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2006 TRS History

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  • National Exchange Carrier Association's Request to Withdraw its Petition for Interim Waiver and Rulemaking Concerning the Compensation of Wireless Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) is Granted, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-23 released January 6, 2006.
  • On December 15, 2005, the National Exchange Carrier Association filed a letter with the Commission asking to withdraw its Petition for Interim Waiver and Rulemaking concerning the compensation of wireless TRS calls.

  • Federal Communications Commission Seeks Comment on Petition for Clarification Concerning the Provision of ASL-to-Spanish Video Relay Service (VRS), (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-387, released February 22, 2006.
  • On February 6, 2006, a Petition for Clarification (petition) was filed by Communication Service for the Deaf concerning the provision of American Sign Language (ASL)-to-Spanish Video Relay Service (VRS). The petition asks the Commission to clarify that the providers of ASL-to-Spanish VRS are not required to offer the service 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to be eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund.

  • Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Recordkeeping and Reporting Requirements Approved by the Office of Management and Budget, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-492, released March 1, 2006.
  • On February 21, 2006, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved for three years the information collection requirements contained in the Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, Report and Order, Order on Reconsideration, FCC 05-203. 47 CFR Sections 64.605 (a)(2), (c)(2), (e)(2), (f)(2), and (g) will become effective March 8, 2006.

  • National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) Submits the Payment Formula and Fund Size Estimate for Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund for the July 2006 Through June 2007 Fund Year, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-970, released May 2, 2006.
  • On May 1, 2006, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(H), the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA), the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund Administrator, submitted its annual payment formula and fund size estimate for the Interstate TRS Fund for the period July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007.

    NECA proposes per completed minute compensation rates of $1.257 for traditional TRS (compared to $1.440 for the 2005-2006 fund year); $1.219 for Internet Protocol (IP) Relay (compared to $1.278 for the 2005-2006 fund year); $1.352 for Speech-to-speech (STS) (compared to $1.579 for the 2005-2006 fund year); and $6.116 for Video Relay Service (VRS) (compared to $6.644 for the 2005-2006 fund year). NECA proposes a carrier contribution factor of 0.00492 (compared to 0.00564 for the 2005-2006 fund year) and a fund size requirement of $386.3 million (compared to $441.5 million for the 2005-2006 fund year).

  • FCC Declares Video Relay Service (VRS) Providers Must Provide Interoperability With Competing Providers; Commission also asks for Comment on How Hearing Callers can Reach VRS Providers and on Whether Speech Internet Protocols Should be adopted for VRS Equipment, (News Release), released May 3, 2006.
  • In response to a petition by the California Coalition of Agencies Serving the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the FCC has found that all VRS consumers must be able to place a VRS call through any VRS provider's service, and all VRS providers must be able to receive calls from, and make calls to, any VRS consumer. The Commission also determined that restricting the use of a provider's VRS service so that consumers cannot access other VRS providers is inconsistent with the functional equivalency mandate, the public interest and the intent of Congress.

  • FCC Addresses Issue of Internet TRS Fraud; Seeks Comment on Possible Changes in Rules to Curtail Abuse, (News Release), released May 3, 2006.
  • The FCC has opened a proceeding requesting comment on ways to curtail the abuse of the two Internet-based forms of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) -- Internet Protocol (IP) Relay Service and Video Relay Service (VRS). Such misuse, including, using IP Relay to make telephone purchases from merchants using stolen, fake, or otherwise invalid credit cards, or improperly using VRS as a substitute for in-person interpreters, results in improper compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM)), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 06-58, adopted May 3, 2006, released May 8, 2006.
  • In this FNPRM, the Commission addresses the misuse of the two Internet-based forms of TRS, Internet Protocol (IP) Relay Service and Video Relay Service (VRS), and seek comment on possible changes to the TRS regulations to curtail their misuse.

  • Notice of Certification of Snap Telecommunications, Inc. as a Provider of Video Relay Service (VRS) Eligible for Compensation from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 06-67, released May 8, 2006.
  • On January 25, 2006, Snap Telecommunications, Inc. (Snap) files and application for certification as a VRS provider eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund pursuant to recently adopted provider certification rules. The Commission has reviewed Snap's application and concluded that Snap has demonstrated that it provision of VRS service will meet or exceed all operational, technical, and functional TRS standards set forth in the Commission's rules, 47 CFR section 64.604; that it make available adequate procedures and remedies for ensuring compliance with applicable Commission's rules; and that to the extent Snap's services differs from the mandatory minimum standards, the service does not violate the rules.

