AT&T announced that it soon add a new service that will automatically block unwanted robocalls that bother and deceive millions of American consumers every day.
On Tuesday, the phone company said its anti-robocall service called AT&T Call Protect will be added to the accounts of its millions of existing customers over the coming months.
Its decision comes after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved a Declaratory Ruling allowing and encouraging phone companies to automatically block unwanted robocalls to protect consumers.
AT&T is committed to working with government & industry partners to prevent robocalls
In a statement, Joan Marsh, executive vice president of regulatory & state external affairs for AT&T Communications, said, “The FCC has been a tremendous partner in the war on robocalls. The Commission’s recent action builds on a years-long effort to enable broader adoption of call-blocking tools and allow providers to better protect their customers and networks. AT&T remains committed to working with our government and industry partners in the ongoing battle against unwanted and illegal robocalls.”
The AT&T anti-robocall service will be on by default but customers can turn it off. The FCC’s ruling requires phone companies to allow customers to opt out of the service.
Its competitors, T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon are also offering services or tools that alert customers if a call is a spam.
T-Mobile is offering its Scam Block and Scam ID service for free. Sprint is charging its customers $2.99 a month for its Premium Caller ID. Verizon is offering its Call Filter for free and Call Filter Plus for $2.99 per month.
U.S. wireless customers received 25.3 billion unwanted robocalls in the first six months of this year alone, according to the estimate of Hiya, a spam-blocking app.
The FCC and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have been taking strong enforcement actions against robocallers.