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45 Attorneys General call for quick deployment of mobile call blocking tech

Now that the Federal Communications Commission has ruled that mobile phone companies can offer call blocking services to customers, 45 state attorneys general say it’s high time for the companies to do so.

In a letter to the CEOs of AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint, the attorneys general told the companies they should “move swiftly to implement and inform consumers” of cell-phone blocking options.

The FCC made revisions to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act in June which clarified that carriers can offer call-blocking technologies, erasing any prior concerns companies may have had about offering call-blocking technology. The updated rules also give consumers more control over who gets their phone numbers and who can call them, and restricts the use of autodialing technologies.

“We urge you to act without delay,” the AGs wrote.

USTelecom, the organization that represents the carriers in Washington, said the industry is “fully on board” with the AG request and the need to inform consumers how they can halt unwanted calls.

“Our members offer a number of call blocking solutions, from tools that force anonymous or out-of-area callers to identify themselves before the call is completed to call rejections and white-listing approved callers. Many third-party options also are available, and we continue to work with industry forums to develop even better solutions to stay ahead of the many sophisticated ways criminals manipulate calling services to harass the public. Strong enforcement against illegal robocallers is critical, and we will continue to work closely with the Federal Trade Commission and federal and state prosecutors to put bad actors out of business,” USTelecom said in a statement.