FCC allows robocall blocking: Verizon vows to take advantage

FCC allows robocall blocking: Verizon vows to take advantage

US regulators on Thursday voted to allow phone companies to block unwanted "robocalls" by default as Americans grapple with billions of deceptive and annoying calls every year.

The commission says the "Do Not Call" registry works for legal robocalls, but an estimated 47% of robocalls are illegal. "They are sick and exhausted of being bothered by unwanted robocalls". "My message to them is simple: The FCC will stand with American consumers, not with those who are badgering them with unwanted robocalls", Pai said.

"I am disappointed that for all our efforts to support new blocking technology, we couldn't muster up the courage to do what consumers want most-stop robocalls and do it for free", she said.

The FCC also voted to allow carriers to let companies block any calls not on a consumer's contact list if they opt in.

The United States Communications Commission (or FCC, for short) has been discussing what to do about the increasingly-annoying problem of robocalling for a while.

The agency expects phone companies to offer these tools for free.

The FCC's vote Thursday comes amid heightened pressure - particularly from the public - for the USA government and the nation's top telecom carriers to crack down on billions of unwanted spam calls, many of which are attempts to trick recipients into surrendering their personal information.

Meanwhile, Pai's proposal triggered a groundswell of industry lobbying, particularly on the part of financial institutions, debt collectors and hospitals.

The vote clears the way for carriers to switch on robocall-blocking technologies for phone lines by default.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai noted that some opponents of the proposal were flooding consumers with calls. One of its tools, a free app known as Call Protect, requires users to download and enable it.

Starks said eliminating a significant number of robocalls would save carriers billions of dollars "as network capacity is freed up and customer service representatives field fewer complaints".

"As we continue to evolve the service, we intend to take advantage of the new flexibility the FCC is giving us", according to the company. It did not comment further on future pricing or availability.

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