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AT&T's chief is heading up a robocall 'strike force'

Engadget Engadget 26/07/2016 Mariella Moon
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AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson will lead a "strike force" that aims to combat robocalls. Apparently, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler didn't only remind him last week that carriers like Ma Bell can and should offer free call blockers to their subscribers, he also asked the exec to head the new organization. As Consumerist noted, Stephenson once incorrectly said that the carrier can't deploy call blockers without the FCC's permission. The company's latest blog post makes it clear, though, that the CEO has changed his tune.

While neither organization has revealed the strike force's tasks in detail, AT&T's post says it will lead the new group as it develops anti-robocall tools and solutions. The team will also tell the FCC what role the government can play in its operations.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said in a statement:

"Since giving consumers meaningful control over the calls and texts they receive will require collective action by the industry; I am gratified that AT&T will lead an industry strike force to develop an action plan for providing consumers with robust robocall-blocking solutions. Last week, I asked all the major phone companies to develop just such a plan; I strongly urge industry participants to join the effort and to produce conclusions within 60 days."

AT&T also promises to adopt the newest caller ID verification standards as soon as they become available and to help in the strike force's formation of a "Do Not Originate List." That list will contain numbers of companies that tend to be impersonated by spammers and scammers overseas, so fake calls can be blocked before they even reach subscribers.


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