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Separate Scrubbing of Wireless Numbers Required

February 12, 2005

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act" (the "TCPA") prohibits telemarketers from placing autodialed or prerecorded calls to wireless numbers. Since the end of 2003, local number portability has permitted consumers to port numbers used for landline service to wireless service. It is important for telemarketers to know which numbers are wireless numbers before placing a telemarketing call because many of the exemptions telemarketers rely on to avoid the jurisdiction of the Telephone Sale Rule do not exist in the TCPA (i.e. existing business relationship exemption).

Unlike the federal DNC which requires scrubbing every 31 days, telemarketers have a much shorter window with respect to wireless numbers. Telemarketers are given only a 15-day safe harbor provision to not call wireless numbers once they have been ported. Telemarketers can purchase a list, which is updated daily, directly from NewStar or from the DMA (as a reseller) of phone numbers which have been ported. This list is separate from the FTC DNC list and requires the payment of an additional fee.

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