Everyone Likes to Complain About Robocalls

Are they willing to do anything about it?

By Alan Percy, CMO @TelcoBridges

Every time I’m in a social setting and I get asked about what I do for a career, the subject of illegal robocalls always dominates the discussion.   “What are you doing to stop them?”

I clearly remember a series of meetings with service providers a few years back, pitching them on solutions to the illegal robocall problem that could be solved with session border controller software.   They could not care less about the problem.   As much as consumers complained to the FCC about the problem, there was little that service providers could or would do about the problem.  They were getting paid to transit the calls and had little motivation to fix the problem.  It was someone else’s problem.

All that changed with the TRACED Act of 2019.

The TRACED act included a number of new tools and mandates:

Caller ID Authentication requiring the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN – this forced originating service providers to attach an Identity Token to the header of the call, with origination traceback information and an Attestation field that indicated whether the call could be trusted.

Call Blocking – prior to the TRACED act, service providers had to pass all traffic, essentially preventing them from screening call and preventing illegal robocalls from being delivered to consumers.  The Act allowed service providers to block suspicious traffic and indemnified them from prosecution for failing to delivering what they felt was a suspicious call.

Scam Call Protection – required the FCC to explore means to prevent One Ring Scams and protect hospitals from illegal calls.

Enforcement – the Act increased penalties, extended statute of limitations and other tools to help find and charge those generating and passing known illegal robocalls.

The first big milestone of the TRACED Act is almost upon us.  Service providers in the US are required to file their Robocall Mitigation Plans with the FCC by June 30th 2021.   The penalty for not filing a plan is having their traffic blocked by other providers after September 28th, 2021.

So all of a sudden, service providers are interested in dealing with illegal robocalls.

We discussed this in more details during a Cloud Communications Alliance webinar titled “Robocall Mitigation Compliance”, explaining the details of filing and impact of not filing a plan.

View the recording here:

FreeSBC takes to the Cloud on AWS

by Alan D. Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing

As a greater range of communications applications are migrating to the cloud, there is a greater need for affordable cloud-hosted session border controller network services.   To answer this need, TelcoBridges recently announced that the company’s FreeSBC session border controller software is now available on Amazon Web Services.   Offering feature-rich services comparable to native bare-metal installations and virtualized platforms, the AWS Amazon Machine Image (AMI), provides core network security, interoperability and media services for service providers and enterprises.

Across the industry, cloud-based communications is on a steady growth trend.  As application architects piece together their solutions using cloud-bases services, it makes sense to have an affordable SBC to provide security, interoperability and media services.

Greg Collins at Exact Ventures forecasts that by 2022 nearly 75% of all session border controller shipments will be cloud-based

Luc Morissette, Director of Customer Support at TelcoBridges will be joining me for a live webinar on Tuesday, September 25th to deliver an overview of the new FreeSBC on AWS offer, covering the capabilities, limitations and demonstrating the activation process.

During the webinar we explain the three distinct offerings, including:

  1. FreeSBC on AWS as a fully hosted offering – making testing and evaluation much easier for prospective customers, allowing evaluation without dedicating a VM or hardware servers.
  2. FreeSBC PRO-edition – offered as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) with all the PRO-edition features and standard support for $1/session/year
  3. FreeSBC free-edition – offered as an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) without support

The session will wrap up by putting a spotlight on the many use cases, showing how hosted contact centers, hosted Unified Communications and traditional telephony services will benefit from cloud-based FreeSBC.

Register for the live event today at:  https://www2.telcobridges.com/FreeSBConAWS

For more information on FreeSBC, visit www.freesbc.com

Battling Robocallers – Round 2

By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing, TelcoBridges

The battle to tame fraudulent robocalling made some significant advancements this week as the SIP Forum released two new technical reports.

If you’ve been following along, you know that fraudulent robocalling and caller-ID spoofing have become the tools-of-the-trade for criminals trying to trick unsuspecting victims into their scams.   (By now you’ve come to realize that you can’t trust the caller-ID on your phone.) The FCC and the CRTC have put deadlines in front of the carriers, requiring implementation of secure caller-ID technologies to prevent spoofing of caller-ID.

To address these requirements, the ATIS and SIP Forum announced this week the release of two key specifications needed to standardize the user experience and APIs needed for implementation of SHAKEN.


The first specification Technical Report on a Framework for Display of Verified Caller ID (ATIS-1000081) defines a standard user experience for calls from known callers, likely SPAM callers, suspect and potential fraudulent callers with color icons and information on screen-based devices.   The specification details the user experience study that went into the graphical images, providing data on real-world user responses and behaviors to the information displayed.

The second specification Technical Report on SHAKEN API for a Centralized Signing and Signature Validation Server provides a proposed RESTful API for the implementation of the SHAKEN specification, used to authenticate and verify caller-ID for network-based calls.  This recommendation is an alternative to the SIP-based mechanism as specified in the SHAKEN recommendations, as is currently used by a number of vendors, including TransNexus and TelcoBridges.

“These two new resources are critical to helping service providers implement SHAKEN,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “They are products of ATIS’ continued collaboration with the SIP Forum and are instrumental to industry efforts to address the robocalling problem and maintain consumer trust in the voice network.”

“The SIP Forum is committed to working together with ATIS to continue to develop the operational documents for the SHAKEN Framework, and these two new reports provide important additional guidelines and details essential to the successful deployment of the SHAKEN standard,” said SIP Forum Chairman Richard Shockey.

In addition to the above announcement, we’ve made significant progress with TransNexus on their SHAKEN fraud prevention framework, recently posted detailed configuration notes on how to configure both FreeSBC and TransNexus OSPrey server and completed our bench testing milestones.

Looking ahead and demonstrating the level of interest on the topic, a dedicated track and session on Robocalling is scheduled for SIPNOC 2018.

To learn more about STIR/SHAKEN, view the recording of our Battling Robocallers webinar and/or sign-up for one of the TransNexus Discover SHAKEN events.

Caller-ID Spoofing – No, That’s Not Your Neighbor Calling

By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing, TelcoBridges

The phone rings and the number looks familiar, just a few digits off from your own.  You wonder if a neighbor or possibly your child’s school calling, so you answer only to hear “Congratulations, you’ve been selected for a three night vacation package”   You’ve been tricked into answering by a Robocaller, using caller-ID spoofing.  Continue reading Caller-ID Spoofing – No, That’s Not Your Neighbor Calling

Moving to the Cloud – What’s the Issue?

By Alan Percy, Senior Director of Product Marketing

Migrating communications applications to the cloud is much more than a technical challenge for service providers and enterprises. The challenge of the cloud is fundamentally based on a significant shift in business model.

Continue reading Moving to the Cloud – What’s the Issue?