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Universal Network-Level Call Blocking

Last year, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) ordered all Canadian telecom service providers to implement universal network-level call blocking by December 19, 2019. This is part of the CRTC’s effort to protect Canadians against certain types of unsolicited calls by blocking calls when call display information is blatantly inaccurate.

To comply with this decision, during the fall of 2019, Bell will implement universal network-level call blocking. Please note that other Canadian telecom services providers could do so at any time before the CRTC’s deadline.

What calls are blocked?

Universal Network-Level Call Blocking (UNCB) will block any incoming or outgoing calls that have calling line identifiers (CLIDs) that do not conform to the North American Numbering Plan. A call will be blocked if the CLID is:

  • More or less than 10 digits (Long distance and country codes are not included in the count e.g. 1 800 111-1111 is considered a 10 digit number)
  • Invalid (e.g. all 0’s or area codes that do not exist or are unassigned)

These telephone numbers often encompass various types of unwanted, unsolicited, spoofed, or spam phone calls, such as illegitimate marketing (e.g. free cruise offers), and telemarketers not registered with the National Do Not Call List (NDNCL).

Telemarketers making sales calls to customers in Canada have an obligation to accurately identify themselves. Callers who use technology to spoof their call display with inaccurate, false or misleading information violate this requirement. A spoofed number can appear as a string of digits, such as 000 000-0000, a random number, or the number of a company, person or government entity.

UNCB should help reduce the number of unsolicited calls received by Canadians, although it will not block all unsolicited calls.

How will this impact my business?

If you are currently using nonconforming telephone numbers, your equipment will need to be reprogrammed so that your calls are not inadvertently blocked.

Please see the Compliance and Enforcement and Telecom Regulatory Policy CRTC 2018-484 online at https://crtc.gc.ca/eng/archive/2018/2018-484.htm