FCC Doubles Down on Anti-Robocall Compliance Enforcement: Gateway Provider “One Step Closer to Facing Mandatory Blocking from Other Providers”
The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has taken yet another enforcement action on Tuesday, ramping up its enforcement efforts against a gateway provider that flouted the FCC’s robocall mitigation rules. The FCC issued an Initial Determination Order (“Order”) against One Owl Telecom Inc. (“One Owl”) finding that it violated the FCC’s call blocking rules. The Order states that One Owl’s network bombarded consumers with illegal robocalls – unsolicited prerecorded messages peddling fictitious orders, all without securing the consumers’ consent.
The Order followed the FCC’s August 1, 2023, Notification of Suspected Illegal Traffic (“Notice”), instructing One Owl to investigate the apparently unlawful traffic, block it if necessary, and provide a report to the FCC within 14 days. Since One Owl never responded the FCC issued the Order, further escalating the enforcement process and bringing the alleged perpetrator closer to having all its traffic blocked by downstream providers. The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau has not only warned but advised other service providers to potentially sever ties with One Owl unless it promptly falls in line with regulatory mandates.
One Owl previously operated under the names “One Eye” and “Illum Telecommunication”, repeatedly changing its identity to evade anti-robocall regulations. The FCC, having observed the practices of its predecessors, has firmly stated that it will not allow One Owl to continue its actions.
Tuesday’s Order brings One Owl perilously close to facing mandatory blocking by other service providers—an outcome that its predecessor, One Eye, also confronted. The FCC warns that unless One Owl takes immediate and decisive action against illegal robocalls, the FCC will issue an order compelling all immediate downstream providers to block any and all traffic originating from One Owl.
This is another cautionary scenario for not only gateway providers, but all voice service carriers, emphasizing the critical need for strict compliance with anti-robocall regulations to protect consumers and maintain the integrity of telecommunications services in the United States.
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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.
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