The Federal Trade Commission is poised to launch within days a national do-not-call list intended to help people block many telemarketing calls.
The free service, first proposed last year, will begin registering consumers before the end of the month.
The Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote today on whether the industries whose calls it regulates, including airlines, banks and telephone companies, will be subject to the FTC program.
Consumers will be able to sign up on a Web site by providing the phone number they want protected and an e-mail address so they can receive a confirmation message. The only identifying information kept will be the phone number.
The FTC says telephone registration using a toll-free number will begin at the same time in states west of the Mississippi River.
Nationwide registration should be available about ten days later. Consumers will have to call from the number they want to register.
The Web site and phone number have yet to be announced.