The FCC is warning that robocalls will make up roughly half of the calls we receive in the next few years. And it wants to do something about it.
In 2018, about 26.3 billion robocalls were placed last year. That's an estimation of around 10 per month, per person in the last year alone. And the numbers are only going to climb from there. Some phone providers are already stepping up their measures to block these and other suspicious phone calls – T-Mobile being one of the main ones – but the FCC is now asking for all phone providers to help out.
FCC chairman, Ajit Pai recently said to CNBC that he "told the industry, 'look, we need to adopt call authentication, essentially a digital fingerprint, for every single phone call this year. We need to have it now or otherwise it's going to be regulatory intervention.'"
Pai is basically threatening the industry to do something about these robocalls or the government is going to get involved with regulation. These phone providers do not like regulation, so they are likely going to act on Pai's threat. Though some have already been acting on blocking robocalls already.
T-Mobile is one of the main providers that has been working hard to get rid spam calls by implementing all sorts of measures to keep them from ringing your phone, and when they do, letting you know that it might be spam. T-Mobile has also been able to find those that are doing number spoofing. Which is when someone spoofs their number to look similar to your own. Making you think it's someone nearby, like a neighbor. But in fact, it is just a good old-fashioned robocall.
Pai did also mention that because of the internet, robocalls have gotten much worse. And this is a true thing. Seeing as people can do robocalls using the internet, and call from another country without it looking like it is from another country. It's something that is only going to get worse before it gets better too. Especially when the calls are coming from Asia.
The FCC has already given these phone providers like AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon, the ability to actually find those that are spoofing their numbers, and blocking them. Now what the FCC wants to have happen, is for these phone providers to do something about it. And introduce new ways to block these users so that consumers aren't bothered by the multiple robocalls that they likely get every single day.
This is all in addition to the Do Not Call List, which is still active and doing its job. But it is clear that it can only do so much. The Do Not Call List is actually under the jurisdiction of the FTC, which works with the FCC.
Pai also mentioned that the number one complaint to the FCC is actually in regards to these robocalls. Which shows why Pai is taking such a big stance on these robocalls, when compared to other issues like Net Neutrality, which he rolled back after taking office under the Trump Administration in 2017.