The war on robocalls and spam calls is underway. One of the first actions in that battle was Congress passing the TRACED Act (Telephone Robocall Abuse Criminal Enforcement and Deterrence) in May of 2019, which gave the FCC the power to collaborate with the big telecom providers and standards bodies on new solutions to this ongoing problem.
The results of those activities are the new Secure Telephone Identity Revisited/Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs (STIR/SHAKEN) anti-spoofing directives. Officially implemented on June 30th of this year, the objective of these new rules is to quell the tide of fraudulent calls by allowing carriers to block deceptive phone numbers. MSPs should also see these directives as a way to rebuild consumer trust and improve the value of this vital form of communication.
The need for this type of action is justifiable. According to the FCC, consumers were inundated with spoofs and robocalls last year (approximately 4 billion), and telecom experts predicted that number to expand greatly in the coming years without legal remedies. Car warranty scams and robocalls identified as the Internal Revenue Service or Social Security Administration are not just extremely annoying, but they undermine legitimate sales and marketing campaigns.
Some people no longer answer their phones or expect most, if not all, of the incoming calls to be annoying and/or fraudulent. Eliminating or at least minimizing the wasted time and frustration associated with these practices is a worthy goal. If effective, these new rules could greatly benefit MSPs, as well as their clients and collective support communities. How much would your customers appreciate being ahead of the curve screening if not stopping those disruptive calls?
ConnectMeVoice Delivers for Channel Partners
The crux of the new industry initiatives is that, as of September 1st, callers will no longer be able to use bogus numbers or hijack legitimate numbers from other people or businesses. STIR /SHAKEN requires carriers and service providers to authenticate outbound calls and label each as “trusted” or “spam.”
What does that mean for MSPs? While the big carriers must comply with the new STIR/SHAKEN rules now, every service provider, including small VoIP suppliers, must have processes in place to meet the same requirements no later than June 30, 2022. So why not get a leg up on the competition today with ConnectMeVoice?
We invested a lot of time and effort to ensure we could meet the STIR/SHAKEN directives today, not next year because these new processes will provide our channel partners and users with greater insight and protection. It’s all about enablement and empowerment. ConnectMeVoice understands the competitive environment MSPs work in and sees this as an equalizer with the larger carriers and a differentiator with other IT services firms.
We believe our partners and the organizations that rely on their support and expertise deserve the best possible phone service – with fewer hassles. Limiting and preventing illegal activities and unwanted robocalls is a worthy battle for MSPs.
A More Authentic Way to Communicate
Voice remains the most effective way to share information and build relationships. The new STIR/SHAKEN rules will help ConnectMeVoice and its partners instill greater trust in VoIP and phone communications, easing some criticism about our industry based on the misuse of these critical business systems.
These automated processes and systems will be critical for rebuilding consumer confidence. While MSPs may not want to explain all the finite details, here’s how STIR/SHAKEN works:
- A phone or app user initiates an outbound call
- The VoIP supplier or carrier authenticates the number.
- ConnectMeVoice will assign calls to one of these three attestations:
- The Caller ID verifies that the call is from one of our (ConnectMeVoice) known numbers
- The number may not be one of ours, but it is a legitimate business or personal number
- ConnectMeVoice cannot validate the number
While our team is ahead of the curve and currently tagging all calls as either “B” or “C,” the validation process for category “A” is almost complete. Assigning a level B will help authorities issue traceback orders. That process requires every carrier in the communications chain to quickly trace and identify real callers and stop fraudulent activities.
This explanation oversimplifies the process to meet the new STIR/SHAKEN rules, leaving out all the back-end methodologies and automation, but that may still be more than any client wants or needs to know. MSPs can focus on helping businesses understand all the benefits of these standards, including receiving fewer spam and annoying robocalls and improving productivity.
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