FCC Accelerates Full STIR/SHAKEN Implementation Mandate for Small Providers and “Bad Actors”

Delivering on Chairwoman Rosenworcel’s promise to make robocalls a top priority, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Fourth Report and Order amending 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.6300,04,05 by shortening the extension for non-facilities-based small—100,000 or fewer subscriber lines—voice service providers (VSPs) to implement STIR/SHAKEN on IP portions of their network by a year from June 30, 2023 to June 30, 2022, just six month away. The FCC will also require certain “bad actor” small VSPs to implement STIR/SHAKEN within 90 days of an Enforcement Bureau determination following notice that the bureau suspects or failure to meet the VSP’s obligations pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(n)(2).

Six Months for Non-Facilities-Based Small VSPs to Implement STIR/SHAKEN

The FCC originally extended the requirement for small VSPs to implement STIR/SHAKEN to June 30, 2023 if the small VSP filed a Robocall Mitigation Plan in the Robocall Mitigation Database. Now, the extension has been cut by a year to June 30, 2022 for non-facilities-based small VSPs.

The FCC made this change because non-facilities-based small VSPs are “at the greatest risk of originating illegal robocalls” based on “new evidence that some providers subject to this extension were originating a high and increasing share of illegal robocalls relative to their subscriber base.” The FCC’s report and order defines “non-facilities-based” providers as those that offer “voice service to end-users solely using connections that are not sold by the provider or its affiliates.”

Impacted non-facilities-based VSPs will have just six months to implement STIR/SHAKEN, while the original extension (until June 30, 2023) still applies for facilities-based small VSPs. In either case, a small VSP found to be a “bad actor” must implement STIR/SHAKEN on an even more accelerated timeline.

90 Days to Implement STIR/SHAKEN for “Bad Actor” Small VSPs

Despite the distinction for shortening the implementation deadline for only non-facilities-based small VSPs, the FCC will require small VSPs “of any kind suspected of originating illegal robocalls to implement STIR/SHAKEN on an accelerated timeline.”

Specifically, small VSPs “found by the Enforcement Bureau to have failed to, upon notice: mitigate suspected illegal robocall traffic, provide information requested by the Enforcement Bureau, including credible evidence that they are in fact not originating such traffic, respond in a timely manner or failed to meet their burden under”  47 C.F.R. § 64.1200(n)(2). Such small VSPs must implement STIR/SHAKEN within 90 days of an Enforcement Bureau determination that a small VSP (1) failed to respond to the Enforcement Bureau’s notice within the requested timeframe or (2) provided an inadequate response.

Expanded Robocall Ecosystem Continues to Evolve as Each Enforcing Party Adopts to Changes

As the ecosystem surrounding robocalls continues to grow and develop, VSPs must be aware of FCC regulatory changes, such as this significant change to the timeline for certain small VSPs to implement STIR/SHAKEN, and enforcement actions. Because non-facilities-based small VSPs now only have six months to implement STIR/SHAKEN, impacts VSPs should contact us today for assistance to ensure they remain compliant.

NEED HELP WITH ROBOCALL MITIGATION, COMPLIANCE AND LITIGATION SUPPORT/DEFENSE AGAINST BUSINESS & LEGAL CHALLENGES?

The CommLaw Group Can Help!

Given the complexity and evolving nature of the FCC’s rules, regulations and industry policies & procedures around Robocall Mitigation and Compliance issues (e.g., Stir/Shaken, TRACED Act, FCC Rules & Regulations, US Telecom Industry group, ATIS, NECA, VoIP Numbering Waivers, Know Your Customer and the private sector ecosystem), as well as the increased risk of business disputes, consumer protection enforcement by state attorneys general, and even civil litigation, and anticipating the potential torrent of client questions and concerns, The CommLaw Group formed a “Robocall Mitigation Response Team” to help clients (old and new) tackle their unique responsibilities.

CONTACT US NOW, WE ARE STANDING BY TO GUIDE YOUR COMPANY’S COMPLIANCE EFFORTS

Rob Jackson – Tel: 703-714-1316 / E-mail: rhj@CommLawGroup.com
Ron Quirk – Tel: 703-714-1305 / E-mail: req@CommLawGroup.com

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