BT has announced plans for a new service that will tackle nuisance calls, which should be live by the end of 2016.
It will work by harnessing huge computing power to analyse large amounts of live data. Network experts will then identify rogue numbers - typically those making very large numbers of calls - and add them to a blacklist.
The as yet unnamed service could see up to 25 million nuisance calls diverted every week. This will bring a sigh of relief to the 75 per cent of Britons who receive unwanted calls each month, according to recent research conducted by Which?.
In addition, if a large number of customers identify troublesome numbers then they too will be added to the blacklist.
Customers will also be able to make their own personal blacklists, as well as nominating whole categories of calls they want to avoid, such as international calls or withheld numbers.
Along with TalkTalk, BT has led the industry in the fight to combat nuisance calls, which often includes sales calls for PPI or personal injury claims, silent calls or automated marketing messages.
The latest development will allow BT to share information with regulators, such as Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office, to help those agencies build on the significant public awareness and enforcement action they are already taking.
The firm is now calling on other companies to join the fight to tackle nuisance callers.
John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer, said: "We are delighted to have made this major breakthrough. We are giving control of the landline back to our customers and removing a major hassle and grief for millions of customers.
"We call on other providers to up their game in the fight against this menace. They can help us to root out the malicious players they may be hosting on their own networks when we identify dodgy and suspicious calling behaviour."
TalkTalk, which was the first broadband provider to block nuisance calls at a network level and claims to prevent 70 million unsolicited calls every month, welcomed BT's move but called for all providers to be obliged to offer free call blocking.
A spokesperson stated: "TalkTalk has already been blocking nuisance and scam calls for over two years, during which time we have been the only provider to offer this service for free.
"We now block 70 million unwanted calls a month from reaching TalkTalk homes, which is double the amount we blocked last year.
"We’re pleased to see other providers follow our lead in taking a stand against nuisance calls. But this is an urgent problem, which can only be tackled if government mandates all telecoms providers to offer free call blocking."
If you are being plagued by nuisance calls, take a look at our guide on how to keep them to a minimum