New FCC proposal would make it easier for carriers to block robocalls

The current FCC commissioners’ stances haven’t always made them the most popular with consumers (see: net neutrality), but new, stricter robocall rules could help them win over some fans. Ajit Pai this morning proposed new rules that would let mobile carriers block the unwanted calls by default.

The chairman explained that current rules have left many phone companies unsure of the legality of tools that could be used to block these sorts of calls.

“Allowing call blocking by default could be a big benefit for consumers who are sick and tired of robocalls,” Pai said in a statement tied to the announcement. “By making it clear that such call blocking is allowed, the FCC will give voice service providers the legal certainty they need to block unwanted calls from the outset so that consumers never have to get them. And, if this decision is adopted, I strongly encourage carriers to begin providing these services by default—for free—to their current and future customers.”

The full commission is set to vote on the proposal during a June 6 meeting. In addition to making these options available to phone companies by default, the proposal would give consumers the ability to opt out of blocking tools, should they want to be targeted by robocalls for any reason. As Reuters notes, the volume of unwanted calls is fairly enormous. In Spain, for example, roughly one quarter of all calls fall into that category. Here in the States, that number is closer to around 10%.