FCC proposes new tools to arm phone companies against robocalls

FCC taking aim at robocalls
FCC taking aim at robocalls 01:51

The Federal Communications Commission is taking new steps at blocking pesky robocalls. Last month alone, nearly 5 billion robocalls were made in the U.S. On average, that's about 15 calls for every American.  

On Wednesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai proposed new tools to arm the phone companies.  

"We've authorized carriers to block robocalls from certain spoof numbers, we've authorized the creation of a reassigned database," Pai said.

The FCC will now allow the major phone carriers to use a technology to block unidentified or unwanted callers by default. Before you had to opt-in to the feature. Consumers will also be able to opt-in to receive calls only from phone numbers in their contacts list.
New call blocking technology will be able to trace the call's origin. If it's suspicious, the carrier can block the call from going through. But experts say the technology has limitations.

"It is not clear if it can stop international robocalls. People who do robocalls are sophisticated and smart, they will figure out some ways to get around it," said Wired editor-in-chief and CBS News contributor Nick Thompson.

This year, between 60 and 75 billion robocalls are expected to be made, up from nearly 48 billion last year. The FCC is scheduled to vote next month on whether to allow carriers to block robocalls.