphones or landlines.