CBS Local — There are seldom cellular notifications more annoying than receiving incessant robotic phone calls from telemarketers, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has vowed to end them.
For the first half of 2017, there’s been about 15 billion robocalls made in the United States, according to the anti-robocall service YouMail. The FCC are implementing heftier fines for the biggest robocallers. For instance, they fined a Florida-based company $120 million for the practice and they fined a New Mexico-based company nearly $3 million as well.
“Robocalls are the scourge for wireless customers, so the FCC has to lay down the rules, but FCC action alone cannot solve the problem,” said Roger Entner, founder of Recon Analytics via USA Today.
Will fines be enough?
Maybe, but probably not. Many believe that will not be sufficient on its own and that the FCC should be working on technology to intercept these calls before they reach consumers’ cell phones. Last week, the FCC began reaching out to companies to do just that. But the robocall technology will be ever-changing so it wouldn’t just be a one time solution.
“There will need to be many tools because what will happen is these fraudsters, when they find out what is being stopped, will find another way to do it,” said Chris Drake, chief technical officer at iconectiv.
The problem for the FCC with robocalls is how cost-efficient it is for companies. Even if they get a low number of new customers, it’s worth it.
“Some people are going to listen,” Entner said, “and the marginal cost of doing this is so low that anybody (the robocallers) get is a win.”