If you’ve been in the call center or telemarketing industry for a while, you’re likely familiar with the SHAKEN/STIR or STIR/SHAKEN protocol. This technology, developed in response to the Federal Communications Commission’s calls for the industry to find a way to stop robocalls, relies on digital certificates to authentic the origin of a call as it is being placed. Through a number of steps, the technology ensures that the phone number making the call has not been spoofed, so that people on the receiving end of calls can trust that the callers are who they say they are and are not scammers.

This protocol is not new. On December 31, 2019, the TRACED Act was signed into law, and on March 31, 2020 it was adopted by the FCC. This act set deadlines by which carriers needed to have the SHAKEN/STIR protocol implemented so that it would apply to any calls being made within their systems.

Now comes the reason we’re talking about it now: That first deadline set by the TRACED Act is June 30, 2021 for large carriers. And the FCC is sticking to it—in fact, on March 30 it denied a petition by U.S. Cellular and Verizon for extensions on this deadline. Large carriers must have SHAKEN/STIR implemented by June 30 and be able to prove that in one of two ways. First is that the provider can certify in a newly created public database that they have fully implemented the protocol, while the second option is to prove that they have instituted a mitigation program to ensure that they are not originating illegal robocalls (plus include descriptions of the steps this program entails). What’s more, providers must provide contact information for the folks responsible for robocall mitigation so that the FCC can check in and make sure they are doing their jobs.

What does this mean for you as a CallShaper client? It’s a very good thing! It’s clear that the FCC is taking the responsibility of stopping robocalls very seriously, and that will only help your legitimate telemarketing business. It is taking significant steps to restoring the public’s faith in an industry whose perception has been damaged by scammers and that is a great thing.