back to article Robocall crackdown, choked Lifelines, and pole-climbing: Your new FCC rules roundup

US broadband watchdog the FCC signed off on a pile of new rules Thursday – including laws that will dictate how telcos handle robocalls, cut access for poor Americans to subsidized phone service, add controversial changes to TV station ownership rules, and regulations for fiber cable installation. Under the new anti-robocall …

  1. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I'd be willing to bet that the cable and comms companies are celebrating that all the money they spent on lobbying, etc. was well spent.

    1. Alistair Silver badge

      I'd be willing to bet that the cable and comms companies are celebrating that all the money they spent on lobbying purchasing Pai's ass, etc. was well spent.


  2. Don Casey

    Wait, what?

    It is already illegal seven ways from Sunday to robocall, so the FCC decides to "allow" telecom providers to block said calls? Have they ever been introduced to the verb "compell"?

    1. Twilight

      Re: Wait, what?

      Robocalls are not illegal in the US. There are restrictions placed on them that are often ignored illegally (most often in my experience is that a robocaller must have a fully automated way to be placed on a do-not-call list (eg "press 9 to be removed from our list")).

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Wait, what?

        "There are restrictions placed on them that are often ignored illegally"

        There are 2 kinds of robocalls. The ones with pre-recorded messages used to be heavily restricted(*) and they got even more restricted around 2003(**).

        (*) Not allowed to dial safety of life services, not allowed to dial fixed lines in public spaces or hospitals, not allowed to dial mobiles (US consumers pay for inbound calls), etc etc. All of which were ignored.

        (**) Apart from authorised public service safety announcements they're now only allowed to be made once explicit permission has been given. Even political/religious/charity prerecorded calls are restricted now (think of it as a loudspeaker truck law - the issue isn't the speech, it's the manner of delivery)

        Robodialling setups that have a human on the line have fewer restrictions, but the absolute prohibition on caller-ID spoofing has always been there. The Wikipedia entry on the TCPA is pretty comprehensive.

        1. ma1010 Silver badge

          Re: Wait, what?

          And, as noted above, those rules are pretty much ignored. The other way the marketing droids got around that was to jack the prices of everything in every store and then offer a "loyalty card" where you have to tell them your phone number and other details in order to get a "discount" by using the card. I don't use them. The T&Cs of all of these allow the company to contact you anytime they want, as well as to sell your details to anyone they like who can also contact you all the time. Unfortunately, my wife filled in a couple of those, and we pretty much lost the use of our land line since 99% of the calls on it are crap. They also CONSTANTLY spoof numbers. I just turned off the ringer and told her if she tells anybody my cell number, what happens won't be pretty.

          In other words, there are no practical limits on robocalls in the USA. The only right we folks have left in the "Land of the Free" is to be spied on and screwed over by the corporations and government to their heart's content. Bend over, here comes the red hot spike!

  3. I3N

    pliers .... 5 GHz span as secondary basis my ass .... bloated, inefficient, greedy bastards

    Already running POE security camera wires on utility pole ....

    hereby declare that as a local provider, will now cross the street ....

    As a child, a favorite tool was lineman's pliers - Klein guy @joint - have project and ladder, will climb ... .

    The rest was a rant about the FCC, Report and Order (ET Docket No. 15-26), and a play to be kicked out of the band entirely ....

  4. Justicesays

    Just wondering

    What were the "twice as many" old regulations he got rid of to allow these new ones to be created?

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    PS: Off not Of.


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