Federal Communications Commission Announces Expansion of Participation in STIR/SHAKEN in Line With Request From the Cloud Communications Alliance

[December 1, 2020, Delray Beach, Florida] The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that the Secure Telephone Identity Governance Authority (STI-GA) – an industry-led group setting policy for implementing the anti-robocalling regime STIR/SHAKEN – has changed the requirements in their robocalling prevention policy to consider improvements submitted by the Cloud Communications Alliance.

The STI-GA is the organization charged with setting the policies to implement the STIR/SHAKEN framework for mitigating unwanted robocalling. Originally, the STI-GA required that only an entity that has direct access to telephone numbers could participate in the framework, which all voice providers must implement. The CCA argued that this requirement put service providers at a tremendous disadvantage. 

Many CCA members chose not to obtain telephone numbers directly but through carrier partners, or they cannot qualify otherwise to obtain numbers. The FCC’s announcement changed the policy to require that – rather than have direct access to telephone numbers – an entity can participate in the anti-robocalling regime by being listed in a forthcoming FCC Robocall Mitigation Database. Until then, the current Service Provider Code (SPC token) access policy will remain in effect, according to the FCC. 

“Under the previous policy, many VoIP providers – including CCA members – were disqualified from participating in the call authentication framework even though the FCC would require participation," said Mark Iannuzzi, Chairman of CCA Government Affairs Committee and CEO of TelNet. "As a result, customers of those providers would also be disadvantaged by not having their numbers authenticated and potentially not have valid calls answered by consumers. We raised these concerns with the FCC, which in turn worked with our industry to eliminate the requirement that providers have direct access to numbers."

This important revision will enable all CCA members to participate in STIR/SHAKEN and to ensure that CCA members’ customers’ calls all be authenticated and answered. This change assures consumers that they are not receiving a scam call using a fake phone number.

“We advised the FCC in writing and in person of the disadvantage being placed on service providers, and the agency acted by establishing a database in which a provider can register and fully participate in STIR/SHAKEN," added Iannuzzi. "This is great news not just for providers, but for their customers and consumers who will be better assured of the identity of callers. In turn, providers will be able to more quickly and accurately trace back to the source of a call and identify bad actors easily." 

About CCA

The CCA is the only global not-for-profit organization that represents the interests of hosted communications providers – regardless of platform. We are dedicated to supporting and educating businesses on the best ways to build, sell, and scale enterprise communications systems. We serve as a voice for the cloud communications industry for customers, vendors, service providers, analysts, and regulatory bodies across the globe. More info: cloudcommsstag.wpengine.com.

Cloud Communications Alliance

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