AT&T and Comcast announce system to combat robocalls

AT & T and Comcast partner to authenticate calls made between the two networks, informing customers when there is a genuine caller, not a spammer, on the phone. It will not cover all calls received by AT & T and Comcast customers, but it is a step in the right direction to combat the scourge of phone calls to the public.

AT & T says the agreement is likely to be the "first in the nation" to authenticate calls between two providers through SHAKEN / STIR (which means "Secure information handling confirmed through toKENs" and "Secure telephony identity. revised "). The protocol allows consumers to know when a call is being made with the number shown in the caller ID. AT & T and Comcast said they expect to have the system running for customers later this year.

The SHAKEN / STIR protocol works by using digital certificates to verify if the call really comes from where it says. It is unclear how you will know if the call is spam, but an identifier is likely to appear when you receive a call that is legitimate.

The system has some limitations at the moment. It can only be used to identify legitimate calls, not to detect spam. Robocalls will still come through simply they will appear as unverified. For now, since only two companies participate, telephone calls that originate with any other provider will not be validated. Until all other operators deploy SHAKEN / STIR and connect their systems, it will be impossible to identify each legitimate call.

In February, the president of the Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, applauded operators such as AT & T, Verizon and T-Mobile who committed to take measures to implement the SHAKEN / STIR protocol in their networks. T-Mobile began slowly launching the system for calls on its network in January, and Sprint plans to test it later this year.

"American consumers are fed up with unwanted phone calls, including," Pai said. "Caller ID authentication will be an important step to end the scourge of counterfeit fake calls. It's time for operators to implement strong call identification authentication. "

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