A proposed solution to the problem of nuisance robocalls and telephone spoofing must take into account the impact on smaller interconnected VoIP providers, according to a warning from the American Cable Association (ACA). The organization says the Federal Communications Commission should obtain wider industry feedback before endorsing the Shaken/Stir authentication solution developed together by the Internet Engineering Task Force, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions and the SIP Forum.
The ACA, which represents small and mid-sized telecoms firms, has called on the FCC to establish a working group that includes smaller VoIP providers to help evaluate the Shaken/Stir framework and its cost-effectiveness. It also says that if the solution is adopted, members may have need for more time to implement it.
The association’s response comes amid signs that under the new chairman, Ajit Pai, the FCC is determined to take more forceful action to counter illegal and disruptive robocalling operations. In June, the commission issued a notice of apparent liability for forfeiture totalling $120 million against an individual, Adrian Abramovich of Miami, for hundreds of millions of deceptive robocalls.
Nearly 100 million fraudulent calls were placed in the last three months of 2016 alone, supposedly from trusted US travel businesses such as TripAdvisor, in order to spoof respondents into contacting companies abroad.
The Shaken/Stir standard defines how telephone service providers should implement the technology to ensure that calling numbers are not spoofed. The system uses digital certificates based on common public key cryptography techniques to enable the call recipient to verify that the calling number is accurate and has not been spoofed.
The ACA says the Shaken/Stir scheme may represent a partial solution to the robocall problem, as long as its standards are feasible and cost-effective for all facilities-based VoIP providers: It says the implementation costs may have to be reduced for smaller operators.
• The FCC has demanded that the US telecoms industry come up with a solution to the growing problem nuisance and fraudulent robocalls.
• The American Cable Association, which represents small and mid-sized telecoms firms, says the proposed Shaken/Stir authentication and verification standards must be cost-effective to implement for smaller VoIP providers.
• The ACA wants small firms to be involved in the evaluation process before the scheme is approved, and says they may need extra time to put it into action.