Apple, Google enlisted for FCC robocall effort

Apple, Google enlisted for FCC robocall effort

A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) effort to crack down on robocalls will include every major wireless carrier as well as tech companies such as Apple and Google.

AT&T, the company whose CEO is leading the so-called Robocall Strike Force, said that 32 other companies had signed on to the effort.

That includes Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint — who along with AT&T represent the nation’s wireless industry. Also on board are companies behind some of the most popular smartphone and mobile operating systems, including Microsoft and Samsung.

“We have carriers, device makers, OS developers, network designers, and as you heard the commissioner speak, regulators and lawmakers are going to have a role to play in this as well,” said AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson. “So what we’re going to have to do is come out of this session with a comprehensive playbook and that we all go out and begin to execute.”

The companies have committed to return to the commission in 60 days with recommendations for how policymakers can stem robocalls and details of how the companies will address the problem. Representatives from industry have also said they will commit to take certain steps, like bolstering anti-robocall efforts for Voice Over IP calls.

The task force is an attempt on the part of the FCC to deal with one of the most persistent sources of consumer complaints to the agency. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last month pushed carriers to do more to adopt robocall blocking technology, which the agency cleared the way for in 2015.

There’s interest among lawmakers in the issue as well. Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneMcConnell names Senate GOP tax conferees Overnight Health Care: 3.6M signed up for ObamaCare in first month | Ryan pledges 'entitlement reform' next year | Dems push for more money to fight opioids Dems push for more money for opioid fight MORE (R-S.D.) and Sen. Ed MarkeyEdward (Ed) John MarkeyNet neutrality supporters predict tough court battle over FCC's repeal plan Avalanche of Democratic senators say Franken should resign Driverless car bill hits Senate speed bump MORE (D-Mass.) recently wrote a letter to trade group CTIA asking them for their thoughts on developing a list of phone numbers that had been reassigned — and therefore could potentially be the target of unwanted robocalls.