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Internet-based TRS Provider Certification

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Released: January 4, 2012

PUBLIC NOTICE

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500

445 12th St., S.W.

Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY: 1-888-835-5322

DA 12-4

Released: January 4, 2012

NOTICE OF CONDITIONAL GRANT OF APPLICATION OF PURPLE COMMUNICATIONS,

INC. FOR RECERTIFICATION AS A PROVIDER OF VIDEO RELAY AND INTERNET

PROTOCOL RELAY SERVICE ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION FROM THE

INTERSTATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICE (TRS) FUND

CG DOCKET NO. 10-51

By the Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau:
On March 8, 2011, Purple Communications, Inc. (Purple) filed an application1 for Commission
recertification2 as a provider of video relay service (VRS) and Internet Protocol relay (IP Relay) service
that is eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund).3 For the reasons discussed below,


1 Purple Communications, Inc, Application for Re-Certification as an Eligible VRS and IP Relay Provider, CG
Docket No. 03-123 (filed Mar. 8, 2011), amended on October 5, November 18, and December 27, 2011 (Purple
Recertification Application). See 47 C.F.R. § 64.606; Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program,
CG Docket No. 10-51, Second Report and Order and Order, 26 FCC Rcd 10898 (2011) (iTRS Certification Order).
2 The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) initially granted Purple (formerly GoAmerica, Inc.),
certification for the provision of VRS and IP Relay on June 9, 2006, for five years, until June 9, 2011. See Notice of
Certification of GoAmerica, Inc., as a Provider of Internet Protocol Relay (IP Relay) and Video Relay Service (VRS)
Eligible for Compensation from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund
, CG Docket No. 03-
123, Public Notice, DA 06-1244 (rel. June 9, 2006). The Bureau twice extended this certification period for Purple,
and other affected providers, in order to maintain the status quo while the Commission considered reform of the
Internet-based certification process. See Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Announces Extension of
Expiring Certifications for Providers of Internet-based Telecommunications Relay Services
, CG Docket Nos. 03-
123 & 10-51, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 6737 (2011) (extending expiring certifications to November 4, 2011);
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Extends Expiring Certifications for Certain Providers of Video Relay
Service and IP Relay Service
, CG Docket Nos. 03-123 & 10-51, Public Notice, 26 FCC Rcd 15157 (2011)
(extending expiring certifications to January 4, 2012).
3 The Communications Act of 1934, as amended, defines telecommunications relay services (TRS) as:
. . . telephone transmission services that provide the ability for an individual who is deaf, hard of
hearing, deaf-blind, or who has a speech disability to engage in communication by wire or radio
with one or more individuals, in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability of a hearing
individual who does not have a speech disability to communicate using voice communication
services by wire or radio.
47 U.S.C. § 225(a)(3) (as amended by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of
2010 (CVAA), Pub. L. No. 111-260, § 103(b), 124 Stat. 2751, 2755 (2010); Pub. L. No. 111-265 (technical
amendments to CVAA)). VRS is a form of Internet-based TRS (iTRS) that uses a broadband Internet connection
between the VRS user and the communications assistant (CA) to enable a person using American Sign Language to
communicate over video with another party through a CA. During a VRS call, the CA relays the communications

the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) hereby grants the Purple Recertification
Application on a conditional basis,4 pending inspection of Purple’s facilities and confirmation of Purple’s
compliance with all applicable rules and orders, as well as our determination that Purple is qualified to
receive compensation from the Fund and that grant of full certification would be consistent with the
objective of preventing waste, fraud, and abuse to the Fund, as embodied in our VRS rules and orders.
In the iTRS Certification Order released on July 28, 2011, the Commission amended its
requirements and processes for certifying iTRS providers as eligible for compensation from the Fund, to
ensure that iTRS providers receiving certification are qualified to provide iTRS in compliance with the
Commission’s rules, and to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse through improved oversight of such
providers.5 These new rules require that all iTRS providers obtain certification from the Commission to
be eligible to receive compensation from the Fund.6 They further require that all VRS applicants for
certification lease, license or own, as well as operate, essential facilities associated with iTRS call centers
and employ their own CAs to staff those centers on the date of their application for certification.7 Each
iTRS applicant for certification is also required to submit specific types of documentary evidence that
demonstrate its compliance with Commission rules, including those adopted in the VRS Practices R&O.8
On October 17, 2011, the Commission released the iTRS Certification Clarification Order,9 clarifying
certain aspects of the certification requirements adopted in the iTRS Certification Order, and modifying
section 64.606 of the Commission’s rules to lessen the burdens on applicants for certification associated
with the submission of certain documentation to the Commission.10





between the two parties, signing what the other party says to the deaf or hard of hearing user and responding in
voice to the other party to the call. The Fund compensates eligible providers of VRS and other forms of interstate
TRS for their reasonable costs of providing these services. See 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(c)(5)(iii).
4 Purple has also requested that the Bureau renew its certification for Internet Protocol Captioning Telephone
Service (IP-CTS). The Bureau declines to take action on this request at this time, as Purple’s existing certification
for IP-CTS will remain in effect until November 14, 2013. See Notice of Certification of GoAmerica, Inc., as a
Provider of Internet Protocol Captioning Telephone Service (IP CTS) Eligible for Compensation from the Interstate
Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund
, CG Docket No. 03-123, Public Notice, DA 08-2514 (rel. Nov. 14,
2008). We advise Purple to file for IP-CTS recertification closer to the expiration date of that certification, but at
least 90 days before that expiration.
5 iTRS Certification Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 10899, ¶ 1. The measures adopted in the iTRS Certification Order were
part of the Commission’s ongoing and transitional efforts to reform the structure and practices of the VRS program,
and the new certification processes by which this grant of conditional certification is awarded may be superseded or
modified by future Commission actions on VRS reform.
6 Id. at ¶ 2.
7 Id.
8 See, e.g., 47 C.F.R. § 64.606(a); see also Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program, Report and
Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 5545 (2011) (VRS Practices R&O).
9 Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program, Sprint Nextel Corporation Expedited Petition for
Clarification, Sorenson Communications, Inc. Petition for Reconsideration of Two Aspects of the Certification
Order, AT&T Services, Inc. Petition for Reconsideration of AT&T
, CG Docket No. 10-51, Memorandum Opinion
and Order, Order, and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 26 FCC Rcd 14895 (2011) (iTRS Certification
Clarification Order
).
10 See id. at 14902-14904, ¶¶ 16-20.
2

