Voice Service Providers Face Call Authentication Requirement as TRACED Act Signed into Law

Potential robocall

Voice service providers must now implement call authentication technology to comply with newly passed regulations seeking to eliminate fraudulent robocalls.

President Trump last week signed the TRACED (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) Act into law after it easily passed the House and Senate with bipartisan support. U.S. service providers already started implementing STIR/SHAKEN technology to combat robocalls and spoofing in anticipation.

Related: Empirix Extends VoIP Assurance Portfolio to Support STIR/SHAKEN Requirements

Bipartisan support

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised the new law, pointing to the longer statute of limitations during which the agency can target scammers. The law also removes required warnings so the government can impose strong penalties quicker.

“I thank the American people for never letting us forget how fed up they are with scam, spoofed robocalls,” Pai said in a statement. “It’s their voices that power our never-ceasing push to fight back against the scourge of robocalls and malicious spoofing.”

The law also has the support of the CITA, which represents the U.S. wireless communications industry.

“This landmark legislation will help protect consumers from illegal robocalls by removing barriers and enhancing the FCC’s authority to stop this activity at the source,” Meredith Attwell Baker, president and CEO of CITA, said in a statement.

Harsher penalties

The TRACED Act increases fines for intentional spam calls from $1,500 to up to $10,000 per call. The FCC also now has 4 years, instead of just 1, after an illegal call is placed to investigate and collect fines. Between 2015 and 2019, the FCC only collected 0.003 percent of the fines it imposed, according to the Wall Street Journal. That amounts to $6,790 of $208 million owed to the agency.

More pressure on service providers

While the penalties may serve as a deterrent, the real meat of the law is in the requirements it puts on service providers. USTelecom, which represents U.S. broadband providers, praised the law as a tool “that will go a long way in the fight to stop illegal robocalls.”

Aside from the call authentication technology mandate, the TRACED Act also requires the FCC and service providers to work together to warn consumers when they’re receiving a spoofed call.

STIR/SHAKEN Assurance

Empirix service assurance capabilities can now be extended to monitor the performance of STIR/SHAKEN components. The STIR/SHAKEN assurance solution empowers service providers to maintain call quality end-to-end across the entire call flow architecture. The package includes the Diagnostix Operational Reports (DOR) tool for insight into network and infrastructure performance via a series of out-the-box, pre-defined reports.

“Service providers that are deploying STIR/SHAKEN components are aware of the potential impact that this can have on call quality,” Edoardo Rizzi, Empirix SVP of Product Management and Marketing, said in December. “By adding support for STIR/SHAKEN requirements to our market-leading VoIP assurance solution, we put service providers in a position to get true, end-to-end visibility into call flow, infrastructure, and network performance, ultimately enabling them to perform bilateral testing between carriers both before and after deployment, and to improve call quality.”

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