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House passes Junk Fax Prevention Act; FCC extends stay

The House of Representatives passed S. 714, The Junk Fax Prevention Act, today following Senate passage of the legislation on June 24…

The House of Representatives passed S. 714, The Junk Fax Prevention Act, today following Senate passage of the legislation on June 24. The bill will be sent to the President for his signature and should be signed into law before July 1. In the interim, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has granted the Fax Ban Coalition`s Petition for Stay, postponing the effective date of the FCC`s proposed regulations to Jan. 9, 2006.



ASTA was pleased to play an active role in the Fax Ban Coalition, which worked for two years to extend the timetable for small businesses like travel agencies to comply with the FCC rules on sending faxes to customers, said Kathryn W. Sudeikis, CTC, ASTA president and CEO. The Junk Fax Prevention Act is a common-sense solution that enables businesses to continue to send faxes to their established customers, just as they do now and have for years, while maintaining the strict prohibition on unwanted junk-faxes.



Once S. 714 is enacted, businesses will be allowed to send commercial faxes without prior permission as long as: there is an established business relationship (EBR) with the recipient, and in the case of a new EBR, the fax number was provided by the recipient or made publicly available in a published directory, advertisement or Web site.



It is likely that the FCC will issue regulations regarding the new opt-in requirement. While the regulations may be issued prior to Jan. 9, 2006, ASTA recommends that agents add an opt-out message on commercial fax advertisements immediately. Under the language of the statute, the opt-out message must be on the first page of the fax and must offer the recipient a cost-free mechanism for opting out. For example, a reply e-mail address or a local or toll-free number would meet the requirement but a phone number that is a long-distance or a toll call would not.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.

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