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A CRTC logo is shown in this file photo.Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press

Canada's telecommunications regulator says telephone companies must help block unsolicited and illegitimate calls to their customers.

The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission has given telecommunications providers 90 days to develop technical solutions to block these nuisance calls.

The solutions will be subject to approval by the CRTC.

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The regulator is also encouraging the companies to offer call management features to help their customers filter unwanted calls. They have 180 days to report back on the features they offer or will offer.

The CRTC says it will issue a decision on how to deal with caller ID spoofing – when telemarketers display fictitious phone numbers to hide or misrepresent their identity – soon.

Canadians can already register their phone number with the National Do Not Call List to help reduce the amount of telemarketing calls they receive.

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