Telecom Experts Convene at the 2023 Somos Summit to Discuss Robocalls, Robotexts and RealNumber™ DNO
Robocalls and robotexts have become an all-too-familiar nuisance in our day-to-day lives. Thanks to the collaboration between service providers, regulators, law enforcement and other telecom industry members, there's hope on the horizon. At the 2023 Somos Summit, leading industry experts converged to shed light on how the solution is contributing to the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) ongoing efforts to combat these pesky intrusions.
During the breakout session, Rising Against Robocalls and Robotexts: How RealNumber DNO is Supporting the FCC's Call to Action, Bill LaRuffa, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships at Somos, and a panel of industry leaders took a deep dive into current legislative and technological strategies for tackling unwanted calls and texts. Joining him were prominent voices in the world of telecom, including:
Kevin Rupy, Partner at Wiley Rein LLP
Kyle Belcher, Senior Product Manager at Somos
Gerry Christensen, Head of Partnerships & Regulatory Compliance at Caller ID Reputation
Kevin opened the panel discussion by offering some historical perspective, including how the battle against robocalls took root in 2014 when regulators and lawmakers first noticed this growing issue. Their concerns ultimately provided the catalyst for what would serve as the foundation of the fight against telecom fraud.
From Federal Trade Commission (FTC) workshops to Senate hearings to the formation of the Robocall Strike Force, the first wave of fraud mitigation and prevention efforts paved the way for today’s broad range of solutions like the STIR/SHAKEN framework, permissive blocking and Somos’ RealNumber® DNO. According to Kevin, one particularly major milestone in the fight against telecom fraud transpired earlier this year, with the FCC issuance of the Seventh Report and Order, Eighth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, and Third Notice of Inquiry (FNPRM). As Kevin noted, issuing the FNPRM was significant because it required carriers to block calls from invalid and other Do Not Originate (DNO) numbers.
With the foundation laid, the conversation took a deeper dive into the role of DNO lists in fraud prevention. Specifically, Kyle highlighted the critical importance of accurate data as it relates to DNO lists. But how does one achieve 100% accuracy? One of the best ways is to follow RealNumber DNO’s lead and obtain data from trusted sources like the North American Numbering Plan Administrator (NANPA), the TFNRegistry™ and the TSSRegistry™ (the authoritative registry for text enabled Toll-Free Numbers).
Next, Kyle explained in more detail why RealNumber DNO is a powerful tool for blocking traffic from numbers that should never originate a call. This was best demonstrated through a success story Kyle shared that centered around an international gateway provider who reduced DNO traffic from 20% to a mere 3% after implementing RealNumber DNO. The solution’s benefits extend beyond carriers; however, they can also help end-users – such as contact center operators – save money and stay safeguarded from fraud.
“I don’t see why DNO can’t be used everywhere. Some parties are using it well. Save for a few exceptions, DNO should be something that just happens.”
The conversation next turned to Gerry, who provided insight into the unique and unexpected way Caller ID Reputation utilizes RealNumber DNO. Specifically, Gerry spoke about his organization’s role in providing visibility into interactions between businesses and consumers. From a Know Your Customer (KYC) onboarding perspective, a registered DNO number can raise red flags, leading to critical inquiries about the entity's behavior and how it responds to customer queries.
After Gerry shared his use case, the panel discussed upcoming regulatory changes as well as what the future holds for RealNumber DNO. Kevin began the conversation by elaborating on the FCC's evolving regulatory framework for robotext mitigation, including Targeting and Eliminating Unlawful Text Messages Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. This was significant as it extended the required use of DNO lists beyond voice service providers. It also mandated that SMS service providers integrate DNO lists into their fraud prevention program.
“We can handle capacity for many incoming DNO customers. The platform is built to scale.”
Knowing the volume of exciting changes happening in the ecosystem, the panel contemplated what they thought the future might hold for RealNumber DNO. As explained by Kyle, thanks to its flexibility and scalability, the opportunities are endless! Some potential exciting future applications specifically cited include integration with the Reassigned Numbers Database (RND) and DNO for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
As the session wrapped up, each panelist provided closing thoughts and future predictions:
Kevin Rupy likened the ongoing fight against robocalls and robotexts to a marathon, with regulatory activity accelerating at an unprecedented pace.
Kyle Belcher expressed his optimism for the widespread adoption of RealNumber DNO and emphasized the need for a clean inventory to protect customer-assigned numbers.
Gerry Christensen saw the potential for DNO to become a standard practice in various contexts and underscored the importance of collaboration in the ever-evolving telecommunications regulatory landscape, including the FCC's focus on net neutrality.
In the ongoing battle against unwanted calls and texts, RealNumber DNO has emerged as a powerhouse in the fraud prevention sector. More so, however, the solution is proactively – and successfully! – helping to provide trust in telecom, restore the integrity of voice calls and text messages and drive the industry toward a brighter, robocall-free future.
To learn more about the 2023 Somos Summit and to gain access to on-demand recordings, visit www.somos.com/summit.