FCC Extends Stay of Revised Junk Fax Rules

SHEILA MILLAR, KELLER AND HECKMAN, LLP

WASHINGTON, DC, USA — Through an Order released on Friday, October 1, 2004, the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) has extended until June 30, 2005, the effective date of its new rule that an "established business relationship" (EBR) is insuficient to demonstrate that a person has granted "prior express permission" to receive unsolicited fax advertisements and its new requirements "prior permission" be in writing, Sheila Millar, an attorney at Washington, DC-based Keller and Heckman, and PFFC's "Legal Briefs" columnist tells pffc-online.com.

States Millar:

The FCC took such action in light of federal legislation seeking reinstatement of the EBR exception (H.R. 4600 and S. 2603) and a petition filed by the "Fax Ban Coalition" seeking an extension of the initial stay of the new rule. The FCC eliminated the EBR exception last year and implemented extremely burdensome signed, written consent requirements for faxes, but later stayed the effective date of those two new provisions of the rule until January 1, 2005.

According to the FCC, the further extension until June 30, 2005, is necessary to allow Congress to act, or if it does not act, to afford the FCC more time to consider petitions for reconsideration of its new rule.

The EBR exemption will thus remain in effect until June 30, 2005. Faxes to those with whom a company lacks an EBR relationship require prior consent, but consent need not be in writing.

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