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Brian Weiss

Stopping Illegal Robocalls: USTelecom Industry Traceback Group Names New Members

Twilio, U.S. Cellular, XCast Labs, Voxology join network of 30 global voice service providers actively tracing illegal robocalls 

Coalition releases first annual progress report; more than 100 companies participated in tracebacks in 2019

1000+ tracebacks identified source of 10 million+ illegal calls


WASHINGTON – Just one month after enactment of the Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, major consumer protection legislation requiring the Federal Communications Commission to certify an industry-led robocall traceback effort, USTelecom today named the newest members of its nationally recognized Industry Traceback Group (ITG) and released the coalition’s 2019 progress report.

The ITG includes companies from across the wireline, wireless, VoIP and cable industries that actively trace and identify the source of illegal robocalls. The ITG coordinates with voice service providers at all levels of a call’s path to eliminate illegal robocall traffic.

Jonathan Spalter, president and CEO of USTelecom said: Innovators across the board are united against the robocallers who criminally scam and spoof consumers. We know there is a determined group of callers flouting the law and regularly polluting our networks to the tune of billions of calls every month. That’s why we formed the ITG with responsible voice service providers to trace these calls, identify the repeat offenders and turn over our findings to law enforcement. The good news: we’re getting better – and faster – everyday. The robocall battle won’t be won overnight, but the members of the ITG are in this for the long haul – committed to giving providers and government the tools to help us take back our phones.”

New members joining the ITG are: Twilio, U.S. Cellular, XCast Labs and Voxology.

Existing members of the ITG that support the coalition’s expanding traceback work include: Alliance Group Services, ANI Networks, AT&T, Bandwidth, Bell Canada, Brightlink, Business Telecommunications Services, CenturyLink, Charter Communications, Cincinnati Bell, Comcast, Consolidated Communications, Cox Communications, Frontier, Google, HD Tandem, IDT Telecom, Impact Telecom, Inteliquent, O1 Communications, Peerless Network, Silver Star Communications, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, West Telecom, Windstream, and Ymax.

USTelecom also released the ITG’s first annual progress report, highlighting the group’s activity over the previous year.

2019 ITG highlights and trends include:

  • Conducted 1000+ tracebacks; implicating more than 10 million robocalls;
  • 100+ companies have participated in ITG traceback investigations;
  • Substantial increase in number of ITG government referrals resulting in more than 20 subpoenas and/or civil investigative demands from federal and state enforcement agencies;
  • Ability to identify within hours the provider responsible for initiating suspicious traffic and how that robocall entered the U.S. communications network;
  • More providers are explicitly requiring traceback cooperation as a condition of their contracts with other carriers.

In August 2019, a cross section of voice service providers joined 51 state attorneys general to highlight anti-robocalling principles to help government crackdown on illegal robocallers, including a commitment to provide prompt responses to traceback requests from law enforcement and USTelecom’s Industry Traceback Group.


ABOUT THE INDUSTRY TRACEBACK GROUP

USTelecom leads the Industry Traceback Group (ITG), a collaborative effort of companies from across the wireline, wireless, VoIP and cable industries that actively trace and identify the source of illegal robocalls. The ITG coordinates with voice service providers at all levels within the call path seeking to identify the source of and eliminate illegal robocall traffic. The ITG also coordinates with federal and state law enforcement agencies to identify the source of illegal calls and non-cooperative providers to support enforcement efforts. A list of members and companies supporting the ongoing operations of USTelecom’s ITG is available here.

ABOUT USTELECOM

USTelecom is the national trade association representing technology providers, innovators, suppliers, and manufacturers committed to connecting the world through the power of broadband. Visit us at www.ustelecom.org.

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