Today, Ajit Pai has been announced as the new FCC Chairman. Before working in the telecom industry, I admittedly gave little thought to the FCC or who was running it (shame). Three years later and I find myself refreshing Google to see when the FCC will confirm the next Chairman. Oh, how times have changed.
I am especially interested in this particular appointment as Hiya was fortunate enough to host Chairman Pai (then, Commissioner Pai) in our Seattle office.
This past July, the FCC came out in a big way, demanding that carriers develop a tool for consumers to control unwanted robocalls. Additionally, carriers were to vigorously mitigate such calls from ever reaching consumers’ phones. The industry leapt into action and on August 19, the FCC hosted its first Robocall Strike Force Meeting where Chairman Pai spoke out against the intrusive robocall epidemic.
At this same time, Hiya just released Hiya Cloud, a solution to fight the robocall epidemic at the network level. Even more exciting, we were in the throws of developing such technology with one of the U.S.’s largest carriers (though we couldn’t talk about it at the time). Considering how relevant our work was to the robocall discussion, we extended an invitation to the FCC to visit our headquarters in Seattle during their next visit to the city. To our delight, they accepted.
First in the door on September 19 was then-Commissioner Pai. Full of questions and smiles, he made a lasting impression on our team and we were eager to walk him through how Hiya’s technology, combined with the FCC’s regulations, could truly help protect consumers from unwanted phone calls. Chairman Pai proved himself to be remarkably informed and up-to-speed on the robocall problem.
During the second Robocall Strike Force meeting on October 26, Hiya got a great shoutout from Chairman Pai:
“I had the pleasure, a few weeks ago, of meeting with an innovative company called Hiya, up in Seattle, and one of the things they showed me was that Americans have received 984 million robocalls on their cell phones, in September alone. That’s 4.5 robocalls for each mobile phone in the United States. That’s why I think it’s so important for this industry, including those participating in the Robocalls Strike Force, to do this job.” -Commissioner (now, Chairman) Pai
It is our hope that the FCC continues its focus on eliminating robocalls and making the phone experience a safe place for all consumers.
Many congratulations, Chairman Pai!