Broadcast fax is a feature that allows someone to send a document or documents to many recipients simultaneously. Documents that need to be sent to a large audience, such as announcements, press releases, newsletters, or other types of information, are often sent by broadcast fax. Some businesses routinely send conference or workshop registration reminders, invoices, and other materials using this form of communication. Although advertisements can also be sent via this method, the U.S. prohibits unsolicited advertisements, also known as junk faxes.
Some business fax machines have speed dial features that can simulate a broadcast fax. Other businesses use the Internet for all faxing functions and purchase a modem that has broadcast faxing capabilities. Other businesses contract with a company or purchase software to send broadcast fax documents.
One advantage of using a service to send broadcast faxes is that the company’s individual fax machine is not tied up during the transmission of the fax. By using an Internet service, a company does not need to have special computer equipment, fax boards or servers, special software, or multiple phone lines. When using a broadcast fax service, the user uploads a list of fax recipients and the corresponding fax numbers, along with the document that is to be sent. Some such services provide automatic area code correction. Some also provide the ability to exclude specific fax numbers, to prevent unwanted faxed documents from being sent.
The advantages of using the Internet for faxing are quite numerous, although not perfect for all situations. A business does not need an additional phone line, as is required by a traditional fax machine. With Internet faxing, there are no paper, ink, or toner expenses or repairs. Some find that Internet faxing makes it simpler to manage faxes. Internet faxing also eliminates the chance of missing a fax because of a fax machine being turned off, a busy signal, or no paper or ink.
With the advent of broadcast fax, some companies use the feature instead of direct mail. One advantage of faxing is that direct mail pieces can be lost in regular mail. It also has an automatic redial feature that ensures delivery. Other companies use this technology to contact prospects or new customers in order to to sell a product or service.
Fax machine is actually short for facsimile machine. Although the concept of the technology used by fax machines was developed in the mid 19th century, the more recognizable, widely used modern variety originated in the late 1960s. Originally, faxing was called telecopying. Over the years, as technology improved, the speed and resolution with which documents are sent has naturally improved.