The Regulatory Mix, TMI’s daily blog of regulatory activities, is a snapshot of PUC, FCC, legislative, and occasionally court issues that our regulatory monitoring team uncovers each day. Depending on their significance, some items may be the subject of a TMI Regulatory Bulletin.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has updated members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee on his efforts to promote nationwide porting of wireless numbers. Wheeler said he sent letters to the four major wireless carriers, CTIA-The Wireless Association, and the Competitive Carriers Association calling on them to identify, within 60 days, real-world solutions for making nationwide wireless porting a practical reality as quickly as possible. As part of that deliverable, he also requested a timeline by which any proposed solutions could be implemented. Wheeler said: “I believe an industry-driven solution is most likely to deliver practical benefits in the shortest timeframe. However, if the industry is ultimately unsuccessful in agreeing upon and implementing a solution to whatever impediments to nationwide wireless porting may exist, I will not hesitate to deploy the full panoply of tools at the Commission’s disposal to facilitate nationwide wireless number porting.”
The Federal Trade Commission announced a winner in its Robocalls: Humanity Strikes Back contest. Ethan Garr and Bryan Moyles created a solution called RoboKiller that gives consumers greater control over how and when they receive calls by sending robocalls to a SpamBox that consumers can access at any time, utilizes consumer-controlled white and black list filtering, and provides personalized setting options. The app blocks and forwards robocalls to a crowd-sourced honeypot. (A honeypot is an information system that may be used by government, private, and academic partners to lure and analyze robocalls.) Runner-up Hemant Sengar applied similar audio analytics in his solution. The contestants retain the intellectual property rights of their solutions.
“We hope the winners bring their dynamic solutions to the marketplace soon,” said Jessica Rich, Director, FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “Their products may block billions of unwanted robocalls, and help people report illegal robocallers to law enforcement.”
The FTC also announced the winners of its DetectaRobo analytic challenge. DetectaRobo contestants analyzed call data from an existing robocall honeypot and developed algorithms that identified which calls in the data set were likely robocalls. The winning teams employed similar strategies in examining particular data categories such as temporal information and area codes, and applied machine learning techniques.