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PIA Lauds FCC Decision to Stay Rule Restricting FAX Communications

WASHINGTON, August 20, 2003 - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) today lauded the decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stay...
August 20, 2003

Borowski Says Delay Is Good News, But Battle Not Over

WASHINGTON, August 20, 2003 - The National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA) today lauded the decision by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to stay until January 1, 2005 a rule that threatens to place onerous restrictions on the ability of membership associations and other businesses to communicate with their members by fax.

"The delay is good news but by no means is this battle over," said PIA Senior Vice President Patricia A. Borowski. "The FCC has not changed its underlying position. It has only granted a temporary reprieve."

An FCC rule published in the Federal Register on July 25, 2003 would have prohibited anyone from sending faxes that are deemed unsolicited on any topic that could be considered an advertisement, without obtaining advance written authorization.

While the FCC is giving people additional time to collect authorizations, it is not backing away from its position adopted on July 25. At the same time, the FCC is accepting comments only until August 25. PIA will be filing additional comments with the FCC and continuing to work with others on getting Congress to step in and clarify these issues legislatively.

The effect of the delay until January 1, 2005 is that unsolicited fax advertisements may be sent to individuals and businesses with whom the sender already has an established business relationship without obtaining prior written consent. Where there is not an established business relationship, consent must be obtained prior to sending a fax advertisement. This action does not change the October 1, 2003 effective date of the FCC's rules affecting telephone communications and establishing a national do-not-call registry.

Borowski said it was baseless for the FCC to have concluded that no existing business relationship exists among the members of PIA, PIA National and PIA affiliate associations.

PIA conducted a nationwide grassroots campaign, filed two formal protests with the FCC and also joined with more than 1,400 other associations in support of similar efforts organized by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE).

Founded in 1931, PIA is a national trade association that represents member insurance agents and their employees who sell and service all kinds of insurance, but specialize in coverage of automobiles, homes and businesses.

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