Submissions should address each of these points explicitly. Both the Best Overall Solution and Federal Trade Commission Technology Achievement Award will be judged on the following criteria:

Does it work? (weighted at 50%)

  • How successful is the proposed solution likely to be in blocking illegal robocalls? Will it block wanted calls? An ideal solution blocks all illegal robocalls and no calls that are legally permitted. (For example, automated calls by political parties, charities, and health care providers, as well as reverse 911 calls, are not illegal robocalls.)
  • How many consumer phones can be protected? What types of phones? Mobile phones? Traditional wired lines? VoIP land lines? Proposals that will work for all phones will be more heavily weighted.
  • What evidence do you already have to support your idea? Running code? Experiments? Peer-reviewed publications?
  • How easy might it be for robocallers to adapt and counter your scheme? How flexible is your scheme to adapt to new calling techniques? How have you validated these points? Remember that the real test of a security system is not whether or not you can break it; it’s whether or not other people can.

Is it easy to use? (weighted at 25%)

  • How difficult would it be for a consumer to learn to use your solution?
  • How efficient would it be to use your solution, from a consumer’s perspective?
  • Are there mistakes consumers might make in using your solution, and how severe would they be?
  • How satisfying would it be to use your solution?
  • Would your solution be accessible to people with disabilities?

Can it be rolled out? (weighted at 25%)

  • What has to be changed for your idea to work? Can it function in today’s marketplace? (E.g., Does it require changes to all phone switches world-wide, and require active cooperation by all of the world’s phone companies and VoIP gateways, or can it work with limited adoption?) Solutions that are deployable at once will be more heavily weighted, as will solutions that give immediate benefits with even small-scale deployment.
  • Is deployment economically realistic?
  • How rapidly can your idea be put into production?