  • ERRATUM - Notice of Certification of Snap Telecommunications, Inc. as a Provider of Video Relay Service (VRS) Eligible for Compensation from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, released May 9, 2006.
  • On May 8, 2006, the Commission released a Public Notice, FCC 06-67 in the above captioned proceeding. This Erratum corrects the fifth paragraph of the May 8, 2006 Public Notice.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Declaratory Ruling and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM)), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 06-57, adopted May 3, 2006, released May 9, 2006.
  • In this Declaratory Ruling,, the Commission addresses a petition requesting it to declare that a Video Relay Service (VRS) provider may not receive compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund if it blocks calls to competing VRS providers. In the corresponding FNPRM, the Commission seeks comment on whether and how an open and global database of proxy numbers for VRS users may be created so that a hearing person may call a VRS user through any VRS provider without having to ascertain first the VRS user's current IP address. The Commission also seeks comment in the FNPRM on whether it should adopt specific Internet protocols or standards to ensure that all VRS providers can receive calls from, and make calls to, any VRS consume, and all VRS consumers can make calls through any VRS provider.

  • National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) Submits the Payment Formula and Fund Size Estimate for Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund for the July 2006 Through June 2007 Fund Year, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1031, released May 12, 2006.
  • On May 10, 2006, the National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) amended its annual payment formula and fund size estimate for the Interstate TRS Fund for the period July 1, 2006, through June 30, 2007, by means of an Errata to the payment formula and fund size estimate which it had originally submitted on May 1, 2006, pursuant to 47 CFR § 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(H).

    In the original filing, NECA proposes a carrier contribution factor of 0.00492 and per completed minute compensation rates of: $1.257 for traditional TRS; $1.219 for Internet Protocol (IP) Relay; and $6.116 for Video Relay Service (VRS). In its Errata, NECA increased the proposed carrier contribution factor from 0.00492 to 0.00494, and the per completed minute compensation rates for $1.257 to $1.262 for traditional TRS; $1.219 to $1.223 for IP Relay; and $6.116 to $6.138 for VRS. NECA's originally proposed fund size requirement of $386.3 million and per completed minute compensation rate of $1.352 for Speech-to-Speech (STS) remain the same.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Declaratory Ruling), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1043, adopted May 16, 2006, released May 16, 2006.
  • In this document, the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) denies a petition for declaratory ruling filed by Telco Group, Inc. requesting that the Commission either exclude international revenues from the end-user revenue base used to calculate payments due to the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund, or in the alternative, waive the portion of Telco Group's contribution based on its international end-user revenues.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Declaratory Ruling on Reconsideration), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1100, adopted May 25, 2006, released May 25, 2006.
  • On May 16, 2006, the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) released a Declaratory Ruling denying a petition filed by Telco Group, Inc., which requested that the Commission either exclude international revenues from the end-user revenue base used to calculate payments due to the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund, or in the alternative, waive the portion of Telco Group's contribution based on its international end-user revenues. That Order, however, did not contain an analysis of the complete record. The Bureau, therefore, on its own motion, reconsiders the merits of the petition.

  • Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reminds States and Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Providers that the Annual Summary of Consumer Complaints Concerning TRS is Due Monday July 3, 2006, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1175, released May 31, 2006.
  • The Federal Communications Commission's Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau reminds states and interstate TRS providers that they must submit their annual consumer complaint log summaries for the 12-month period ending May 31, 2006, on or before July 3, 2006.

  • Notice of Certification of Healinc Telecom, LLC as a Provider of Video Relay Service (VRS) Eligible for Compensation from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1243, released June 9, 2006.
  • On February 22, 2006, Healinc Telecom, LLC (Healinc) filed an application for certification as a VRS and IP Relay provider eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund) pursuant to the recently adopted provider certification rules. On April 18, 2006, Healinc submitted an addendum to its original application clarifying that it was seeking certification only as a provider of VRS. The addendum also documented Healinc's compliance with some mandatory minimum standards that were not addressed in its original application. The Commission has reviewed the Healinc Application and Healinc Addendum pursuant to these rules.

    The Commission concludes that Healinc has sufficiently demonstrated that its provision of VRS service will meet or exceed all operational, technical, and functional TRS standards set forth in the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. § 64.604; that it makes available adequate procedures and remedies for ensuring compliance with applicable Commission rules; and that to the extent Healinc's service differs from the mandatory minimum standards, the service does not violate the rules.

    The Commission notes that it has adopted a declaratory ruling requiring the interoperability of VRS equipment and service. The Commission conditions this grant of certification upon compliance with that order. This certification shall remain in effect for a period of five years from the release date of this Public Notice. Within ninety days prior to the expiration of this certification, Healinc may apply for renewal of its VRS service certification by filing documentation in accordance with the Commission's rules.

