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The CRTC Imposes New Obligation on Telecommunications Service Providers to Combat Nuisance Calls

December 12, 2019

Canada’s telecommunications regulator has announced that telecommunications service providers (TSPs) providing voice telecommunications services in Canada must implement a new framework to authenticate and verify caller ID information for IP-based voiced calls.

These TSPs will have until September 30, 2020, to implement the Secure Telephone Identity Revisited/Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using Tokens framework (STIR/SHAKEN). STIR/SHAKEN is a specific anti-call spoofing framework which features a mechanism that notifies the person receiving a call that such call is coming from a suspicious origin. The framework does not require TSPs to block such calls from coming in, but rather to allow consumers to know, before they answer a call, if it should be treated with suspicion.

In its announcement of the new measure on December 9, 2019, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) also stated that it expects TSPs operating in Canada to submit certain reports to the CRTC, outlining their plans and progress in implementing the STIR/SHAKEN framework, the first being due February 24, 2020. The CRTC has invited comments from stakeholders on whether TSPs should be required to implement the framework as a condition of offering and providing telecommunications services in Canada, which would also be effective as of September 30, 2020. Interventions in response to this proposal must be filed by January 27, 2020.

The CRTC’s recent decision is one of many steps taken by the regulator to combat nuisance calls. The CRTC has previously issued decisions mandating an industry-wide call traceback process, opt-in call filtering solutions and network-level blocking of nuisance calls with blatantly illegitimate caller IDs.

Blakes invites providers of voice telecommunications services to reach out to the Blakes Communications Group for more information on regulatory requirements relating to nuisance calls, and the impact the CRTC’s recent decision may have on a provider’s Canadian operations.

For further information, please contact:

Sunny Handa              514-982-4008

Céline Poitras             514-982-4131

Renée Tousignant       514-982-4019

or any other member of our Communications group.