FCC Delays Fax Rules

The Federal Communications Commission formally delayed implementing rules that would require businesses to get written consent from recipients before sending a fax, in a final rule published yesterday in the Federal Register.

The rule was supposed to take effect Jan. 9, but the FCC on Dec. 9 put the action on hold while seeking public comment on the proposal.

Under rules approved by Congress last year, businesses would be required to tell recipients of commercial faxes how to opt out of getting more of them. Limits on unsolicited commercial faxes must be in place by April 5 under the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005. The act amends section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934 relating to unsolicited facsimile ads.

Businesses are concerned that the rules might block faxes from firms that have had prior dealings with members or customers.

Before the proposed rules can take effect, they must be published in the Federal Register, and interested parties then have 45 days to make comments.

Meanwhile, in a proposed Federal Register rule also published yesterday, the FCC proposed amendments to its unsolicited facsimile ad rules and sought comment on aspects of those rules. The FCC wants comment on the established business relationship exception to the rules, the requirement to include an opt-out notice and contact information on facsimile ads, and other rules implementing the Junk Fax Prevention Act.

Comments are due Jan. 18. Reply comments are due Feb. 2.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and DMNews.com. To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting www.dmnews.com/newsletters

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