Business VoIP Phone service update

A recent FCC change is bringing about an end to our phone services. I built ComputAssist Business VoIP to provide premium phone service to my customers. However, an accelerated FCC requirement makes it unprofitable to continue.

FCC added requirements

The FCC’s initiative to prevent robo-calling is called STIR/SHAKEN (Secure Telephony Identity Revisited / Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs.) Compliance with STIR/SHAKEN is now required of all service providers.

This system works by adding information to a call as to the origin and CALLER ID, with different levels of confidence in the validity of the CALLER ID. This is called attestation. An “A” attestation is the best, meaning the system recognizes the number as being a customer, and the CALLER ID as being a number legitimately owned by the system. A “B” or “C” increases the probability of a call being flagged as spam.

If you would like to find out what your own phone number’s attestation level is, you can call a free verification service provided by Clearly IP at 920-666-1392. Your Caller ID, attestation level A, B or C, and what carrier signed your call will be read back to you.

My upstream provider, Telnyx, was able to originate the call and attest to the validity of a call’s CALLER ID, and as a top-tier VoIP provider they have had that capability since the early testing days. Then the FCC issued an update to their requirements, accelerating the timeframe for small VoIP providers to provide their own STIR/SHAKEN attestation. Apparently the majority of robo-calls originate with small providers.

So while the existing system logically and functionally works well, the FCC says that Telnyx cannot attest ComputAssist calls, and my system must do its own attestations.

Costly compliance

To add STIR/SHAKEN to my service is cost prohibitive. The digital signing token, the certificate needed to “sign” the calls and the additional infrastructure costs many thousands more per year than ComputAssist Business VoIP’s gross earnings.

In the final analysis, it no longer makes sense for ComputAssist to offer phone service.

Where to from here?

ComputAssist Business VoIP can be replaced with another provider that offers a similar feature set. The phones you have will continue to work in the same way. I will be happy to recommend and configure a replacement provider for you, or you can shop for the service yourself and use their support to DIY your phone system. One list of popular business phone service providers is this one at Capterra.

The end result should be phone service that compares to what you have today, at a price that is not far different from what you have been paying.

It has been my pleasure to provide you with phone service until now.