Rockford area could see fewer RoboCalls thanks to new rule

I know what you are thinking. You want to know what “can see less” actually means. Does that mean calls will be cut in half? Less than that? Good…

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is using new technology that is supposed to make it harder for bad actors to “spoof” your caller ID into believing that the number it displays is actually the original number of the caller ID. robot-calling.

Before going into the explanation of how it works, here are some figures that should help put the phenomenon of automated calls into perspective (from PRNewswire.com):

  • Estimated number of automated calls to Americans in 2020: around 46 billion
  • Divided by 300 million, number of calls for every man, woman and child in the United States: 153
  • Number of automated calls in the United States in 2019: 58.5 billion
  • Number of automated calls in the United States in 2018: 47.8 billion

It’s quite strange to consider that when you drive around the Rockford area, every house you see has received over 150 robocalls in a year.

Automated calls in 2020, if my calculations are correct, were down about 22% from the high number of 58.5 billion in 2019, and even decreased by a billion calls from 2018. It seems like the number of calls is going down, but still are. incredibly high. The FCC says 4.4 billion automated calls were made to the United States in April of this year alone.

The plan and technology to slow down and / or stop unwanted robocalls are called “Stir / Shaken” by the FCC. Here’s what it means and how it works:

STIR / SHAKEN are acronyms for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited (STIR) and Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs (SHAKEN) standards. This means that calls passing through interconnected telephone networks would have their caller ID “signed” as legitimate by the original operators and validated by other operators before reaching consumers. STIR / SHAKEN digitally validates the transfer of telephone calls passing through the complex network of networks, allowing the telephone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is indeed coming from the number displayed on the caller ID.

The FCC says the biggest carriers have already signed up and the program is in place. Small carriers have until the end of September to participate.

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