The scourge of "robocalls" by the billions has prompted USA regulators to adopt new rules allowing carriers to implement tools to block calls with suspicious origins.
Pai was one of three out of the five commissioners to vote in favor of the rule.
Under the order, which passed 5-0, phone companies will be allowed to enroll customers in robocall-blocking programs by default unless consumers opt out.
"I am disappointed that for all our efforts to support new blocking technology, we couldn't muster up the courage to do what consumers want most - stop robocalls and do it for free", she wrote in a statement.
As of 2019, United States carriers and AT&T offer some free services for robocall-blocking, but Sprint's Premium Caller ID service charges $2.99 per line for the privilege.
The selection of robocalls in the US has fallen somewhat since hitting a file 5.23 billion estimated calls in March, in line with YouMail, a firm that presents a provider to block such messages.
The FCC in 2017 imposed a $120 million fine on Florida resident Adrian Abramovich, who was accused of engineering some 100 million spoofed robocalls to trick unsuspecting consumers into answering and listening to his advertising messages, many described as "exclusive" vacation deals.
But questions remain about whether consumers may have to pay for such services, should carriers ultimately activate them.
FCC commissioner Geoffrey Starks acknowledged motion became once urgently, including: "Place merely, by allowing these calls to proliferate, now we accept as true with broken the cell phone carrier on this country". Many consumers remain unaware of the ability to opt-in to the service, however, a problem the FCC will tackle by allowing carriers to enable it by default.
The FCC expects companies to provide the service for free, but the vote doesn't require them to do so.
Critics are calling for the FCC to delay the vote, citing the need for public evaluation of the proposal and the potential for the blocking of lawful communications, such as the notification of airline delays or health care reminders.
Americans plagued by billions of unwanted robocalls to their phones are about to get some relief.
According to Pai, the feature would be an optimal tool to help prevent elderly people from being scammed by robocallers, as they are often the target. Verizon said Thursday with the new FCC rules "we'll be able to provide our customers the benefits of spam alerts and blocking more broadly and conveniently". It's a scam While it's hard to fight phone spam, we have some suggestions that may help make things a bit less annoying. "I hold out hope that all goes well because there is so much at stake".