FCC should authorize call-blocking technologies

An editorial from The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Just the names sound like good ideas — NoMoRobo, Call Control, Telemarketing Guard.

Those are some of the new call-blocking technologies that have been developed to allow phone carriers to identify and block “robo” calls and other unwelcome telephone intrusions.

Without a doubt, residential and business customers need the help. At present, unscrupulous telemarketers have the upper hand, using the latest innovations in auto dialers and recorded messages to relentlessly make their pitches.

But telephone providers seem to be divided on whether these call-block technologies would go against Federal Communications Commission rules that require the phone companies to complete all calls. So many are not using them, even though they would be implemented only at the customer’s request.

This week the attorneys general from 39 states — including West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky — have asked the FCC to clarify its rules and allow phone companies to use these call-blocking methods.

“It seems that every week we hear of a new telephone scam that is making its way through West Virginia, and consumers of our state seem to be barraged with calls from scammers,” West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said in a news release. “While we do everything we can to educate consumers and fight back against these scammers, phone carriers also should be empowered…

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