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What You Should Know About STIR/SHAKEN in 2022

You know the old movie cliché. After an exhausting knock-down-drag-out fight, the bad guy is finally defeated, on the floor and lifeless. Our heroes can finally exhale. The nightmare is over. Then suddenly, his hand twitches. An eyelid opens. He’s up again! This guy won’t quit. It’s what led to rule #2 of surviving Zombieland — the double-tap. “In those moment when you’re not sure if the undead are really dead dead, don’t get all stingy with your bullets.” Put another way, so eloquently by an older Michael Corleone, “Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.” Apparently, that’s just life. It even applies to protocols meant to prevent caller ID spoofing.

In this article, we cover:

Shedding A Light On STIR/SHAKEN

 

For a while now, we’ve been shining light on everything you need to know about STIR/SHAKEN. We’ve explained what it is, when it was going to start to matter, and how voice service providers could become compliant. The big date was originally June 30, 2021. It was the deadline for originating and terminating phone companies to implement STIR/SHAKEN in the IP portions of their networks. Those that didn’t get their call traffic signed with the required digital certificates by the deadline could be granted an extension to continue operations as long as they had “an appropriate robocall mitigation program to prevent unlawful robocalls from originating on [their] network.” That extension was to last until June 30, 2023.

 

Yeah, so about those extensions...

To speed up the process of nixing illegal robocalls, the FCC moved up its deadline for non-facilities-based small voice service providers (SVSPs). In other words, providers that have 100,000 or fewer voice service subscriber lines to end-users solely using connections that are not sold by the provider or its affiliates are now required to fully implement STIR/SHAKEN in the IP portions of their networks by June 30, 2022. That’s essentially two months from the time of this writing. The FCC hastened this deadline as a result of identifying a small subset of SVSPs as a likely source of illegal robocalls. As the FCC itself puts it:

In establishing this extension, the Commission was clear that its “guiding principle in setting this deadline is to achieve ubiquitous STIR/SHAKEN implementation to combat the scourge of illegal caller ID spoofing as quickly as possible.”  We will not postpone the date by which Americans benefit from ubiquitous STIR/SHAKEN implementation on an asserted likelihood that burdens continue a year from now.  We further note that the Commission granted a two year extension in part to allow small voice service providers additional time to accommodate these identified burdens, and did not state an expectation that the burdens would disappear before implementation was required. … Small voice service provider implementation is key to ensuring full participation in STIR/SHAKEN.

Read the full public notice for more details.

 

What it all means

Statistics show that robocalls, even those signed by SHAKEN attestation, are trending in the wrong direction. Look no further than YouMail’s own Robocall Index for proof. In fact, the spike in robocalls in March 2022 is particularly alarming. College basketball wasn’t the only thing going mad in March with total robocalls increasing by 16 percent over the previous month. March’s total robocall numbers (4.36 billion) ranks among the peaks over the previous 12 months of 4.44 billion robocalls and 4.43 billion robocalls, in June 2021 and April 2021, respectively.

What can we infer from these trends? Although STIR/SHAKEN threw hurdles at robocall spammers and scammers, like Jackie Joyner-Kersee, they’ve proven extremely limber. So much so, they’ve “cockroached” their way back to numbers not seen since before STIR/SHAKEN’s initial implementation deadline.

Voice service providers need a holistic solution to put the kibosh on unwanted robocalls once and for all. As we’ve stated since well before the initial implementation deadline, STIR/SHAKEN is no silver bullet. There is still great need to deploy a zero-hour robocall mitigation strategy not only to comply with TRACED Act mandates, but to create the best possible environment for callers. A live call sensor network, such as that offered by YouMail’s service provider solution, not only helps eradicate unwanted robocall traffic on your VSP network, it helps build new revenues of up to $0.50 per DID per month and elevates your brand by slashing complaints and building customer goodwill.

Ready to start exterminating the vermin on your network once and for all? Learn more about combining analytics with STIR/SHAKEN by downloading our Know Your Customer report.

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