Attorneys General Encourage Additional Steps to Combat Illegal Robocalls, Texas Company Petitions for USF Payments

Attorneys General Encourage Additional Steps to Combat Illegal Robocalls 

Fifty-one State Attorneys General from across the country submitted a joint letter urging the FCC to takes steps that would reduce access to numbering resources by potential robocallers. According to the letter, “A scammer’s ability to anonymously access numbering resources significantly increases the likelihood that a scammer will be able to successfully defraud consumers. As new technologies such as STIR/SHAKEN call authentication make it more difficult for scammers to remain hidden when they place illegal robocalls, these bad actors will likely increasingly rely on purchasing access to legitimate phone numbers instead of spoofing caller IDs. This is a crucial time to crack down on those who exploit our phone networks to steal personal identifying information and money from consumers. The undersigned State AGs write in support of the Commission’s proposals to reduce access to numbering resources by potential perpetrators of illegal robocalls.” 

Texas Company Petitions for USF Payments 

West Plains Telecommunications, Inc. filed a petition with the Texas Public Utility Commission seeking recovery of funds from the state Universal Service Fund as a result of a reduction in high-cost assistance revenue.  West Plains claimed it received only 35.6% of the TUSF revenue which they were entitled to receive by prior orders due to constraints on the state USF. “This proration of support has continued on a monthly basis with now 10 payments made to small and rural carriers such as West Plains at an amount grossly short of the amount they are entitled, as a matter of law, to receive.”  The petition further asserted that “Over this time period the PUC has taken no action to address this shortfall, and in fact, despite the urging of numerous legislators to take action, TUSF has not been on any open meeting agenda since June of 2020. This Application will be the first of a series of filings to be made by West Plains in order to recover the shorted amount of TUSF funds, on a month-by-month basis, until such time as the company is made whole…”  

The Regulatory Mix, Inteserra’s blog of telecom related 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 an Inteserra Briefing.