The American Society of Travel Agents and the National Tour
Association have joined the Business Users Coalition in filing a
petition with the Federal Communications Commission over its ruling
on unsolicited faxes.
The FCC announced last month that effective Aug. 25, “small
businesses ... provide consent to all companies from which they
receive certain faxed information.”
In its petition with the business coalition, ASTA requested a
six-month stay and said thousands of travel agencies and small
businesses would be harmed if the delay were not granted.
ASTA officials said last week that they and members of the
coalition had met with the FCC and expected their request to be
An FCC official said last week that the requests are being
considered, but he could not say when a decision might be made.
“The travel industry alone accounts for about 18 million faxed
pages each month. To abruptly cut off travel agents’ ability to
communicate with their vendors and customers, without first
allowing them enough time to examine and comply with the law, would
be egregious and irresponsible,” said Richard M. Copland, ASTA
president and CEO.
In its petition, the coalition said the FCC did not give those
affected enough time to obtain the necessary consents.
“Failure to obtain express, written consent could interfere with
the flow of information to many small businesses, such as mortgage
brokers, travel agents, and publishers of trade circulations that
heavily rely on receiving vital business information via fax ... ,”
it said in its petition to the FCC.
Small businesses have operated under an established-business
relationship exception that allowed them to fax without signed and
written consent, for more than 10 years.
In addition to ASTA, the Business Users Coalition is includes
the Mortgage Bankers Association of Americ and the Midwest
Several other national business associations have also appealed
the FCC rule. For the latest information, www.fcc.gov.