• FCC Delays Fax Rules
  • January 13, 2006
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • 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 December 19, 2005, in the Federal Register.

    The rule was supposed to take effect January 9, 2006, but earlier this month, the FCC put the action on hold while seeking additional public comment on a proposed Federal Register rule governing unsolicited fax ads that was also published December 19, in which the agency proposed amendments to its unsolicited facsimile ad rules and sought comment on aspects of those rules. The FCC wants comments 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.

    Under the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005, marketers would be required to tell recipients of commercial faxes how to opt out of receiving faxes in the future. Limits on unsolicited commercial faxes must be in place by April 5, 2006. The act amends section 227 of the Communications Act of 1934 relating to unsolicited faxed ads.

    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.

    Significance: The FCC's delay in implementing regulations under the Junk Fax Prevention Act is an important development for marketers, who are concerned that under the rules as written, they will have to get written permission from customers before they can send out faxes. We will keep you updated on further developments as they unfold.