FCC Delays Fax Restrictions to 2005

FCC extends deadline on unsolicited faxes

The Federal Communications Commission has extended for 16 months the deadline to comply with its recent ruling on unsolicited faxes.

The FCC announced last month that, as of Aug. 25, anyone sending advertising faxes must have the recipient’s written, signed consent for such transmissions.

The ruling caught many by surprise and prompted petitions to the FCC from the American Society of Association Executives, the National Association of Realtors, the National Association of Business Political Action Committees and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Organizations said the FCC had not given the affected businesses enough time to obtain the necessary consents from their customers.

The Business Users Coalition, joined by the American Society of Travel Agents and the National Tour Association, also filed a petition with the FCC over the ruling.

In its petition, ASTA said it requested a six-month stay to protect thousands of travel agencies and small businesses.

The FCC extension granted last week sets a new compliance deadline of Jan. 1, 2005.

Until then, the FCC said, unsolicited advertisements may continue to be faxed to individuals and businesses if the sender has an established business relationship with the receiver.

The FCC said the extension is designed to allow organizations adequate time to comply with the ruling.

“In addition, this extension will allow the commission the opportunity to consider any new petitions for reconsideration and other filings that may be made on this issue,” it said in a statement.

FCC-approved fax permission forms are posted at www.astanet.com.