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FCC Issues Fax Rule Declaratory Ruling

Sharon Edmondson, Washington Legislative Team Member | October 13, 2015

On August 28th the Federal Communications Commission issued two declaratory rulings related to how faxes are classified under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The FCC issued two declaratory rulings clarifying that electronic faxes are subject to the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and that faxes promoting a business’s job placement services are advertisements even when they respond to a job posting that requested faxed resumes (In re Westfax, Inc., FCC, Nos. 02-278, 05-338, 8/28/15; In re iHire, LLC, FCC, No 02-278). The FCC said that the TCPA applies to a fax that is sent as a fax over a telephone line to a device that meets the statutory definition of a “telephone facsimile machine” including a computer that receives the electronic fax via e-mail.

At the same time the FCC granted 117 retroactive waivers to the fax opt-out notice requirement under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act and the Junk Fax Prevention Act, which amended the fax advertising provisions of the TCPA (In re Rules & Regulations Implementing the Tel. Consumer Prot. Act of 1991, FCC, Nos. 02-278, 05-38).

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