Significant Phone Companies Sign Agreement with All 50 States to Block Robocalls

Duncan Oleinic - August 26, 2019

Major Phone carriers in the US have indicated that they will provide their customer with free tools to block robocalls. This is part of an agreement signed by Attorney Generals of 50 states including the District of Colombia with the telecommunications companies to eradicate the problem of illegal robocalls.

Major carriers sign agreement to block robocalls

The agreement was reached at by major phone carriers such as AT& T Inc. (NYSE: T), Sprint Corp (NYSE: S), and Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) among other large telecommunication companies. Small carriers have not signed the agreement yet. The agreement aims to combat and prevent phone ringing annoyance.

The companies have agreed that some robocalls shall be blocked at the network level and it will make it difficult to use fake caller ID numbers. The blocking technology will be integrated into the various phone networks’ infrastructure at no cost to the consumer. Equally, those clients who will like more screening tools the telecoms will offer other call labeling and blocking tools.

On Thursday, North Carolina Attorney General, Josh Stein, stated that they owe everything to the vulnerable in the community and they are willing to do everything to ensure they are protected. He added that with the prevention measures, phones will now be ringing less often. Stein and other attorney generals indicated that robocalls normally present hassles and interruptions to a lot of people, and in some circumstance they calls can be unsafe.

Agreement not binding legally

However, there is no timeline to the agreement, and it is not legally binding for now. The lawmakers have indicated that this won’t stop all robocalls but will nonetheless make it easier to track bad actors.

Senior Counsel at the National Consumer Law Centre, Margot Saunders states that the efforts will be vital in the overall fight, but that still is not enough. There are pertinent issues regarding the blocking of the calls, whether it will be automatic or will have to be turned on. She opines that the agreement should have come from the Federal Communication Commission, which is mandated to set regulations on calls.

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Duncan Oleinic

Duncan Oleinic is from New Yourk. After graduating with a degree in physics, he began his career as an analyst in a broking firm. Through this experience he was able to advance to the role of correspondent for a U.S based financial news provider, where he worked from 2001 to 2007. He subsequently joined a merchant banking firm as a financial analyst focused on valuing unlisted companies in the sub-continent. Over the course of his two years here, he performed valuations of several media companies which were later acquired by peers.

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