AT&T Inc. plans to lead the charge against the rising number of robocalls after the Federal Communications Commission called for major wireless networks to offer free call-blocking services to their customers.
CEO Randall Stephenson has agreed to chair a new Robocalling Strike Force at the request of FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, in addition to investigating and adopting new solutions within AT&T to combat the automated calls, the company said Monday in a public policy post.
As the chair of the strike force, Stephenson will help accelerate the development and adoption of new tools to mitigate the issue. The Dallas-based tech giant also vowed to conform to new voice-over-IP caller ID verification standards as soon as they become available. It’s looking into new solutions as well as the creation of a “Do Not Originate” list, which with help from the industry will help identify suspicious calls coming from outside of the U.S. The company also will “facilitate efforts” by other carriers to adopt call blocking technologies.
AT&T already offers its customers to block calls using black-listing software like Nomorobo, but that is not enough, Bob Quinn, senior vice president of AT&T’s federal regulatory, wrote in the post.
“To effectively stem the tide of these calls, the communications industry—network providers, handset makers and device OS developers alike—must work together to ensure that only calls from legitimate callers and those associated with legitimate and unaltered numbers are sent to consumer phones,” Quinn wrote.