That's 41 percent of the 2.4 million residential lines, according to Jim Rabbitt, senior analyst for the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.
But there is one big gap in the law - cellular phones.
Currently, cell phone numbers are hard to acquire, but telemarketers may find a way.
"The concern we have been hearing is that there are more people, mostly young people, who use the cell phone as their main phone, and then they have a computer line," Rabbitt
said."As they start registering that cell phone number where they do business, at stores and financial institutions, those numbers may be available."
The no-call statute was written based on an old definition that only applies to hardwired phones into the residence, which can include computer lines, if people thought of registering them.
"Several legislators have expressed some concern about this," Rabbitt
said."We will watch to see if that is a problem."
And state Sen.
"Telephone solicitors are working on their compliance systems, how to get their computers programmed so they are in compliance," Rabbitt
said."We spent a fair number of days in December doing educational seminars for people who do telephone soliciting, so they know how they can comply."
And how well will enforcement work?
"We are looking at our counterparts in other states that have been doing this longer than we have.They have had mixed reports.
Those who enforce quickly and aggressively seem to have a better situation with fewer violations," Rabbitt
"Some telemarketers get a sense of which states will do something to enforce this.So we have a philosophy of progressive enforcement.If we have a violator. we will do what we can to get them to comply.If they will not, we go after them."
The workload may be significant for the 5.5 people on the enforcement staff.
"If you have a question about what is a violation, call us and we will do some research," Rabbitt
Some situations are tricky, he
"If you and I are talking at the ballgame and I say 'can I call you some day about the products I sell?' If you say 'yes,' you have exempted me," Rabbit said.
Regarding nonprofits, state officials look at tax codes.If a nonprofit has to pay sales tax or federal income tax on a particular activity, that is treated like a regular business."Say if AARP were selling hearing aid batteries, for example, they are not nonprofit at that point," Rabbitt
"The issue with insurance agents is whether you are a current customer.If you do business with them, they can call you about that business.But if an insurance company is offering a new, unrelated product, they cannot call.A lot of insurance agents do an annual review of your property insurance policy, so they could say then, 'can I call you about life insurance?' They cannot call unsolicited by you."
Published: 10:24 AM 12/27/02