STIR/SHAKEN Compliance: What You Need to Know

As the upcoming STIR/SHAKEN compliance deadlines approach, many customers have understandably had questions and concerns. To help you navigate the confusion around these new regulations, our Allstream experts have provided answers to the most frequently asked questions about STIR/SHAKEN.

To combat the growing concerns around robocalls, call spoofing, and spam calls in the US and Canada, regulatory agencies in both countries have mandated that telecom providers begin marking calls under new STIR/SHAKEN regulations. The compliance deadline in the US is June 30, 2021, and the deadline in Canada is November 30, 2021.

1) What is “STIR/SHAKEN”?
STIR/SHAKEN is a set of methods and procedures mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the US and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in Canada. Telecom carriers use these methods and procedures to designate phone calls carried on SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) trunks as “known” or “unknown” calls. The telecom looks at the phone number and its origin and attests whether it is “fully known,” “partially known,” or “unknown.” Assigning these designations is entirely up to the telecom provider and is handled on the network.

2) What is the purpose of these new methods and procedures?
The purpose behind STIR/SHAKEN is to begin laying groundwork to address the rampant robocall, call “spoofing,” and “spam” call problem in the US and Canada. STIR/SHAKEN only applies to calls on SIP trunks and is only one piece of an overall strategy that has yet to be fully developed.

3) Do I need to worry about my calls being marked as spam?
No, STIR/SHAKEN protocols will not mark your calls as spam. STIR/SHAKEN is only one piece of input in marking a call as spam. In order for a call to be marked as spam or potential spam, it has to go through a call analytics software, which will analyze many pieces of input.

4) Do I need to do anything to make sure our calls are compliant with these regulations?
No, you do not need to do anything. STIR/SHAKEN is handled entirely on the network side, and Allstream has the infrastructure in place to fully comply with regulations.

5) If these designations won’t affect anything, what’s the point?
With the wide variety of telecom infrastructure still in place across the US and Canada, various solutions to control spam will need to be put in place. STIR/SHAKEN is just one small solution that will address one aspect of one type of call.

6) What is Allstream doing to address spam calls?
In addition to complying with STIR/SHAKEN, Allstream will be implementing a call analytics solution in the future. Customers that subscribe to the service will have an additional layer of analysis added to both outgoing and incoming calls.

7) Can we be certain that all our calls will be marked with the highest level of attestation—that is, that all our calls will be marked as “fully known”?
If your calls originate from Allstream phone numbers on Allstream SIP trunks, and if your SIP trunks do not carry other phone numbers, your calls will be marked with the highest level of attestation.
Please note that 800 numbers are not affected by these regulations, so they will not be marked at all. In addition, if calls are forwarded or if non-Allstream phone numbers are used, your calls may be marked as one of the lower levels of attestation. This does NOT mean they will be marked as “spam.”

8) Some of our outgoing calls do not use Allstream phone numbers. Is there a way to ensure that those calls are marked as “fully known”
Your Allstream Sales Engineer can help design a solution that ensures your calls are designated as “fully known” as much as possible. For an analysis of your unique needs, contact your account manager to discuss a solution.

9) Where can I go to learn more?
US Federal Communications Commission
Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Allstream Selects Metaswitch to Fight Unwanted Robocalls in the United States and Canada
Robocall Mitigation Service