Following McCaskill Push, AT&T to Become First Carrier to Offer Robocall Blocking Technology Move comes after Senator, who has led efforts to combat unwanted robocalls, repeatedly urged phone companies to show concrete results
BigNews.Biz - Dec 25,2016 - Following McCaskill Push, AT&T to Become First Carrier to Offer Robocall Blocking Technology
Move comes after Senator, who has led efforts to combat unwanted robocalls, repeatedly urged phone companies to show concrete results
WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill, who has led the fight to protect consumers from unwanted robocalls, applauded an announcement by AT&T that the telecom company will launch a service to help customers block robocalls, becoming the first carrier to offer this technology at McCaskill’s urging.
“It’s good to see the telecom industry taking seriously the problem of unwanted robocalls plaguing consumers by finally giving customers the tools to block them,” said McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor. “While I hope to see AT&T expand this service beyond wireless devices so that all of their customers can take full advantage, other carriers also would be wise to empower consumers with accessible technology to prevent these fraudulent and unwanted calls.”
This fall, after recommendations from the “robocall strike force” of telecom companies convened to discuss solutions to keep unwanted or fraudulent robocalls from reaching consumers. McCaskill called on the companies to follow through on their recommendations to provide consumers the protection they expect and deserve.
This summer, McCaskill had called on the nation’s top telecom companies – which for years promised results but delivered little – to outline the concrete steps they have taken and plan to take to protect consumers. McCaskill’s letter followed a letter from FCC Chairman Wheeler urging companies to do more to implement robocall blocking technologies and report back within 30 days.
Three years ago, McCaskill asked the top telecom trade associations to evaluate the feasibility of implementing technology to help filter out unwanted calls and protect America's most vulnerable consumers. The industry’s responses indicated they would be hard at work to address the problem, including developing better technologies—however little concrete action had been taken in the three years since.
McCaskill has introduced legislation, the Robocall and Call Spoofing Enforcement Improvements Act, to increase fines and penalties on robocall violators, streamline enforcement, expand the statute of limitations on violators, and enforce anti-spoofing provisions against violators outside the U.S. who target consumers inside the U.S. In addition, McCaskill—an outspoken critic of a provision of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 that rolled back consumer protections of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by allowing callers collecting federal debts to make robocalls—supports legislation that would repeal this provision.
Visit mccaskill.senate.gov/consumers to learn more about McCaskill's fight to protect consumers.