FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Compliance Deadlines for Gateway Providers are Rapidly Approaching

As delineated in a previous Client Advisory, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) imposed new robocall mitigation regulatory requirements on the gateway providers that are the point of entry for foreign-originated illegal robocalls into the United States. A gateway provider is a U.S.-based intermediate provider (i.e., a carrier that has facilities located in the U.S., including a point-of-presence) that receives a call directly from a foreign originating provider or foreign intermediate provider at its U.S.-based facilities and transmits the call downstream to another U.S.-based provider.
When the Commission announced the new requirements, it did not yet have compliance deadlines. As delineated below, the FCC’s recent Public Notice lists the robocall mitigation plan filing deadline as January 11, 2023 and the STIR/SHAKEN compliance deadline as June 30, 2023.
Robocall Mitigation Plan and Certificate Filing Mandate
The first requirement is that gateway providers must file a certification of compliance and robocall mitigation plan in the FCC’s Robocall Mitigation Database (“RMD”), describing their robocall mitigation practices and stating that they are adhering to them. A gateway provider that is also a voice service provider and previously submitted a robocall mitigation plan must amend same to meet the new requirements. The gateway provider robocall mitigation plan must include, at a minimum:

• reasonable steps the provider is taking to avoid carrying or processing illegal robocalls;
• contact information for a person responsible for addressing robocall mitigation-related issues;
• explanation as to how the provider is complying with the know-your-upstream-provider obligation; and
• certification that the carrier that they will comply with traceback requests within 24 hours and commit to working with traceback authorities in pertinent investigations.

It is critical that gateway providers timely comply with the FCC’s mandate because, among other things, intermediate providers and voice service providers will be prohibited from accepting traffic from gateway providers not listed in the RMD beginning April 11, 2023.
STIR/SHAKEN Compliance Requirements
The Commission also issued its requirement that gateway providers either upgrade their non-IP networks to IP and implement STIR/SHAKEN, or work with a working group, standards group, or consortium to develop a non-IP caller ID authentication solution, and proposed June 30, 2023 as the compliance deadline. The Public Notice confirms the June 30, 2023 deadline.
New Foreign Service Provider Obligations
Some foreign service providers have been unable to make the required filings in the RMD due to foreign legal obligations. The FCC now requires that such providers must explain any legal constraints in their robocall mitigation program description. If a foreign provider is submitting a voice service provider certification only (i.e., not as a gateway provider or as a combined gateway and voice service provider) and has fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN, it should certify to partial STIR/SHAKEN implementation so that it may upload a robocall mitigation program description and explain any such foreign legal constraints. The provider should note in its robocall mitigation program description that it has fully implemented STIR/SHAKEN but has certified to partial STIR/SHAKEN so that it may upload a program description explaining any foreign legal constraints regarding its certification.


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.


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