back to article The FCC has finally, finally approved a half-decent plan to destroy the robocall scourge... but there's a catch

America's communications watchdog has finally acted to limit the billions of robocalls that cellphone owners receive each year. After years of complaints, growing bipartisan political pressure, threatened legislation, furious attorneys general and stats that show the problem is only getting worse, the FCC approved a measure on …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's fine, let them charge

    I have been ignoring calls from unknown numbers for years, and relying on people who try to reach me to leave a message, and it has worked fine.

    If they charge, a lot of people will pay - if enough do then robocallers will be forced to give up or at least there will be fewer of them. So I'll still benefit even without paying!

    There's no way a republican majority commission would give telcos an "unfunded mandate", so there was never a chance of this being free. But something that's not free but has at least a shot of working is better than arguing over whether it should be free or not and doing nothing.

    1. Kernel

      Re: That's fine, let them charge

      My reading of the article is obviously different from yours - the way I read it, the service providers will be able to charge all their subscribers a fee for providing this service, not just those who might receive a robo-call. You will actually be worse off - at the moment you are not paying because you don't answer the calls, under the new cunning plan you will probably end up paying for a service you never needed.

      The only effective way to stop robo-calls is to bill the call costs to the originator rather than the receiver - this is why we don't have a major problem with this in countries that charge that way.

      1. kierenmccarthy

        Re: That's fine, let them charge

        That's right - unless you actively opt-out of the new robocall service you will likely pay an additional service fee.

        And even if you do opt out, you will likely get the fee tacked on anyway because an estimated 95 per cent of customers will have the service.

        Now, you could opt-out, try to figure out if you are being charged (see if that Regulatory Charge goes up one month) - sue your mobile operator to get the info - which will take you a year and $$$ - and then argue you should be reimbursed the $25 you were over-charged. If you're lucky your attorney fees will be covered too.

        Or, you could try to get a lawyer to take it on as a class action lawsuit. Which, if they did, and if you won, would likely see you receive a few hundred dollars and the lawyers a few million each.

        Or - better - get annoyed about it and tell the FCC and consumer associations that you shouldn't have to be pay for a functional service, and then hope that one of the mobile operators sees an opportunity to steal customers and offers not to charge for the robocall "service."

        They all sounds like miserable options so you'll just pay the $1 a month fee. And the mobile companies know it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: That's fine, let them charge

          Don't forget to check your (adhesion) contract to see if you have agreed to binding arbitration and whether it prohibits you from becoming part of a class action lawsuit.

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: That's fine, let them charge

        I've never had a cellphone contract and I hopefully never will. In the UK if you call somebody you're the one on the hook for the cost of the call. The big robot calls I've received were from personal accident claims firms. The best call went a little like this:

        When asked by the lovely chap from the Indian Subcontinent if I had been injured in the accident that wasn't my fault, I said:

        Me: "Yes it was awful I've never been in a fatal accident before at least not one where I died"

        Sounding very interested: "So you were injured in the accident?"

        Me: "Yes mortally wounded as it turned out, the funeral was lovely though"

        Sounding very interested: "Can you describe your injuries?"

        Me: "Yup Death by Decapitation and not the good kind, not going to walk away from that"

        Sounding extremely interested: "Have you spoken to a lawyer yet?"

        Me: "No very few people talk to you when you're dead, I'm grateful for your call."

        Sounding disinterested: "Are you saying you didn't survive the accident?"

        At this point there is the sound of someone else joining the call.

        Me: "Yes, and I wouldn't recommend cremation if I were you!"

        Line goes dead

        1. Claverhouse Silver badge

          Re: That's fine, let them charge

          Well done !

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "Yes, and I wouldn't recommend cremation if I were you!"

          If he was Hindu, you made him uncomfortable, probably...

          1. DontFeedTheTrolls

            Re: "Yes, and I wouldn't recommend cremation if I were you!"

            Oh, I'm sorry, did my back hurt your knife?

        3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge

          Re: That's fine, let them charge

          Well done. Not for the story, but for actually getting to the point that the Indian chap understood what you were saying.

          I've done the "yes, I died" routine several times and they've just blindly continued with their script obviously not understanding what I said.

