Brief: FTC's do-not-call list to be in place faster than expected

It will be ready to take registrations by early July.

The Federal Trade Commission has accelerated the timetable for rolling out its upcoming do-not-call registry.

The agency had initially predicted that it would take approximately eight weeks for the free service, which will be launched around July 1, to go into effect nationwide. However, an FTC spokeswoman now says that it should take only two weeks or so to put the registration process into place.

Online registration, as well as telephone registration for residents living west of the Mississippi River, including Minnesota and Louisiana, will begin early next month, according to a statement from the FTC. Residents in the rest of the U.S. will be able to sign up by phone a week later.

To register by phone, people will need to call from the number they wish to register. Online registration is available for those with e-mail accounts.

The registry will allow consumers to decide how many telemarketing calls, if any at all, they would like to receive at home. Telemarketers will be required to access the registry to "scrub" their calling lists beginning in September, and, according to the agency, consumers who put their phone numbers on the registry should get fewer calls after Oct. 1.

Telemarketers found to have called someone who has already signed onto the registry will face fines of up to $11,000 per violation.

Copyright © 2003 IDG Communications, Inc.

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