FCC Seeks Comment on Telephone Consumer Protection Act Clarifications

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By Paul Barbagallo  

The Federal Communications Commission is seeking comment on four petitions for clarification of the agency's telemarketing rules.

The first of the petitions comes from Westfax Inc., which asks the FCC to make clear whether the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005, and commission rules apply to “e-faxes,” or faxes that are converted into email.

The second petition, from iHire, LLC, seeks guidance from the FCC on whether the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and commission rules apply when a third party, like a headhunter, faxes a resume to an employer on behalf of a job seeker. Such a fax would not be an “advertisement” under the TCPA, and would be exempt from the requirement to include an opt-out provision on the first page of the fax.

The third petition, from 3G Collect, Inc., and 3G Collect, LLC, urges the agency to declare that operator service providers are exempt from a TCPA provision prohibiting prerecorded calls to wireless numbers--but only when providers connect collect callers to consumers with a wireless number.

And, in the fourth petition, Revolution Messaging, LLC, asks the agency to clarify that internet-to-phone text-messaging technology is an “automatic telephone dialing system” within the meaning of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The TCPA was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush in 1991 and implemented by the FCC in 1992.

Comments on the four petitions are due Nov. 23. Reply comments are due Dec. 10.

Comments filed in the docket, 02-278, are online at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view?name=02-278.

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