FCC Extends Comment Period on Proposed Changes to TCPA

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The Federal Communications Commission said yesterday that it has extended the comment period on whether it should revise existing rules regarding unsolicited advertising through the telephone and fax machines.

In September, the FCC announced that it was seeking comments on possible changes to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The notice was published in the Federal Register on Oct. 8, establishing a comment date of Nov. 22 and reply comment date of Dec. 9. The new dates are Dec. 9 for comments and Jan. 8 for reply comments.

Earlier this month, the American Teleservices Association asked that the FCC extend the comment period because it has not received documents it requested in October under the Freedom of Information Act. The ATA has asked to look at 11,000 complaints regarding telemarketing practices from 2000 to 2001 and 1,500 inquiries regarding predictive dialers cited by the FCC in its notice.

So far, the FCC said it has forwarded 250 complaints to the ATA and will "work diligently to provide a complete response to ATA's FOIA request." The ATA had asked for a longer extension, but the FCC denied the full request, saying, "We do not believe it would be in the public interest to delay this entire proceeding by several months."


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