Milestone Marks Breakthrough in Fight to Protect Consumers from Fraudulent Robocalls

US FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, and Canada´s CRTC Chairman Ian Scott completed the first-of-their-kind end-to-end international authenticated calls using the STIR/SHAKEN protocol using Xfinity Voice and Telus wireless phone services, the company said.

The milestone represents another breakthrough in the fight to protect consumers from fraudulent robocalls.

Caller ID spoofing is a widespread problem that causes significant harm to American consumers. The FCC has cited predictions that, by the end of 2019, over 44 percent of all calls to mobile phones will be scam calls, and that nine out of 10 scam calls will be spoofed so that they appear to come from a familiar area code.

STIR (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited) and SHAKEN (Secure Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) is a revolutionary emerging technology that enables voice providers to “sign” and “verify” caller ID information, thus preventing bad actors from manipulating or “spoofing” caller ID information in an effort to deceive and defraud consumers.

The protocol´s deployment has been implemented steadily for domestic calls. Comcast, for instance, announced in March of 2019 that it had completed the first exchange of authenticated calls under the STIR/SHAKEN protocol with AT&T, and announced in April that it had begun exchanging authenticated calls with T-Mobile.

While these efforts are making a difference domestically, a large number of fraudulent spoofed robocalls originate from overseas, prompting a need for cross-border coordination on caller ID authentication. The groundbreaking, fully authenticated calls between Chairman Pai and Chairman Scott–involving two voice providers from different countries–illustrate that it is possible to extend the substantial benefits of STIR/SHAKEN to international calls and open a new front in consumer protection.

Comcast is a global media and technology company with three primary businesses: Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. Comcast Cable is one of the United States´ largest high-speed Internet, video, and phone providers to residential customers under the Xfinity brand, and also provides these services to businesses. Visit www.comcastcorporation.com for more information.