By JACK WEATHERLY
Starting Friday, Mississippians will be able to sign up on the state do-not-call list to block telemarketing calls and text messages on their cell phones.
That’s when an amendment to the state Telephone Solicitation Act of 2003 takes effect.
Those who want to get their cell phones on the registry simply need to go to the Mississippi Public Service Commission website, http://www.psc.state.ms.us/, and sign up.
Registration done by July 31 will go into effect Sept. 1.
Commission Chairman Brandon Presley said that the regulatory agency is working toward establishing a phone app to make the process even simpler.
For years, efforts to add cellphones to the act, which only addresses landlines, have gotten no traction in the Legislature.
Cellphones are fast overtaking landlines across the country.
And especially so in Mississippi, said Presley.
The state has the highest percentage of cellphone-only households, Presley said in interview earlier this year. “Landlines are rapidly diminishing,” Presley said.
With the amended state law, Mississippians will not have to deal with Federal Communications Commission and its “bundle of bureaucracy,” Presley said.
He said the law is a matter of “privacy protection.” Calls for political purposes and by charitable organizations will be excepted, as they have been since the law was passed in 2003.
About half of the 50 states ban cellphone solicitations. Some states rely solely on the federal Do Not Call Registry, which applies to cellphones used for such purposes. Also, the federal law allows an individual to file suit against a solicitor.
The Mississippi law does not permit that.
BEFORE YOU GO…
… we’d like to ask for your support. More people are reading the Mississippi Business Journal than ever before, but advertising revenues for all conventional media are falling fast. Unlike many, we do not use a pay wall, because we want to continue providing Mississippi’s most comprehensive business news each and every day. But that takes time, money and hard work. We do it because it is important to us … and equally important to you, if you value the flow of trustworthy news and information which have always kept America strong and free for more than 200 years.
If those who read our content will help fund it, we can continue to bring you the very best in news and information. Please consider joining us as a valued member, or if you prefer, make a one-time contribution.Click for more info