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, NorthernTel will begin to implement universal network-level call blocking starting November 6, 2019. Please note that other Canadian telecom services providers could do so at any time before the CRTC’s deadline.

What types of calls will be blocked by Northerntel?

  • Calls with unassigned North American area codes (e.g. 005 143-4561, 000 000-0000, 111 111-1111 or 123 456-7890)
  • North American calls that contain less than 10 digits (e.g. 0000, 3256 or 45753)
    • This does not include 310-XXXX calls
  • North American calls that have more than 10 digits (e.g. 905 243-4561-1234)
    • This does not include long distance calls that begin with the number 1 (e.g. 1 800 223-1234 or 1 613 245-1234 are considered 10 digit numbers and will not be blocked)
  • Calls originating internationally with more than 15 digits (e.g. 33-131-234-234-456-234 or 44-131-234-234-456-234)

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 typically originate from telemarketers not registered with the National Do Not Call List (NDNCL).

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. 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.

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 blocked. You can call 1 800 565-6200 to check if your telephone number is nonconforming.

If you require any support understanding the new call blocking rules, identifying noncompliant telephone numbers, assessing your options or modifying your equipment’s configuration, please contact demandes.cst@bell.ca (if in Ottawa, Québec or Atlantic Canada) or tschelp@bell.ca (if in Ontario, except Ottawa, or Western Canada), or request a callback.

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