  • 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, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1244, released June 9, 2006
  • On March 16, 2006, GoAmerica, Inc. (GoAmerica) filed an application for certification as a provider of IP Relay and VRS services eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund) pursuant to the recently adopted provider certification rules. On April 21, 2006, GoAmerica submitted a supplement to its original application for certification.

    The Commission has reviewed the GoAmerica Application and GoAmerica Supplement pursuant to these rules. The Commission concludes that GoAmerica has sufficiently demonstrated that its provision of IP Relay and VRS services will meet or exceed all operational, technical, and functional TRS standards set forth in the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. § 64.604; that it makes available adequate procedures and remedies for ensuring compliance with applicable Commission rules; and that to the extent GoAmerica's service differs from the mandatory minimum standards, the service does not violate the rules.

    This certification shall remain in effect for a period of five years from the release date of this Public Notice. Within ninety days prior to the expiration of this certification, GoAmerica may apply for renewal of its IP Relay and VRS services certification by filing documentation in accordance with the Commission's rules.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 06-81, adopted June 12, 2006, released June 16, 2006.
  • This Order addresses two issues concerning the provision of Video Relay Service (VRS), a form the telecommunications relay services (TRS), raised in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the 2004 TRS Report and Order & FNPRM. The Commission clarifies that if the calling party or the VRS communications assistant (CA) find that they are not communicating effectively given the nature of the call, the 10-minute in-call replacement rule does not apply and the VRS provider may have another CA handle the call. The Commission also clarifies that the VRS CA may ask the VRS user questions during call set-up when necessary to assist the CA in properly handling the call.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1345, adopted June 29, 2006, released June 29, 2006.
  • In this Order, the Commission sets the following per minute compensation rate for the various forms of telecommunications relay service (TRS) for 2006-2007 Fund year: $1.291 for interstate traditional TRS; $1.409 for interstate STS; and $1.293 for interstate and intrastate IP Relay. With Respect to interstate and intrastate Video Relay Service (VRS), this Order freezes the 2005-2006 VRS rate of $6.644 per minute for a one-year period ending June 30, 2007, or until such time as the Commission adopts a new VRS rate pursuant to new VRS cost recovery rules, whichever is sooner.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Order on Reconsideration), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 06-87, adopted June 20, 2006, released July 12, 2006.
  • The 2004 TRS Report & Order addressed numerous issues relating to the regulation and compensation of telecommunications relay service (TRS), and particularly Video Relay Service (VRS). In response to that order, several parties filed petitions for reconsideration. The Commission has resolved several of the issues raised in these petitions in prior orders. The Commission now address the remaining issues, which include: (1) the adoption of the final 2003-2004 VRS compensation rate of $8.854; (2) whether the final VRS rate should be fully retroactive; (3) the compensability of research and development expenses incurred for TRS enhancements that go beyond the applicable TRS mandatory minimum standards from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund); and (4) the applicability of "rate of return" regulation to traditional TRS and speed of answer requirements to VRS. For the reasons set forth below, the Commission grants in part and denies in part the petitions for reconsideration.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Memorandum Opinion and Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 06-88, adopted June 20, 2006, released July 12, 2006.
  • On June 30, 2004, the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) adopted the per-minute compensation rate for Video Relay Service (VRS), a form of telecommunications relay service (TRS), for the 2004-2005 fund year. Three parties filed applications for review challenging this rate. For the reasons noted in the MO&O, the Commission denies the applications for review and affirms the 2004-2005 VRS compensation rate adopted by the Bureau.

  • FCC Seeks Comment on Broad Range of Issues Concerning TRS Compensation, (News Release), released July 13, 2006.
  • Washington, DC -- The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) adopted by the Commission today, seeks comment on a broad range of issues concerning the compensation of providers of telecommunications relay services (TRS) from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund) for their costs of providing TRS.

    Specifically, today's Notice seeks comment on the following:

    • Alternative cost recovery methodologies for interstate traditional TRS, STS, and IP Relay, including a proposal by Hamilton Relay, Inc., called the "MARS" plan ("Multi-state Average Rate Structure"), and related issues including whether traditional TRS, STS, and IP Relay should be compensated at the same rate;
    • The appropriate cost recovery methodology for VRS and the length of time the VRS rate should be in effect;
    • Issues relating to the "reasonable" costs compensable under the present cost recovery methodology, including whether, and to what extent, marketing and outreach expenses, overhead costs, and executive compensation are compensable from the Fund; and
    • Ways to improve the management and administration of the Fund, including adopting measures for assessing the performance and efficiency of the Fund and to deter waste, fraud, and abuse.

