When Ajit Pai was appointed the new FCC Chairman, there were a lot of questions about what changes he would make following former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s time in office. One of those questions revolved around robocalls and how to stop them. While some may have been nervous that Chairman Pai would let this fight go by the wayside, Hiya never was.
Back in September, after the recent launch of an industry-led Robocall Strike Force, Hiya hosted the FCC at our Seattle headquarters. Visitors included then-Chairman Tom Wheeler, then-Commissioner Ajit Pai, and Commissioner Mignon Clyburn.
What did then-Commissioner Pai have to say about his visit?
“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.” -Former Commissioner Pai, now Chairman Pai
It wasn’t just lip service. Since his appointment at the end of January, Chairman Pai has continued to highlight the robocall epidemic and his plans to put these annoying calls to an end. Earlier this month, Chairman Pai circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to his fellow Commissioners proposing service providers the ability to block illegal and fraudulent robocalls.
“Under my proposal, the FCC would give providers greater leeway to block spoofed robocalls,” Pai announced. “Specifically, they could block calls that purport to be from unassigned or invalid phone numbers (there’s a database that keeps track of all phone numbers, and many of them aren’t assigned to a voice service provider or aren’t otherwise in use). There is no reason why any legitimate caller should be spoofing an unassigned or invalid phone number. It’s just a way for scammers to evade the law.”
This Thursday, March 23, exactly two months after Pai accepted the role as Chairman, the FCC is holding their March Open meeting and robocalls are at the very top of the agenda. We look forward to hearing Chairman Pai’s plans to continue the fight against unwanted calls.