35 Years of the Digest ... founded August 21, 1981
Copyright © 2017 E. William Horne. All Rights Reserved.

The Telecom Digest for Wed, 27 Sep 2017
Volume 36 : Issue 113 : "text" format

Table of contents
FCC may be about to give huge gift to the toll-free typosquatterscarlb
Re: RoboCaller now Showing Legitimate Numbers in CallerID Bill Horne
Re: RoboCaller now Showing Legitimate Numbers in CallerID Garrett Wollman
---------------------------------------------------------------------- Message-ID: <75385169-b577-93e7-aa59-03f34b47ad74@hotmail.com> Date: Sun, 24 Sep 2017 19:59:01 -0400 From: carlb <carlb613@hotmail.com> Subject: FCC may be about to give huge gift to the toll-free typosquatters It's been difficult to get a good vanity freephone number in the North American Numbering Plan for several years now. A "yuge" part of the problem, as exposed by the Associated Press in a scathing April 19, 2011 piece "Porn Company Has Snatched Up Nearly 25% of 1-800 Numbers in U.S., Canada", is mass misdial marketers creating captive RespOrgs, using them to hoover up millions of toll-free numbers and then parking prerecorded adverts on each. Telecom Digest mentioned the scheme at http://telecom.csail.mit.edu/telecom-archives/archives/back.issues/recent.single.issues/archive2.php?volume=30&issue=102 ... citing an AP piece ... http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/04/19/porn-company-amassing-1-800-numbers.html ... which ran in hundreds of newspapers as far afield as the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia) and the Daily Mail (UK), along with most of the domestic broadsheets. Unfortunately, nothing has changed. Two or three freephone area code launches have come and gone (1-855 in 2011, 1-844 in 2013 and now 1-833 in 2017) but the same usual suspects who were hoarding and warehousing every other toll-free number have merely doubled down and continued with the same antics to the new area codes. Why wouldn't they? The FCC has done remarkably little to enforce 47CFR 52.105 and 52.107, the US federal regulations which are supposed to prevent this sort of behaviour. There has been one token enforcement action, against a relatively small player who sold a few numbers to pharmaceutical manufacturer Bristol-Myers (BMY) for an inflated price, but the worst offenders continue to operate with impunity. And now things look like they're about to get a whole lot worse. There are currently about 17000 valuable toll-free numbers from the new 1-833 freephone code which have been sitting in limbo since May 2017 as multiple resporgs have requested the same number. Some are patterns (like 833-333-3333), some are generic vanity numbers (like 1-833-LAWYERS). Quite a few look like they really should be set aside for public safety use in the various NANP countries, like 833-TORNADO, 833-SUICIDE, 833-CYCLONE, 833-POISONS. Unfortunately, there's no sign that anyone has even consulted the Canadian, Bermudan or Caribbean governments whose citizens are affected by this issue. If the FCC gets their way, this proposal http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2017/db0907/DOC-346588A1.pdf ... will put many of those numbers up for auction. It will also undermine or repeal the existing regulations on pro- hibited warehousing, hoarding, and brokering of toll free numbers in an attempt to create a "secondary market". That's a problem if the claim that the Commission's rules prohibit the practice of "hoarding" - the acquisition by a toll free subscriber from a RespOrg of more toll free numbers than the toll free subscriber intends to use for the provision of toll free service - is already meaningless. Millions of numbers are already being hoarded and the only "provision of toll-free service" on most of these (if they work at all) has been to park the same pre-recorded advertisements on each. Any relaxation in the existing FCC regulations will reward the folks already hoarding numbers, possibly by hundreds of millions of dollars, maybe more. Every number, instead of being returned to the available pool, will be inevitably up for grabs at prices that will make the average stadium "ticket scalper" cringe. The "numbers to the highest bidder" approach will likely eventually be applied to numbers in existing codes which become available as subscribers cancel service. That should make acquiring a toll-free number more expensive for many small and medium-sized enterprises. Thank you, FCC. The matter is still nominally up for comment; the FCC will be discussing this supposed "Toll Free Assignment Modernization" (WC Docket No. 17-192) to "Toll Free Service Access Codes" (CC Docket No. 95-155) at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept 26. Unfortunately, the wording of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) does suggest that the Commission has its heart set on an auction and, if at all possible, on undermining every regulation currently restraining RespOrgs from blatant ticket scalping of vanity freephone numbers. https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/search/filings?q=(proceedings.name:((17-192)%20OR%20(95-155))%20OR%20proceedings.description:((17-192)%20OR%20(95-155)))&sort=date_disseminated,DESC That should be quite the windfall for those already thumbing their noses at the Commission by parking ads on millions of numbers. It's just like winning the lottery. ------------------------------ Message-ID: <20170926222927.GA7684@telecom.csail.mit.edu> Date: Tue, 26 Sep 2017 18:29:27 -0400 From: Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> Subject: Re: RoboCaller now Showing Legitimate Numbers in CallerID On Mon, Sep 25, 2017 at 12:24:28AM +0000, Garrett Wollman wrote: > Most (?) carriers will still allow you to configure busy/no-answer > forwarding to another number. I have my cell set to forward to my > home phone ... I only have a cell phone: I chose not to put in a POTS line when I moved to North Carolina, since my new job requried the cell phone and I didn't want to be encumbered with two separate voice-mail systems. Since I've just left that job, I have considered going back to POTS and ditching the cell phone. There's zero chance I'd buy a traditional twisted-pair, which costs more than the cellular service, but I'd consider VoIP if my Internet usage remains high enough to justify the cable-based Internet connection I have now. -- Bill Horne (Remove QRM from my email address to write to me directly) ------------------------------ Message-ID: <oq9ibs$1ub0$1@grapevine.csail.mit.edu> Date: Mon, 25 Sep 2017 00:24:28 +0000 (UTC) From: wollman@bimajority.org (Garrett Wollman) Subject: Re: RoboCaller now Showing Legitimate Numbers in CallerID In article <20170924200119.GA25370@telecom.csail.mit.edu>, Bill Horne <bill@horneQRM.net> wrote: >I have voice mail now, because there is no cell-phone plan which does >not include it. Most (?) carriers will still allow you to configure busy/no-answer forwarding to another number. I have my cell set to forward to my home phone, so when I get a call I can't/don't want to deal with, they end up on the home answering machine. Most of the time they don't bother to leave a message anyway. (However, I also make a policy of not giving out my cell number to anyone who might be making a list, so I almost never get calls of any kind on my cell -- wrong numbers are more common than any kind of marketer.) -GAWollman -- Garrett A. Wollman | "Act to avoid constraining the future; if you can, wollman@bimajority.org| act to remove constraint from the future. This is Opinions not shared by| a thing you can do, are able to do, to do together." my employers. | - Graydon Saunders, _A Succession of Bad Days_ (2015) ------------------------------ ********************************************* End of telecom Digest Wed, 27 Sep 2017

Telecom Digest Archives