FCC Will Talk Telemarketing at Thursday Meeting

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The Federal Communications Commission will discuss telemarketing regulations in a meeting Thursday that one Direct Marketing Association official said could be significant.

Commissioners will discuss issues involving "possible revisions to the rules on unsolicited advertising over telephone and facsimile machine" under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, according to a mandatory meeting notice issued by the FCC. An FCC spokeswoman contacted yesterday by DM News said the agency would not release further details prior to the meeting.

"They won't tell any of us, either," said Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president for government affairs with the DMA.

The commission will consider orders, or actions that the agency can vote on and proceed on immediately, as well as a notice of proposed rulemaking, which it must vote to approve before considering major regulatory changes, Cerasale said. The Federal Trade Commission issued a notice of proposed rulemaking in January when it announced that it would explore the creation of a national DNC list.

FCC discussion of a national DNC list would be significant because the FCC has broader authority to regulate telemarketing calls than the FTC, Cerasale said. Several types of businesses, including telephone common carriers and some financial service firms, would not be subject to the FTC's proposed national DNC list, whereas the FCC can regulate these industries.

The FCC meeting at 9:30 a.m. will be broadcast live in RealPlayer format at fcc.gov/realaudio.

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