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FCC announces expansion of participation in STIR/SHAKEN

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The United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that, in reference to the recommendations of the Cloud Communications Alliance (CCA), the Secure Telephone Identity Governance Authority (STI-GA), a group supporting the timely deployment of STIR/SHAKEN protocol, has altered the requirements in their robocall prevention policy.

 

Initially, the STI-GA policy required that only an entity with direct access to telephone numbers could partake in the framework, that must be implemented by all voice service providers.  However, the CCA claimed that this specification puts service providers at a significant disadvantage. Therefore, the FCC has announced that the policy change will allow CCA members to take advantage of STIR/SHAKEN through the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database. Until then, the current Service Provider Code (SPC access key) access policy will remain in effect, said the FCC.

 

This important reconsideration will allow all CCA members to implement the  STIR/SHAKEN protocol and make sure that all CCA member customer calls are attested and answered. This change guarantees consumers that they will not receive scam calls with spoofed phone numbers.

 

Mark Iannuzzi, Chairman of CCA Government Affairs Committee and CEO of TelNet, commented: “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. 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.”

 

According to the FCC, STIR/SHAKEN is a framework of interconnected standards. STIR/ SHAKEN stands for Secure Telephone Identity Verification (STIR) and Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) standards. This protocol ensures that calls traveling on interconnected telephone networks are denoted as legitimate by the carrier of origin, and are validated by the receiving carrier before reaching the consumer.