Based on our review of the Purple Recertification Application, we grant conditional certification
to Purple to provide VRS and IP Relay services. In the iTRS Certification Order, the Commission
reserved the right, after initial review of an application, to conditionally grant certification subject to one
or more subsequent on-site visits to the applicant.11 The Commission noted that such visits would “better
enable the Commission to verify the information provided in a certification application, and help us to
better assess an applicant’s ability to provide service in compliance with our rules.”12 This grant of
conditional certification is without prejudice to the Commission’s final determination of Purple’s
qualifications, and is dependent on the Commission verifying the information provided in the Purple
Recertification Application, as amended, and on the veracity of the applicant’s representations that it will
provide service in compliance with all pertinent Commission requirements.13
To allow the Commission to make such a determination, we reserve the right to conduct one or
more on-site inspections of Purple’s facilities by designated personnel, and to request additional
documentation relating to Purple’s provision of VRS and IP Relay. Ultimate conversion to full
certification will be granted if, based on on-site visits and our review of such additional documentation,
the Commission finds that Purple is in compliance with the Commission’s rules and orders, including
those rules designed to ensure the accuracy and integrity of Fund payments,14 and is qualified to receive
compensation from the Fund for the provision of VRS and IP Relay.15 If at any time during the period in
which Purple is operating pursuant to this conditional certification, the Commission determines that
Purple has failed to provide sufficient supporting documentation for any of the assertions in Purple’s
application or that any of those assertions cannot be supported, or finds evidence of any apparent rule
violation, fraud, waste, or abuse, the Commission will take appropriate action, including the possible
denial of the Purple Recertification Application. In the event of such denial, Purple’s conditional
certification will automatically terminate 35 days after such denial.16 If, however, the Commission grants
full certification, Purple, like all VRS and IP Relay providers, must continue to operate in compliance
with all relevant Commission rules and orders.
We are particularly concerned with Purple’s recent speed of answer performance for IP Relay.
The speed of answer rule requires that “TRS facilities shall, except during network failure, answer 85% of
all calls within 10 seconds by any method which results in the caller’s call immediately being placed, not
put in a queue or on hold.”17 According to the Fund administrator, Purple failed to meet the speed of
answer rule on certain days during some recent months.18 In amending the speed of answer rule in 2000,
the Commission emphasized that “[f]or a TRS user, reaching a CA to place a relay call is the equivalent
of picking up a phone and getting a dial tone. Any interpretation of our rule that delays a customer’s
ability to place a call through the relay center clearly compromises the functional equivalence of relay


11 47 C.F.R. § 64.606(a)(3); see also iTRS Certification Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 10914, ¶ 37.
12 iTRS Certification Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 10914, ¶ 36.
13 Id. at ¶ 37.
14 See 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(c)(5)(iii).
15 See iTRS Certification Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 10914, ¶ 37; 47 C.F.R. § 64.606(b)(2),(c)(2).
16 See iTRS Certification Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 10914-15, ¶ 37. If the Commission terminates a conditional
certification, the provider must give at least 30 days’ notice to its customers that it will no longer offer service.
17 See 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(b)(2)(ii).
18 Providers submit the speed of answer performance data on a monthly basis to the TRS Fund administrator, Rolka
Loube Salter Associates (RLSA).
3

service.”19 Because this rule was designed to ensure that relay users obtain a functionally equivalent TRS
service, the ability to comply with the speed of answer requirements is of a paramount importance.
Notwithstanding Purple’s past operation, because it has more recently achieved compliance with our
speed of answer rule, we will grant it conditional certification, but will be closely monitoring its
performance in this regard. We note that grant of a full certification to Purple is conditioned on its
continued full compliance with the speed of answer rule for both VRS and IP Relay. We emphasize that
we will not hesitate to take appropriate enforcement action against Purple, should there be a showing of
consistent failure to comply with the speed of answer rule, including the immediate termination or
suspension of this conditional certification.
Redacted copies of the Purple Recertification Application, including all amendments, are
available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference
Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW, Suite CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-
0270. The full text of this Public Notice is similarly available for public inspection or copying. These
documents may also be purchased from the Commission’s duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing,
Inc. (BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may
contact BCPI at its web site: www.bcpiweb.com, or by calling 1-800-378-3160. Redacted copies of the
Purple Recertification Application and amendments may also be found by searching on the Commission’s
Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs (insert CG Docket No. 10-51
into the Proceeding block).
To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print,
electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental
Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY). This Public Notice can also be
downloaded in Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/dro.
For further information, please contact Gregory Hlibok, Consumer and Governmental Affairs
Bureau, Disability Rights Office, at (202) 559-5158 (voice/videophone), (202) 418-0431 (TTY), or e-mail
at Gregory.Hlibok@fcc.gov.
- FCC -


19 See Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech
Disabilities,
CC Docket No. 98-67, Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 15 FCC Rcd
5140, 5165-5168, ¶¶ 59-66 (2000) (amending the speed of answer rule).
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