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Sep 19, 2017

ATIS Industry Testbed Advances Mitigation of Unwanted Robocalling and Caller ID Scams

Participant testing proving the effectiveness of caller authentication standards

Neustar, Inc., a trusted, neutral provider of real-time information services and ATIS today announced in a major effort to tackle the problem of unwanted calls and caller scams that testing of caller authentication standards is well underway, with nineteen participants to date having signed on to test in the ATIS Robocalling Testbed. This industry interoperability testing is taking place through a virtualized testbed and software implementation at a facility exclusively hosted by the Neustar Trust Lab. The testbed was launched to support efforts of the Industry Robocall Strike Force called on by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to find solutions to the problem.

The Robocall Strike Force Report released earlier this year highlights the role that testing and standards have as key mitigation tools and efforts. As the FCC continues to address unwanted robocalling with formal inquiries and proposed rules, the testbed activities prove valuable in advancing solutions to protect consumers from the frustration, time lost and the potential damage that can result from unwanted calls and caller scams.

“The companies involved in this testbed are committed to putting the STIR/SHAKEN framework into action,” said ATIS President and CEO Susan Miller. “By facilitating consistent and fully interoperable implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, the testbed plays a critical role in lessening the negative impact unwanted calls have on consumers' lives – a key goal of the FCC’s Robocall Strike Force.”

The caller authentication standards developed by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), together with the SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs) framework developed by the joint ATIS/SIP Forum IP-NNI Task Force, give service providers the ability to authenticate, digitally sign and verify calling party numbers. Neustar’s virtualized interoperability testing platform is being used to validate industry standards and the new SHAKEN framework.

“The growing number and variety of participants using the testbed – communications service providers, network manufacturers, solution vendors, and government agencies – speaks to the urgency and the industry’s overall commitment to combating unwanted robocalling and caller fraud,” said Hank Skorny, Senior Vice President, Neustar and member of the ATIS Board of Directors.

To learn more about the ATIS Robocalling Testbed and how to participate, visit the ATIS website or contact Jim McEachern, Senior Technology Consultant, ATIS. Any service provider with an assigned Operating Company Number (OCN), as maintained by the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc. (NECA), is eligible and participation is currently free of charge. Other parties, such as equipment manufacturers, and non-ATIS members may participate if they have solutions relevant to the SHAKEN framework available to test.​​​​