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2007 TRS History

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  • 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, FCC 06-182, adopted December 20, 2006, released January 11, 2007.

    In the Declaratory Ruling, the Commission grants a request for clarification that Internet Protocol (IP) captioned telephone relay service (IP captioned telephone service or IP CTS) is a type of telecommunications relay service (TRS) eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund when offered in compliance with the applicable TRS mandatory minimum standards. The Commission also grants the request that all IP CTS calls be compensated from the Interstate TRS Fund until such time as the Commission adopts jurisdictional separation costs for this service. The Commission conditions its approval on Ultratec's representation that it will continue to license its captioned telephone technologies, including technologies relating to IP CTS, as reasonable rates.

  • Dismissal of Snap Telecommunications, Inc.'s Request for Limited Waiver of the Video Relay Service (VRS) Interoperability Requirements, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 07-1374, released March 22, 2007.
  • On July 14, 2006, Snap Telecommunications, Inc. (Snap) filed a request for a temporary waiver of the interoperability requirements concerning the provision of Video Relay Service (VRS). On March 6, 2007, Snap filed a letter with the Commission stating that Snap has started providing VRS and is in compliance with the VRS interoperability requirements. Snap therefore requests that the Commission dismiss its waiver request as moot. As a result of this letter, the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau hereby dismisses Snap's request for temporary waiver as moot.

  • National Exchange Carrier Association (NECA) Submits the Payment Formula and Fund Size Estimated for the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund for the July 2007 Through June 2008 Fund Year, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 07-1978, 22 FCC Rcd 8472, released May 2, 2007.
  • On May 1, 2007, 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, 2007, through June 30, 2008.

    NECA proposes per minute compensation rates based on alternative rate calculations for the various forms of TRS. These calculations result in proposed rates ranging from $1.5601 to $1.7225 for traditional TRS; $2.4954 to $3.3278 for Speech-to-Speech (STS); $1.1002 to $1.2268 for IP Relay; and $4.3480 to $6.4370 for video relay service (VRS). The alternative methodologies result in a proposed carrier contribution factor ranging form 0.0052 to 0.0075, and a Fund size requirement ranging from $397.0 million to $575.4 million. The Commission seeks comment on NECA's proposed compensation rates for traditional TRS, STS, IP Relay, and VRS for the period of July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008, as well as the proposed carrier contribution factors and Fund size requirements.

  • FCC Alerts Public and Merchants of Fraudulent Credit Card Purchases Through Internet Protocol (IP) Relay Service, a Form of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), Public Notice, DA 07-2006, 22 FCC Rcd 8554, released May 4, 2007.
  • The FCC urges merchants to use caution in handling telephone orders for goods. Merchants that accept orders made by telephone for goods and services should take steps to ensure that, for any order placed by phone, the payment method or credit card is valid and the purchaser is authorized to use the particular credit card. In addition, there are some indicia of fraudulent telephone orders or business transactions that merchants can use to help determine if an order placed by phone is legitimate. These indicia include a caller who: (1)is happy to order "whatever you have in stock"; (2) supplies multiple credit cards as one or more are declined; (3) cannot provide the credit card verification code number (the three digit number on the back of the card); (4) wants the goods shipped through a third party and/or an overseas location; (5) will not identify himself or give a company name; (6) changes delivery or payment method after an order has been approved.

    The Commission has received informal complaints that people without disabilities, who are posing as deaf or hard of hearing consumers, are misusing an Internet based telecommunications relay service ("TRS" or "Relay Service") called "IP Relay" to perpetrate fraudulent business transactions, often by using stolen or fake credit cards.

    The Commission also reminds merchants who accept telephone orders that they must not "hang up" on calls made through a Relay Service. Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requires merchants to ensure that people with disabilities have access to their services. Therefore, if a merchant accepts telephone orders from the general public, the merchant cannot refuse to accept calls from people who are deaf or hard of hearing or who have a speech disability who call through a Relay Service. Calls made through a Relay Service can and must be handled in the same way as any telephone call. For more information on the applicability of the ADA in this context, see generally the United States Department of Justice's ADA homepage, at www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/adahom1.htm or contact the DOJ ADA Information Line at 800-514-0301 (voice) or 800-514-0383 (TTY).

  • Disability Access Requirements Extended to VoIP Services; VoIP Providers also Required to Contribute to the Interstate TRS Fund and Offer 711 Access, (News Release), released May 31, 2007.
  • The Commission has extended the disability access requirements of Sections 225 and 255 of the Communications Act, which currently apply to traditional phone services, to providers of interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services and to manufacturers of specially designed equipment used to provide those services.