          When I'm feeling polite but also in a hurry I go with the "where did you get my details from? This is a data protection issue so I want to know who to sue" - the line goes dead pretty quickly then, I assume they've been briefed to listen for such confrontation.

          1. J. Cook Silver badge

            Re: That's fine, let them charge

            I was getting a handful of calls on my work and personal cell phones from co ponies trying to sell me an extended warranty on my vehicle. Funny, they tended to hang up when I told them it was a 1957 Ford fairlane, or a 2004 Vespa....

            Sadly, they have seance stopped calling.

            1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

              Re: Sadly, they have seance stopped calling.

              Your final para sounds more relevant for the commentard who had a fatal accident.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        I'll opt out

        What I'm saying is that I already adjusted the way I use a phone years ago to deal with robocalls, so I won't need their service or the extra charge. If they'd done this 15 years ago then I'd probably have happily paid a couple bucks a month for it.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I'll opt out

          You won't need it but you'll have to pay for it. That doesn't sound like it should be creating the positivity that you had about the proposal.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's fine, let them charge

        Wait, wait, wait....

        You pay to RECEIVE a call, WTF, that's madness.....

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: That's fine, let them charge


      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's fine, let them charge


        .. where the population has the right to exist only because the corportations need sheep to fleece in order to pay the exec bonuses.

  2. Gambler

    I pay for a cell phone not these robocallers. If they want to call me make all cellphone service free and let them pay for my service. I have complained until I am blue in the face about phone lists being sold to advertisers and then came the robocalls. Verizon finally gave us a filter tool to help, however the texts came after that. I just want a phone to communicate without molestation and frustration. Why is it so hard to achieve?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      and the telcos wonder why Skype, Snapchat et al have become so popular.

      1. Antron Argaiv Silver badge
        Thumb Up


        After many years, many demos, and many pronouncements that it was "coming within the next decade", a group of Euro-hackers finally delivered what AT&T and Bell Labs couldn't: cheap, reliable video calling.

        How did they do it? By thinking completely out of the box, and seeing what Ma Bell couldn't: that packet switched networks were the future, and the Bell System was a dead network walking.

        The wired telephone infrastructure is being abandoned here (in the Northeast US) as fast as the providers can get away with it. There's no money and no opportunity for money in the old POTS network. The future is fiber and gigabit TCP/IP.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      The right to pursue happiness is pursued by corps a tad heftier than by meatbags.

  3. Graybyrd

    Only if they run me to ground

    Diehard Luddite here. Dumped mainstream cellular years ago when a) lack of towers here on the island, and reception at our rural residence so weak we had to drive a quarter-mile down the road to get a signal; b) charges creeping upward, c) spam calls increasing exponentially. We dumped it and went to pay-as-you go phones, used only for hours away from home. Now spam & robo calls pile up on 'messages' screen. Multi-select; multi-delete! Also dumped Frontier Co. landline, went to VOIP modem & service; that eliminated $25/month state & local taxes. Spam calls average six to eight per day. We never answer phone directly; let it go to answering function of VOIP modem. Screen 'em & dump each evening. So... as long as FCC & teleco's don't run us down, pin us to ground, and rifle through our pockets... we're "safe," at least for the time being.

    1. elDog

      Re: Only if they run me to ground

      The main problem is the disruption to normal life and the time it takes for real people to tidy up after those fake/scam calls. I'm so tired of telling my phone app to "delete, yes delete, really delete, block, really block, etc."

      My phone manufacturer (Sammie) and wireless company (VZW) don't make it easy, and why should they when they profit?

      1. bombastic bob Silver badge

        Re: Only if they run me to ground

        I only have a pre-paid "dumb phone" for when I need a cell phone. 99.9% of the time it is OFF> I never give out the number.

        On the land line I record a message, first sounding like I picked up the phone, then thanking friends/family for calling, leave a message, etc. followed by a lecture for everyone else. ~30 seconds. I don't get a LOT of calls but if I'm there everyone who knows me knows I can hear if they say 'pick up the phone' and I don't have the ringer on, so ONLY the answering machine speaker lets me know I have a call.

