The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) toughened its stance on voice-over-IP (VoIP) service providers Vonage and Bandwidth for failing to implement spam call protections within an agreed timeline.

As a result, the FCC referred Vonage and Bandwidth to its Enforcement Bureau for failing to meet their respective STIR/SHAKEN commitments.

For the past several years, the FCC has been adamant US voice carriers implement STIR/SHAKEN standards to combat robocalls. Bandwidth and Vonage were stripped of their respective partial exemptions from STIR/SHAKEN after they failed to meet certain implementation commitments, the FCC stated.

FCC chair Jessica Rosenworcel said the regulator was keeping a close watch as companies implement STIR/SHAKEN and “will hold companies accountable if they fail to meet their commitments to protect consumers from robocalls”.

Large providers were required to install STIR/SHAKEN throughout the IP portions of their networks by end-June 2021.

The STIR/SHAKEN standards provide a common information sharing language between networks to verify caller ID information which can then be used by robocall blocking tools, FCC investigators and consumers.

Providers which met an early implementation target of December 2020 were granted certain conditional leniencies on implementing the framework up to the mid-2021 deadline for full deployment.

The FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau handled Bandwidth and Vonage before the reference to the enforcement division.

In an email to Mobile World Live, a Bandwidth spokesperson said a small amount of legacy equipment wasn’t able to support STIR/SHAKEN, but it was working to remove traffic off of that equipment.