  • In the Matters of IP-Enabled Services; Implementation of Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of The Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by The Telecommunications Act of 1996: Access to Telecommunications Service, Telecommunications Equipment and Customer Premises Equipment by Persons with Disabilities; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; The Use of N11 Codes and Other Abbreviated Dialing Arrangements, (Report and Order), WC Docket No. 04-36, WT Docket No. 96-198, CG Docket No. 03-123, CC Docket No. 92-105, FCC 07-110, adopted May 31, 2007, 22 FCC Rcd 11275, released June 15, 2007 (72 FR 43546, August 6, 2007).
  • In this Report and Order (Order), the Commission extends the disability access requirements that currently apply to telecommunications service providers and equipment manufacturers under section 255 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), to providers of "interconnected voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services," as defined by the Commission, and to manufacturers of specially designed equipment used to provide those services. The Commission adopts this measure under our Title I ancillary jurisdiction in order to give full effect to the accessibility policies embodied in section 255, and to further our statutory mandate to make available a nationwide communications system that promotes the safety and welfare of all Americans. In addition, the Commission extends the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) requirements contained in our regulations, 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.601 et seq., to providers of interconnected VoIP services, pursuant to section 225(b)(1) of the Act and its Title I ancillary jurisdiction.

    Among the TRS requirements that the Commission extends to interconnected VoIP providers, the Commission requires such providers to contribute to the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund) under the Commission's existing contribution rules, and to offer 711 abbreviated dialing for access to relay services. Together, these measures will ensure that, as more consumers migrate from traditional phone service to interconnected VoIP services, the disability access provisions mandated by Congress under sections 255 and 225 will apply to, and benefit users of, interconnected VoIP services and equipment.

  • Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reminds States that Current Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS) Certification will Expire on July 26, 2008, and provides a Timeline for Seeking Recertification, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 07-2761, 22 FCC Rcd 11203, released June 22, 2007.
  • The current TRS certifications for all states and territories will expire on July 26, 2008. Under the TRS regulations, states can apply for "renewal" one year prior to expiration, i.e., July 26, 2007. 47 C.F.R. § 64.605.

  • Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Reminds States and Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Providers that the Annual Summary of Consumer Complaints is Due Monday, July 2, 2007, and that they have an Ongoing Obligation to Report Contact Information and Substantive Changes in their TRS Programs, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 07-2762, 22 FCC Rcd 11215, released June 22, 2007.
  • The Federal Communications Commission's Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau reminds states and interstate telecommunications relay services (TRS) provides that they must submit their annual consumer complaint log summaries for the 12-month period ending May 31, 2007, on or before Monday, July 2, 2007.

  • 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 07-2904, adopted June 29, 2007, 22 FCC Rcd 11706, released June 29, 2007.
  • Pending resolution of the cost recovery methodology issues raised in the TRS Cost Recovery FNPRM (FCC 06-106, released July 20, 2006), the Commission continues the current 2006-2007 compensation rates on an interim basis until such time as new rates are adopted and effective. The present per-minute compensation rates for the various forms of TRS that will be continued are: $1.291 for interstate traditional TRS; $1.409 for interstate Speech-to-Speech; $1.291 for interstate captioned telephone service; $1.293 for interstate and intrastate IP Relay and interstate and intrastate IP CTS; and $6.644 for interstate and intrastate VRS.

  • Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Declaratory Ruling Regarding Video Relay Service (VRS) Provider Employment Contracts with VRS Communications Assistants (CAs), (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 07-3512, 22 FCC Rcd 14048, released August 3, 2007.
  • On May 18, 2007, five VRS providers (Petitioners) filed a Petition for Declaratory Ruling (Petition) that Sorenson Communications, Inc.'s (Sorenson) alleged practice of using "do-not-compete" clauses in their employment contracts with VRS CAs is contrary to the public interest and therefore should be prohibited. Petitioners assert that the clause forbids VRS CAs employed with Sorenson from working with other VRS providers for a period of one year after ending their employment with Sorenson. The Commission hereby seeks comment on the Petition.

  • NOTICE OF CERTIFICATION OF CSDVRS, 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 07-3996, 22 FCC Rcd 17014, released September 21, 2007.
  • On July 16, 2007, CSDVRS, LLC (CSDVRS) filed an application for certification as a provider of Video Relay Service (VRS) eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund) pursuant to the recently adopted provider certification rules. CSDVRS's application is granted, subject to the conditions noted in the Public Notice.

    The Commission has reviewed the CSDVRS Application pursuant to these rules. The Commission concludes that CSDVRS 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 CSDVRS's service differs from the mandatory minimum standards, the service does not violate the rules.

    The Commission grants CSDVRS's application subject to compliance with applicable Commission orders, including the declaratory ruling requiring the interoperability of VRS equipment and service. This certification shall remain in effect for a period of five years from the release date of the Public Notice. Within ninety days prior to the expiration of this certification, CSDVRS may apply for renewal of its VRS service certification by filing documentation in accordance with the Commission's rules.