        Been that way for a couple o' years now. At first I only turned off the ringer because of political robo calls. then teh spammers got to the several per day level, and I just left it that way after one election cycle.

        After all, I'm not a slave to a phone. The ringer is NOT an emergency. I have e-mail. It works better. The phone is nice for REAL emergencies, but I'm really considering not even HAVING one...

        [the only problem is NOT having "a number" to use for things that seem to REQUIRE one... so I continue to pay money to AT&T every month for a pair of landline phones that I generally can't use - yeah a FAX line too]

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge

      Re: Only if they run me to ground

      Seriously if we're talking "old school" then we should just collectively hire hit men to go find the robo-callers and leave a horse-head in their beds [or similar], and accelerate the response if they don't get the hint...

      and, collectively, it would cost a LOT less I bet!!!

      [organized crime has no national borders, which addresses the 'overseas' problem right there]

      /me mentions something about the dark web... OK FBI it's a *JOKE*. now quit getting FISA warrants and tapping my lines already!

  4. elDog

    With real transparency there'd be a "Ajit fee" labeled to pay for his bribes.

    I'm sure he does something useful while garnering his salary. Just not useful for the consumers. Or as we're now called the "products".

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: With real transparency there'd be a "Ajit fee" labeled to pay for his bribes.

      Protection money we pay, so we are protected from the thieves regulated by Ajit.

      Glad he doesn't run a women's shelter.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: With real transparency there'd be a "Ajit fee" labeled to pay for his bribes.

      Headlines aside,the Idjit lied, the plan is quite indecent.

      Telcos smile, and profits file, while laughing to the bank

      A rising tide, as people cried, but action is quite recent.

      For as years pass, Pai passes gas, and DC smells quite rank

  5. Ribfeast

    Always though it was odd how 'merkins pay to receive phone calls. In Aus we pay to initiate a call instead of paying to receive it, makes more sense, and we get very few robo calls.

    1. Mark 85

      It used to be that way here in the States with landlines. But the telcos got smart (for them) with the cells and now charge you as a receiver. They (most but not all) do the same thing with incoming spam texts as many plans have text limits (again, not all companies do this).

      1. Killfalcon Silver badge

        SMS charges bug me, because the entire system is piggybacking the system messages that mobiles need to make to/from cell towers to stay connected.

        (long story short: your phone has to regularly tell the network that it's here. These keep-alive messages are only a few bytes, but the packet is much larger, so enterprising engineers realised you could send a short sentence in the rest of the packet - which is why the length of a text message isn't a nice round binary number)

        As far as I know, the main actual *cost* of providing an SMS service is tracking usage for billing.

        1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

          system is piggybacking the system messages that mobiles need to make to/from cell towers to stay connected

          Which (originally) was a tiny amount of bandwidth (in the order of a few k/sec). That changed in the days of Cellnet when the mobile telcos discovered that the otherwise wasted (for them) bandwidth could be used to generate almost pure profit.

          (When I was employed by formerly-large batwinged-logo base station manufacturer, one of my friends helped write the first SMS messaging gateway for Cellnet - which was hosted of one of our big Solaris boxes. Cellnet were prepared to pay us an eye-watering fee for hosting it because that was pretty much the only expense involved. Later incarnations of the base stations were adjusted to give more bandwidth to the control channel)

      2. skeptical i


        True, but now many cellco's offer flat monthly fees for "unlimited" calls and text messages, and thus there is no reason to stop incoming spam or robo calls. Once upon a time they might have been concerned about customers raising a ruckus over being charged for incoming nonsense (using some of the finite number of minutes per month or whatever) but with the flat fee "unlimited" model, that concern has been eliminated. Given their suboptimal customer service, they have apparently already decided that our time is of no value and any arguments about time spent listening to, deleting, blocking, et cetera will go unheard.

    2. Charles 9

      Because the network gets used either way, and because of the way the telephone networks ran at the time, I don't think charging back to landlines users (who were just then getting into flat rates on local calls) was an option.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    From the announcement there may be another poison pill

    The language of the initial posts makes it sound like you may have an all or nothing option as far as the whitelist blocking is concerned, which is to say that the carriers may be permitted to make you choose between ONLY receiving calls in your contacts list, or receiving ALL calls including robocalls with spoofed IDs. It does not mandate a reporting mechanism, like a post call report as fraud/robocall button. So the carriers get to run analytics on all your calls, which they do not appear to be prohibited from selling to third parties. They also get to charge for it!

