FCC mandates robocall-fighting tech be in use by end of June 2021

Phone and cable companies will have to implement the Shaken/Stir protocol to stop spoofed calls.

Marguerite Reardon Former senior reporter
Marguerite Reardon started as a CNET News reporter in 2004, covering cellphone services, broadband, citywide Wi-Fi, the Net neutrality debate and the consolidation of the phone companies.
Marguerite Reardon

The FCC passed rules Tuesday mandating that phone and cable companies implement the Shaken/Stir protocol to help stop robocalls. 

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The Federal Communications Commission voted Tuesday to finalize rules requiring phone companies to use the Shaken/Stir protocol to automatically block calls to fight illegal robocalls. The new rules mandate the use of the technology by all voice providers by the end of June of 2021. 

The rules come after Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law the Traced Act last year. The law, which makes Shaken/Stir compliance mandatory for all voice service providers, directed the FCC to develop rules within 18 months. 

The FCC has said previously that eliminating the wasted time and the nuisance caused by illegal scam robocalls could save the US economy $3 billion annually. Shaken/Stir is considered an important element in fighting the scourge of illegal robocalls, the FCC has argued. 

The four major wireless carriers in the US -- AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, and cable provider Comcast -- have each begun implementing the Shaken/Stir protocol. The companies all supported the passage of the Traced Act.

Watch this: The FCC's looking to kill off robocalls for good (The 3:59, Ep. 567)