AT&T boss gets robocall during live interview

Not even Randall Stephenson is safe.

Sean Keane Former Senior Writer
Sean knows far too much about Marvel, DC and Star Wars, and poured this knowledge into recaps and explainers on CNET. He also worked on breaking news, with a passion for tech, video game and culture.
Expertise Culture | Video Games | Breaking News
Sean Keane
AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson Speaks At The Economic Club Of Washington DC

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson answers questions during a luncheon held by the Economic Club.

Win McNamee / Getty Images

AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson got interrupted by a robocall while on stage at an Economic Club event in Washington on Wednesday, proving that no one's immune from the tele-plague.

"I'm getting a robocall, too," Stephenson said after checking an incoming call on his Apple Watch . "It's literally a robocall."

He declined the call and got a laugh from the audience, but the timing of the incident couldn't have been better. AT&T and Comcast on Wednesday announced they'll offer call authentication between networks to stem the tide of unwanted robocalls. Previously, such systems only worked on calls to and from the same provider.

That service followed the Federal Communications Commission demanding that carriers implement robust caller ID authentication systems by the end of 2019 or face "regulatory intervention."

In January, a report revealed that 26.3 billion robocalls were made in the US in 2018, a rise of 46 percent from the previous year.

AT&T didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

First published at 3:37 a.m. PT.
Updated at 4:16 a.m. PT: Adds background.

Watch this: How to stop robocalls