    Big surprise this flew through to approval. They get to look busy and screw everyone. Whats not to love? To use the vernacular of the current regime, oh no, don't throw brehr rabbit into the briar patch.

    Idjit Pai makes me cry.

    Back to the pub for lager.

    1. JetSetJim

      Re: From the announcement there may be another poison pill

      > choose between ONLY receiving calls in your contacts list..

      oh look, now I have to give my contacts list to the carrier. Can't see that being popular.

      My Android already has a reverse number lookup service (called Hiya - seems to come with Samsung OS, but is available as a separate app(*)) which at least gives some help towards identifying scammers

      (*) wouldn't be surprised if it fails at some point, as they get no revenue from me, and folks that pay for it via the "premium" version of the app seem to hate it

  7. Claverhouse Silver badge

    State Telecommunications Excise Surcharge: Also called Gross Receipts Tax Surcharge. This is how some phone companies get you to pay their state and local taxes.

    That's awfully clever. I can just see, say, a delivery service trying to get one to pay for their office's local taxes...

    OTOH, in Britain I have always just used Pay-As-You-Go; if I made masses of calls, that might change, but it also saves ones from itemised bills.

  8. the Kris

    Instead, charge the robocallers 1$/minute and play an info message to anyone who accepts a call: "Warning, you will be payed 0,5$/minute if you can endure the crap that follows this message".

    No need to have the receiving party pay for blocking.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge


      Grrr.. The word you are looking for is "paid". Learn your English tenses dammit!

  9. heyrick Silver badge

    that are significantly lower that what you will actually have to pay

    I guess this is the "joy" of living in a country where it isn't a legal requirement to advertise prices including all taxes. The price I see is the price I pay...

    1. rshpount

      Re: that are significantly lower that what you will actually have to pay

      These are not taxes. These are "fees". They tend to change quarterly and phone company does not know how much it is supposed to pay until it gets the bill. Some of the agencies simply project how much money they need next quarter and divide the amount by the number of phone operators. These "fees" end up being 2-3 times higher then the phone company operational margin and reach 25%-30% of the bill. One of these 'fees", until recently, was supposed to cover the expense of Spanish American war.

  10. rshpount

    This is not how telephone service works

    Cell phone companies do not make any money from robocalls. Most of the cell phone plans are flat rate with no per minute charges for inbound calls. Also, a lot of robocallers pretend to place calls from the same local calling area as terminating number, so that they can place them as local calls and pay nothing. Cell phone companies, on the other hand pay for inbound local calls to local exchange carriers. Only people who make money on robocallers are long distance carriers (inter exchange carriers), but even they, in their majority, prefer to stay from robocalls. Only long distance carriers who specialize in high volume callers (callers who generate a lot of calls with small connection ratio), take this traffic. There are about five or six companies in US who do this. If you make them behave, robocalls stop.

    All that FCC did was posturing. They are pressured to do something, so they are doing something. Like "letting" phone companies to enable some magic "analytics" to block robocalls. Since this is optional, carriers do not actually need to do anything and most likely will not. At most, they will now block calls pretending to be local from unassigned numbers. This will cut their costs and will improve customer experience.

    Oh, and if you want a fee to be angry about, look at USF. This is a fee which is set by the FCC chair and can be spent at his discretion. It is currently set at 18% of any communication charges. Technically FCC chair can spend this money on buying himself a new horse farm or a golden coffee mug, but this would be too on the nose. What he does do, is issue extremely lucrative contracts to his personal friends, like providing internet to schools at 10x the market rate.

    1. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: This is not how telephone service works

      Phone companies ARE making money from robocall operations. They're dialing out from somewhere and as long as there are robocall companies doing the dirty deed, the phone companies are making money. Not every company along the line gets paid directly, but due to the practice being so widespread and unpoliced, every phone company has the chance to make money.

      The phone companies should be able to tell when they have a robocaller using their service. Even somebody that spends loads of time on their phone everyday is going to have a much different pattern than a robocaller where the length of most calls is going to be nearly the same and continuous throughout the day.

