DNC Registrations Surpass 10 Million

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The number of consumer telephone numbers registered to the federal no-call list exceeded 10 million in the first weekend following the registry's launch, the Federal Trade Commission said yesterday.


Registration rates peaked June 27, the first day registration became available, with 7 million phone numbers signed up by day's end. On June 28, 4.6 million numbers went on the list, followed by another 2 million Sunday.


Those figures include about 3 million consumers who registered at the Web site but have failed to click through a required confirmation e-mail, the FTC said.


About 85 percent of the registrations occurred online at the Donotcall.gov site, the FTC said. Phone registration is available only in states west of the Mississippi River and will be unavailable in the nation's eastern half until July 7.


Problems with online registration that marred the registry's first day -- consumers were unable to access the DNC Web site due to traffic volumes -- appeared to be absent yesterday. The heaviest online traffic to the site occurred between 6 and 7 p.m. Eastern time June 27, when 158 numbers per second entered the system, according to the FTC.


NetFrameworks Inc., an online security products and consulting services firm, has reported that some spam e-mail blocking systems inadvertently intercepted the FTC's confirmation e-mails.


AT&T Government Solutions, the contractor responsible for launching and maintaining the list, contacted Internet service providers about the spam-blocking problem and resolved it by midday Friday, FTC spokeswoman Cathy MacFarlane said.


A more common problem is that of consumers entering an incorrect e-mail address when registering online, and the FTC suggests that those who fail to receive confirmation e-mails should register again.


The FTC opted against a paid-advertising campaign for the no-call list, depending on media outlets and word of mouth to spread information about the registry. According to a survey of 300 consumers by InsightExpress, 59 percent reported being aware of the no-call list.


More than half of those surveyed reported seeing information about the list on television news, according to the study. One-third read about it on the Internet, and equal numbers of people -- 25 percent each -- read about the list in the newspaper or heard about it from an acquaintance.


As the national no-call list grows, rancor between the outbound industry's two trade groups became clearer yesterday. The American Teleservices Association's executive director, Tim Searcy, expressed disappointment in the Direct Marketing Association's support for the Federal Communications Commission's decision to embrace the FTC's no-call list and extend it to industries, including telecom carriers, financial firms and airlines, that otherwise would have been unaffected by the list.


"We were surprised and disappointed to see a reversal of position with the DMA," Searcy said. "Since we share members, we can't believe this position represents the opinion and interest of all their members."


A DMA spokesman did not return phone calls yesterday.


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