FCC's Ajit Pai tells carriers to combat spoofed robocalls... or else

Carriers need to implement caller ID authentication systems by the end of this year.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou
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FCC's Ajit Pai calls on carriers again to implement caller ID authentication systems. 

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Relief from scam calls may be on the way.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai on Wednesday again called for phone companies to implement robust caller ID authentication systems to combat illegal robocalls and spoofing.

"Uniform adoption will help improve authentication throughout the network and make sure no consumer gets left behind," Pai said in a press release (PDF). "This goal should be achievable for every major wireless provider, interconnected VoIP operator, and telephone company -- and I expect those lagging behind to make every effort to catch up."

This isn't the first time Pai has called on carriers to step up their game in combating spoofed calls, which come from numbers that may appear familiar but in fact are hijacked by scammers. Pai in November sent letters to the heads of AT&T , Comcast, T-Mobile , Sprint, Google and others, urging them to adopt a caller ID authentication system and get it done in 2019.

Some carriers have already committed to rolling out the caller ID authentication system in the upcoming months, but others haven't, according to the release.

Pai said if major carriers don't implement this system by the end of this year, the FCC will consider "regulatory intervention." 

The FCC on Thursday released a report on robocalls, saying that "available data indicate that robocall volume remains high and may be increasing." The report detailed the agency's progress on combatting spoofed robocalls and the importance of implementing caller ID authentication systems. 

First published on Feb. 13, 11:02 a.m. PT.
Update, Feb. 14, 11:36 a.m. PT: Adds FCC on Thursday released a report on robocalls.