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Understanding STIR/SHAKEN

The ultimate guide to technology, compliance, and call blocking.

With the implementation of STIR/SHAKEN, we’ve broken down the most important rules related to call blocking, the TRACED Act, and how contact centers are addressing the regulation. We’re here to make sure your calls are successfully connected.

The real reason for STIR/SHAKEN

On March 10, 1876, Alexander Graham Bell made the first successful phone call. With that first call, before knowing how telecommunications would evolve over the next century, it was determined that to be physically connected to a network was to be trusted – due in part to various traits and the high cost of establishing a physical connection.

Past physical network infrastructure

  • Termination points
  • Physical securities
  • Real addresses

These types of securities were real and tangible. With the introduction of new technology such as SIP and VoIP, the internet continued to embrace new ways of connecting people while ignoring tangible identity, security, or trust. Eventually, with the increase of unwanted robocalls, something needed to be done through a verification process to reestablish trust in phone communications.

Breaking down STIR/SHAKEN


STIR/SHAKEN was introduced by the FCC and serves as a framework of connected standards to prevent fraudulent and unwanted calls while assigning a certificate of authenticity to each call. STIR stands for Secure Telephone Identity Revisited. SHAKEN stands for Signature-based Handling of Asserted Information Using toKENs.

Why is STIR/SHAKEN so important to my contact center?

All inbound and outbound calls traveling through any connected phone network need to have their caller ID signed as legitimate by the original telco carrier and the caller ID used at hand-off signed off as a trusted and verified phone number. Building trust can further protect your organization from the possibility of being misidentified when contacting customers.

A quick look at the entire process

Calls pass through many hands before completion, such as the caller, caller’s carrier, backhaul carriers, callee’s local carrier, and callee.

STIR/SHAKEN validates the caller’s identity between the caller and callee and all the touchpoints between (such as contact centers, BPO’s, etc.) and originating/terminating carriers.

What STIR/SHAKEN can and cannot do?

The STIR/SHAKEN process digitally validates all telecommunications that pass through any network, allowing the phone company of the consumer receiving the call to verify that a call is, in fact, from the number displayed on the Caller ID.


  • Help identify harmful robocalls
  • Validate that the number is real, in use, and not stolen
  • Authenticate the out-pulsed number
  • Protect calls by making it dramatically more difficult for bad actors to escape detection, change tactics, and complete calls


  • Eliminate robocalls
  • Make a call legal or illegal
  • Judge the merits of the call (i.e., is this call malicious or unwanted)

TCN is restoring trust one call at a time

TCN has implemented STIR/SHAKEN protocols with carriers. Our clients have the opportunity to take advantage of TCN’s full attestation protocols that can help verify your business phone numbers while reducing any compliance stress.

Restore trust and protect your business from being improperly classified as fraud or scam by registering your phone numbers with TCN.

How STIR/SHAKEN works with TCN

Learn how TCN can restore trust in calling.


In a STIR/SHAKEN call, the originating service provider signs (or attests) their relationship with the caller and their right to use the calling number.


STIR/SHAKEN is a framework designed to certify each call. Commonly known for STIR (Secure Telephone Identity Revisited) / SHAKEN (Signature-based Handling of Asserted information using toKENs). The FCC’s plan is about validating caller identities with originating and terminating carriers. All telecommunications providers have until June 30, 2021 to implement.

Call Blocking/Call Labeling

Call blocking is a tool used by phone companies to stop illegal and unwanted calls from reaching your phone. Labeling services display categories for potentially unwanted or illegal calls such as “spam” or “scam likely” on the caller ID display. Software companies have programmed phones to detect and label unwanted calls.

Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)

TCPA refers to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act 47 U.S.C. § 227 and aims to eliminate repetitive, irrelevant, or excessively intrusive calling practices. The TCPA extends to all facets of outbound telephone contact, including but not limited to auto dialed and manual phone calls, faxes, voice messages, text messages, and automatic dialing systems.

Regulation F (Rule clarifying the FDCPA 2020)

Regulation F is a clarification to the 1977 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and how it applies to debt collector communications.


A robocall is a phone call that uses a computerized autodialer to deliver a pre-recorded message, as if from a robot. Robocalls are often associated with political and telemarketing phone campaigns but can also be used for public service or emergency announcements.


The FCC introduced the TRACED Act to protect individuals from unwanted, fraudulent, and potentially spam solicitations by marketers and bad actors either by phone or text.

Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates interstate and international communications by radio, television, wire, satellite, and cable in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.

Fair Debt Collections Practices Act (FDCPA)

The Fair Debt Collection Practices Act was approved on September 20, 1977, and is a consumer protection amendment establishing legal protection from abusive debt collection practices to consumers.

Express Consent

Express consent is giving businesses permission for something that is given specifically, either verbally or in writing.

Learn how TCN can restore trust in calling.