Let's set the record straight about the Junk Fax Prevention Act.

Faxes sent by companies with which the recipient has no established business relationship have been illegal since the enactment of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. The Junk Fax Prevention Act will do nothing to change that [letters, Oct. 4].

The exemption for an established business relationship also has been in place since 1991. Yet the "nightmare scenario" envisioned in Jonathan Krim's Sept. 22 Business article in which a "popular national retailer could decide to send out fax blasts to hundreds of thousands of randomly dialed numbers, or to lists of fax numbers purchased from marketing firms," has not taken place. That is because legitimate businesses sending faxes to legitimate customers do not want to anger those customers by sending such random messages.

The Junk Fax Prevention Act will allow businesses to continue to communicate with their customers without the expense and paperwork of receiving express permission for every fax number. It will provide an additional consumer protection by requiring an opt-out mechanism, something not mandated under the regulations in place since 1991.

Faxes sent without an established business relationship will remain illegal. The proposed compromise, bipartisan legislation will benefit both businesses and consumers.

JONATHAN EISEN

Burke

The writer is director of government relations for the International Foodservice Distributors Association, a member of the Fax Ban Coalition.