Apple and Google parent company Alphabet have joined a coalition of more than 30 tech companies and telecoms focused on combating automated phone calls, according to Reuters. However, companies likeAT&T have been dragging their feet, claiming to need FCC approval for such technology. The FCC is pushing companies to work together on blocking robocallsCommissioner Clyburn was careful to point out in her statements today that the group is walking a fine line between helping consumers and allowing anticompetitive behavior.
Speaking today at the meeting, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler called robocalls a "scourge." In fact, the FCC says complaints filed under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) accounted for more than half of the 175,000 tickets filed at the FCC’s help center in the first six months of 2016.
The FCC first began addressing the problem from a technical end last year, when it gave phone makers and telecoms the go ahead to implement robocall-blocking software. However, companies like AT&T have been dragging their feet, claiming to need FCC approval for such technology. That prompted Wheeler to post a call to arms in July with a post titled "Cutting Off Robocalls," in which he called on tech companies and carriers to work together with the commission.
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