By State Rep. Brad Boles
I’ve heard from many constituents regarding the robocalls our state has been spammed within recent months, which is a huge annoyance for us all so I wanted to take this opportunity to give you an update on this issue. Ironically, I received a spam call while on the phone with a constituent discussing the rise of spam calls.
This issue falls under the responsibility of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which is a federal agency. Since it is a federal agency, there isn’t much I can do from my end to take measures to prevent these robocalls. However, I know Oklahomans across the state are growing increasingly annoyed with these spam calls, so I wanted to provide an update on what is in the works to prevent these.
Spam robocalls are annoying and disrupt our daily lives. U.S. phones were spammed by robocalls over 4.7 billion times in May alone. Americans should be able to block irritating and dangerous robocalls without being charged extra for it.
These calls mislead citizens into believing a call may be from a neighbor when it’s actually an automatic sales call coming from anywhere in the nation. Con artists have even found ways to siphon money or steal personal information from people who simply answer the phone.
In October, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter and 34 other state attorneys general called for action to prevent robocalls. AG Hunter met with the FCC Chairman, Ajit Pai, in May and discussed ways to combat robocalls. The FCC has since adopted measures that, among other things, empower service providers to block illegal robocalls by default before they reach consumers’ phones.
The FCC has also begun an effort to push telephone companies to implement a solution correctly identifying a caller’s number by the end of this year. A summit to evaluate progress toward achieving this goal will be held later this week on July 11.
In addition, bills filed in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate would require telephone carriers to authenticate whether calls are real or spam and offer customers call-blocking services. The legislation specifies that carriers should make sure legal calls, such as those from doctors’ offices, are not blocked. Several of our U.S. Representatives and Senators are co-sponsoring this legislation.
Hopefully the measures above will be successful and we will have a resolution to this robocall issue by end of the year. I know this is a concern for many Oklahomans, and I will keep you updated as these efforts continue on the federal level. If you would like to send comments directly to the FCC, you can visit www.fcc.gov. Be sure to reference WC Docket No. 17-97 when making comments.
In the meantime, feel free to reach out to me if you have any other issues that you would like to discuss. It’s a great honor and privilege to represent District 51 and I always look forward to receiving your input. You can contact me at (580) 641-3153 or firstname.lastname@example.org. God bless!
Below are some pictures of me and my family as we celebrated the 4th of July holiday at different community events throughout District 51.