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Robocall Solution and the Impact on Small VoIP Providers

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Since 2014 the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been demanding that the telecommunications industry in the US come up with a solution to the growing and disturbing problem of fraudulent robocalls and telephone spoofing.

As a result, the proposed Shaken & Stir authentication solution was developed jointly by the SIP Forum, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). However, the American Cable Association (ACA) warns that the solution must be cost-effective for smaller VoIP providers.

The association, which represents small and mid-sized telecom companies, suggests that the FCC obtain more information from the industry and that small VoIP providers be involved in the evaluation of its cost-effectiveness before it is approved. It stated that if the robocall solution is adopted, members might need extra time to implement it.

ACA’s reaction is a result of FCC’s new chairman, Ajit Pai’s determination in carrying out strong measures to fight illicit and disturbing robocalling operations. In June, the commission issued a $120 million fine against Adrian Abramovich, of Miami, accused of making millions of spoofed robocalls in an attempt to sell vacation packages.

Between October 1 and December 31 of 2016, almost 100 million fraudulent calls were detected, supposedly from trusted travel companies in the US like TripAdvisor.

The Shaken/Stir standard outlines how telephone service providers should implement the technology to verify that calling numbers are from legitimate parties.

The system uses digital certificates, based on common public key cryptography techniques to ensure that a calling number is accurate and secure and has not been spoofed.

According to the ACA, the Shaken/Stir framework could become part of the solution to the robocall and spoofing problem, as long as its authentication and verification standards are possible and cost-effective for all VoIP providers. And considering that the execution costs may have to be reduced for smaller firms.