      If phone companies are trussed up on the pole as contributory entities with fines and jail time for C-Exces, robocallers will fall off of the edge very quickly. Telco is not something I have lots of experience in, but it doesn't sound like it would be impossible or expensive to implement some sort of analysis. It could be made like Safe Harbor provisions for ISPs and website with user submitted content. As long as the phone companies are doing something substantial, they won't be on the hook to stand in the dock with the operators of the robocall org.

      Are the phone companies too busy collecting and delivering data on regular customers to TLA gov mobs to get on this?

      1. Charles 9

        Re: This is not how telephone service works

        And how do you keep these powerful companies from simply greasing palms and/or jumping jurisdictions? As for the robocallers, what's to stop them using other people's money or access to cover themselves with the potential for collateral damage and lawsuits?

        1. rshpount

          Re: This is not how telephone service works

          Robocallers and long distance companies which robocaller use are not "powerful". They are "specialty" players who are good in skirting the laws and regulations. There are literally 5 or 6 long distance companies who originate all the robocalls. They do this because it is easy money. Make regulation a little bit harder and they will stop doing it. Also, they do not grease palms -- they do not have enough money to bribe an FCC official. They also do not jump jurisdictions, since it takes time and a lot of effort to get enough capacity to generate high volumes of outbound traffic. Getting interconnects to telephone network takes years to provision. The carriers who are enabling robocalls are all in US and well known. As I have mentioned, these companies advertise and easy to find.

          Robocallers are completely different story. They are hard to find because there are long distance companies which take their traffic and their money and do not ask questions. These long distance companies take money and millions of calls from a company that is supposedly operating from the garage in India or Ukraine and pays via a pre-paid or stolen credit card. These long distance companies also know where the actual call originators are located (hint US), but pretend they cannot find them.

          P.S. Just a food for thought: Every politician is a huge robocall customer. It is legal to place unsolicited calls for political campaigns, so that politicians can get themselves elected or raise money. It is one of their main sources of campaign funds. One of the reasons FCC does not touch long distance companies which initiate robocall traffic is that politicians will be immediately affected by this. Imagine how long the new regulation will hold if new analytics will start blocking calls to raise money for house or senate election.

          1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

            Re: This is not how telephone service works

            "It is legal to place unsolicited calls for political campaigns, so that politicians can get themselves elected"

            This is something I don't understand. How is robocalling not electoral suicide? Or are they electoral assassins - placing calls in their rivals names to piss off voters?

            1. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

              Re: This is not how telephone service works

              """It is legal to place unsolicited calls for political campaigns, so that politicians can get themselves elected"

              This is something I don't understand. How is robocalling not electoral suicide? Or are they electoral assassins - placing calls in their rivals names to piss off voters?"

              I did hear one case where it did turn out to be a candidates opponent trying to do just that. I don't recall any details.

              In general, in US, why this is not political suicide -- there's a rather unhealthy "2 party" system here. The polls do not even give 3rd party or independent candidates as choices, the media (based on polls) will not mention 3rd party candidates. In a few cases were 3rd party candidates got like 20% or so at a poll, it came as this huge surprise to the media because polls indicated 0 support. And although the party line of these parties are (by British standards) center-left and center-right, people in these parties are ridiculously polarized (ignore Trump here, he really doesn't follow either main parties' party line, he would have run as a 3rd party candidate in a typical political system). Their parties candidate could robocall them a thousand times and they would feel they have no choice (they will not vote for the other parties candidate, or consider a 3rd party candidate since the media never even mentions they exist.)

      2. rshpount

        Re: This is not how telephone service works

        I did not say phone companies do not make money. I said CELL phone companies do not make money on robocalls. Long distance companies (also a phone company) does make money on the robocall traffic. Cell phone companies received the traffic from long distance companies and connect these calls to customers. Since most cell customers are on the flat rate plans, for cell phone companies the best thing would be to charge their customers plan fees and never connect any calls. Calls are an expense form them. Up until last year cell phone companies were obligated to connect all calls to their customers, including robocalls, since it is in their interest to connect as few calls as possible. As of last year, cell phone companies are allowed not to connect calls from non-existing from numbers. Now they can also block calls based on some undefined "analytics", but this is hard since robocallers try to make their calls as similar as possible to regular calls.

