FTC to Begin Building DNC Registry

With President Bush signing the FY 2003 Omnibus Appropriations Bill yesterday, the Federal Trade Commission has commenced with creating the national no-call registry, FTC chairman Timothy Muris said in a statement.

The FTC will begin building the registry “within the next few days,” Muris said. Consumer signup will begin in the summer, and telemarketers will be able to buy copies of the registry in September.

Consumers should notice a decline in unsolicited or “cold” calls by fall, Muris said. Details about how consumers can register will be available later this spring.

The first step for the FTC in the process is selecting a contractor to establish the do-not-call list. The FTC has said it has interviewed candidates and expects to announce a contractor soon.

A “rolling” signup is planned, with registration becoming available to consumers in different geographic regions at different times. The FTC hopes that by conducting consumer registration in this fashion it can avoid a mad rush to register that has jammed inbound DNC phone lines in some states that launched no-call registries.

The FTC originally planned to charge telemarketers $12 per area code annually or $3,000 annually for all 250 area codes. However, that was before the FTC announced the expected cost of launching the DNC list would be $16 million, three times what initially was expected.

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