    Comments will be due 45 days after publication in the Federal Register and replies 15 days thereafter.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 06-106, adopted July 13, 2006, released July 20, 2006.
  • In this Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice), the Commission seeks comment on a broad range of issues concerning the compensation of providers of telecommunications relay services (TRS) from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund). First, the Commission seeks comment on alternative cost recovery methodologies for interstate traditional TRS and Speech-to-Speech (STS), including Hamilton Relay, Inc.'s (Hamilton) proposed "MARS" plan ("Multi-state Average Rate Structure"), and also whether traditional TRS and STS should be compensated at the same rate. Second, this Notice seeks further comment on the appropriate cost recovery methodology for Video Relay Service (VRS) and the length of time the VRS rate should be in effect.

    Third, this Notice seeks comment on issues relating to the "reasonable" costs compensable under the present cost recovery methodology, including whether, and to what extent, marketing and outreach expenses, overhead costs, and executive compensation are compensable from the Fund. Finally, this Notice seeks comment on ways to improve the management and administration of the Fund, including adopting measures for assessing the performance and efficiency of the Fund and to deter waste, fraud, and abuse.

  • The Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reminds Telecommunications Equipment Manufacturers and Telecommunications Service Providers of Obligation to Designate Agent for Complaints Received by the FCC, (Public Notice), DA 06-1485, released July 21, 2006.
  • The purpose of this Public Notice is to remind telecommunications equipment manufacturers and telecommunications service providers subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934 of their obligation to designate an agent for service of informal and formal complaints received by the Federal Communications Commission ("Commission"). The valid control number for compliance with the designation of points of contact information contained in these sections is 3060-0833.

  • The Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reminds State Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Programs and Interstate TRS Providers of their Obligations Regarding Contact Information and Substantive Changes in their TRS Program, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1506, released July 25, 2006.
  • The purpose of this Public Notice is to remind certified state Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) programs that pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(c)(2) they must submit to the Commission a contact person or office for TRS consumer information and complaints about intrastate service. The submission shall include the name and address of the state office that receives complaints, grievances, inquiries and suggestions; the voice, TTY, and fax numbers for that office; the e-mail address; and the physical address to which correspondence should be sent.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-1627, adopted August 14, 2006, released August 14, 2006.
  • In this Order, the Commission clarifies waivers of certain TRS mandatory minimum standards for captioned telephone relay service, a form of TRS. The Captioned Telephone Declaratory Ruling waived the following mandatory minimum standards for the provision of captioned telephone service: (1) CAs must be competent in interpreting typewritten American Sign Language (ASL); (2) TRS providers must give CAs oral-to-type tests; and (3) CAs may not refuse sequential calls. These waivers expired on August 1, 2006. The Commission clarifies that these requirements do not apply to captioned telephone services that use voice recognition technologies (instead of typing) to convey messages and that do not have the CA play a role in setting up the calls.

  • Dismissal of Petition for Clarification Concerning Provision of American Sign Language (ASL) to Spanish Video Relay Service (VRS), (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-2386, released November 28, 2006.
  • On February 6, 2006, Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) filed a petition for clarification concerning whether providers of ASL-to-Spanish VRS, a for telecommunications relay service (TRS), must offer service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (24/7) to be eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund. Accordingly, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau dismissed the CSD Petition.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-2532, adopted December 15, 2006, released December 15, 2006.
  • TRS providers are required to handle emergency calls by immediately and automatically transferring the calls to an appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP). The Commission has waived this requirement for providers of Video Relay Service (VRS), a form of TRS, due to the technological challenges related to determining the geographic location of TRS calls that originate via the Internet. This waiver expires on January 1, 2007. As explained in the herein, the Commission extends the waiver for one year in view of these continued technological challenges. According, the waiver of the emergency call handling requirement for VRS providers will expire on January 1, 2008, or upon the release of an order addressing this issue, whichever comes first.

  • Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service Eligible for Compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund, (News Release), released December 20, 2006.
  • The Commission adopted a Declaratory Ruling finding that Internet Protocol (IP) captioned telephone service (IP CTS) is a type of telecommunications relay service (TRS) eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund. The Commission acted in response to a petition by Ultratec, Inc., that was widely supported by the disability community.

  • Notice of Certification of Hands On Video Relay Service, 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, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 06-2578, released December 22, 2006.
  • On October 4, 2006, Hands On Video Relay Services, Inc. (Hands On) filed an application for certification as a provider of IP Relay and VRS eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund pursuant to the IP Relay and VRS provider certification rules. On November 21, 2006, Hands On submitted a supplement to its application for certification. Hands On's application is granted, subject to the conditions noted in the 2005 IP Relay and VRS Certification Order, FCC 05-203.

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