        On the other hand, long distance companies definitely know that their customers are robocallers. They have a special product specifically targeting them, which is called high volume call termination. They charge a lot more per call or per minute on this product and are very good at detecting robocallers who are trying to initiate calls using regular cheaper call products.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: This is not how telephone service works

      "Also, a lot of robocallers pretend to place calls from the same local calling area as terminating number, so that they can place them as local calls and pay nothing."

      The number displayed to you might look local but that's just to make you think it is. The Telco knows where it came from if it came from one of their own customers and if not then they know at least the telco they got it from. The telcos aren't doing this for free. What's needed is a system which allows the recipient to claim credit and have that passed back to the robocaller along with handling charges imposed by any telco it passes through.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is not how telephone service works

        Are you SURE of that, especially with things like VoIP, stolen identities, rogue international exchanges, and so on?

  11. sanmigueelbeer

    Hello, this is Lenny ...

    Hello, this is Lenny ...

    Send the calls to Lenny. It's free. And you get a good laugh at the end.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hello, this is Lenny ...

      Until they start developing Lenny detectors...the arms race continues...

  12. phuzz Silver badge

    Any time I have to deal with OpenReach or BT, I cleanse myself by reading about the US telecoms industry.

    It makes even BT's fuckwittery seem sane.

  13. rnturn

    Fifty-two years after the release of The President's Analyst...

    ... and it's still true: Everyone hates `The Phone Company'.

    The only difference between then and now is that it's not `THE Phone Company' for most but `THEIR Phone Company'.

  14. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Reminds me of the offer I got today to install Chrome so I could block more ads... most likely served up by Google.

    Thanks, but no thanks. I'll block using some other plug in in some other browser.

  15. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    Anyone actually answers calls from unknowns callers?

    1. Giles C Silver badge

      Personally no, unless the number is known, or I am expecting a call back from someone then it won’t get answered. That is what voice mail is for.

      However I used to work with someone who would answer any number ringing their phone - even after a relation got stung by a Microsoft helpline call scam.

      If you are running a business then it is different but for a private individual - your phone, your choice to answer

      My parents have bt call guardian this captures about 6 or 7 spam calls a day on their landline.

  16. ThatOne Silver badge

    Easy and elegant solution

    I've hired a call center (outsourced) to answer spam calls, with a bunch of scripts according to what the spammers are trying to peddle (ware, politicians, scams). It's cheaper than you think, since most calls are internal for the call center (originating and terminating inside the same call center), so they get to bill a service to the spammers without having any call or salary expenses...

  17. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    There's always the possibility that one network would offer the service free of charge and start a race to the top for a change. It would need someone intelligent in marketing which makes it unlikely and the rest would probably counter it with charges of monopolistic practices.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Or by loss-leading they lose money and get bought out...

  18. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

    Don't know about fees but...

    Don't know about fees but.. my understanding at least with Verizon Wireless was their corporate parent, Verizon, are planning to put in SHAKEN/STIR right where they interconnect with other networks, so they can throw it into their network once and have it cover landline, FiOS (fiber optical internet which I guess you can get a landline phone through too...), and wireless (both CDMA -- until it's shut down at end of year* -- and VoLTE.)

    I suppose they could tack extra fees on all 3 services but I'm thinking they might view it more as spam filtering or the like, the filter is an expense but it saves on voicemail storage and massive call volume. The robodialers here in the states seem to call through an entire prefix -- 10000 numbers -- in maybe 30 minutes, maybe even faster. With most cellular systems using a relatively low speed "paging channel" (4800-9600 bps is typical), used to tell the phone when a call is coming in (and other direction for phone to initiate outgoing call), starting and stopping data sessions, cell site hand off, and text messaging. I could see this thing telling dozens and dozens of phones to ring at a time adding noticeably to the load on this type of setup.

    *Shut down for regular use by phones -- apparently there's a few long term contracts so they're going to run like 1 channel of CDMA 1x until end of 2022 for a few alarm companies and such.

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