EPIC, NCLC Urge FCC to Rein In Number Brokering to Better Combat Robocalls

June 7, 2023

On June 5, EPIC and NCLC submitted comments to the Federal Communications Commission urging the FCC to expand its focus on caller ID authentication to include curtailing short-term rentals of phone numbers which can bypass caller ID authentication rules. American phones continue to be bombarded with unwanted calls, many of which seem to come from local numbers, as consumers are more likely to answer a call from a neighbor or local business. In reality these calls often originate from another state or even another country.

The FCC has primarily focused on identifying when a fake caller ID number is presented to the phone subscriber receiving the call. However, number brokering makes it easy for callers to rent a real number just long enough to use it to contact consumers before returning the number to the reseller. When this happens, the caller ID is accurate but this information still is not helpful to the consumer because the number is disposable, is not identified with the caller in any persistent way, and still masks the geographic origin of the call. EPIC and NCLC urged the FCC to focus on reining in number brokering to prevent this outcome, rather than continuing to prioritize caller ID authentication regulations.

EPIC routinely participates in regulatory and legislative processes concerning robocalls and files amicus briefs in robocall cases.

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