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January 2003 News

Current Activities

The FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Toll-Free is expected to come out this month and AFTA members are polishing a draft pleading in preparation. The association will augment its pleading with an economist's free market argument (prominent economist's name to be announced).

1-800-AFTA has joined SNAC, with Jay Carpenter representing our views at frequent meetings. SNAC, or the SMS/800 Number Administration Committee, is responsible for: SMS/800 Process Enhancements, Customer/RESP ORG Requirements, Provider/RESP ORG Requirements,Technical/Operational Issues, SMS/800-877 Documentation Requirements and SMS/800 Help Desk/RESP ORG Support Process.

Regulatory News

The Federal Trade Commission drafted a set of amendments to its rule governing telemarketing activities, one of which would create a national "do not call" registry that would enable consumers to stop most unwanted telemarketing calls. The FTC said the registry would be operational about four months after Congressional funding is secured.

Registration via toll-free phone calls would also begin at that time, but would be phased in on a region-by-region basis. Telemarketers would be able to "scrub" their lists against the registry beginning about two months after phase-in registration ends. About one month after the scrubbing begins, the FTC would begin enforcement. Telemarketers would have to scrub their lists every three months, and they would pay for access to the registry.

Industry News

As reported in the ICB Toll Free News, there is strong evidence that companies continue to purchase toll-free numbers despite FCC prohibitions. Members noted with interest a quarterly report for PetMed Express, Inc.(a leading nationwide pet pharmacy) released November, 2002.
The notes to the financial statements included:

... Note 2: Intangible Asset
In the second quarter of fiscal 2002, the Company obtained the rights to a toll free phone number for $365,000.

Also in the quarterly report, Mendo Akdag, CEO, stated, "We believe branding our 1-800-PetMeds name is critical for our long term success and profitability."

Take Advantage of SMS/800 Free WBA Demonstrations!

All SMS/800 users may participate in upcoming online WBA training sessions. Each month the SMS/800 Help Desk plans to offer two free tutorials on setting up and/or using SMS/800 Web Based Access. Two sessions are scheduled for January. Users can sign up for the free sessions by calling the SMS/800 Help Desk.

A Jan. 9 session will focus on the initial setup and logon procedures for the WBA. A Jan. 23 session will focus on a more detailed review of the features related to number search and reservation and will also include a simple introduction to building customer records.

To sign up for a demonstration or to request a demonstration relating to a particular topic, you may contact the SMS/800 Help Desk at 888-SMS-3300, Option 1.

P.O. Box 1049
Burlington, VT
fax 802-860-4821
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