  • NOTICE OF CERTIFICATION OF HAWK RELAY, LLC 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 07-3998, 22 FCC Rcd 17020, released September 21, 2007.
  • On January 3, 2007, Hawk Relay, LLC (Hawk Relay) filed an application for certification as a provider of IP Relay and VRS eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund) pursuant to the IP Relay and VRS provider certification rules. On July 9, 2007, Hawk Relay, LLC resubmitted its application. Hawk Relay's July 9, 2007, application is granted, subject to the conditions noted in the Public Notice.

    The Commission has reviewed the Hawk Relay Revised Application pursuant to these rules. The Commission concludes that Hawk Relay has adequately 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 Hawk Relay service differs from the mandatory minimum standards, the service does not violate the rules.

    The Commission grants Hawk Relay's application subject to compliance with applicable Commission orders, including the declaratory ruling requiring the interoperability of VRS equipment and service. 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, Hawk Relay may apply for renewal of its IP Relay and VRS provider certification by filing documentation in accordance with the Commission's rules.

  • In the Matters of IP-Enabled Services; Implementation of Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of The Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by The Telecommunications Act of 1996: Access to Telecommunications Service, Telecommunications Equipment and Customer Premises Equipment by Persons with Disabilities; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; The Use of N11 Codes and Other Abbreviated Dialing Arrangements, (Order and Public Notice Seeking Comment), WC Docket No. 04-36, WT Docket No. 96-198, CG Docket No. 03-123, CC Docket No. 92-105, DA 07-4178, adopted October 9, 2007, released October 9, 2007.
    (72 FR 61813, November 1, 2007) - Final Rules
    (72 FR 61882, November 1, 2007) - Notice.
  • In this Order (Order), the Commission grants in part and deny in part several petitions for waiver relating to the Commission's recent VoIP TRS Order. In that order, the Commission extended the telecommunications relay service (TRS) requirements contained in Part 64 of the Commission's rules to providers of interconnected voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. Among the requirements extended to interconnected VoIP providers is the obligation to offer 711 abbreviated dialing access to traditional relay services via a voice telephone or a text telephone (TTY). The petitions for waiver raise issues concerning (1) the ability of an interconnected VoIP provider to route the inbound leg of a 711 call to an appropriate TRS provider, particularly when the caller's telephone number does not correspond to the caller's actual location, and (2) the ability of a TRS provider that receives, via an interconnected VoIP service, a 711 call concerning an emergency to determine an appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) to call.

    As set forth herein, the Commission recognizes that in certain circumstances there are technical challenges to the ability of interconnected VoIP providers to route 711 calls to an appropriate relay center. Similarly, the Commission recognizes that in certain circumstances TRS providers receiving 711 emergency calls via an interconnected VoIP service may not be able to determine an appropriate PSAP to call in compliance with the TRS emergency call handling requirements. As a result, the Commission waives for six months the requirement set forth in the VoIP TRS Order that interconnected VoIP providers must transmit 711 calls to an appropriate relay provider, as defined below. The Commission also waive for six months traditional TRS providers' obligation to call to an appropriate PSAP when receiving, via interconnected VoIP service, a 711 call concerning an emergency. Further, in the Public Notice, the Commission seeks comment on the petitions for stay and/or waiver.

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 07-186, adopted October 26, 2007, 22 FCC Rcd 20140, released November 19, 2007.
  • (73 FR 3254, January 17, 2008) - Final Rules

    In July 2006, the Commission released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeking comment on issues concerning the compensation of telecommunications relay services (TRS) providers from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund). In the Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling (Order), the Commission: (1) adopt a new cost recovery methodology for interstate traditional TRS and interstate Speech-to-Speech (STS) based on the "MARS" plan ("Multi-state Average Rate Structure"), proposed by one of the providers; (2) adopt a new cost recovery methodology for interstate captioned telephone service (CTS) and interstate and intrastate Internet Protocol (IP) captioned telephone service (IP CTS) based on the MARS plan; (3) adopt a cost recovery methodology for Internet Protocol (IP) Relay based on price caps; (4) adopt a cost recovery methodology for Video Relay Service (VRS) that adopts tiered rates based on call volume; (5) clarify the nature and extent that certain categories of costs are compensable from the Fund; and (6) address certain issues concerning the management and oversight of the Fund, including financial incentives offered to consumers to make relay calls and the role of the Interstate TRS Fund Advisory Council.

    In addition, the Commission adopts new compensation rates for these services as follows:

    • For interstate traditional TRS, the Commission adopts the MARS plan rate of $1.592 per-minute based on the states' competitively bid compensation rates for intrastate traditional TRS and STS. This rate shall be effective March 1, 2008 for the remainder of the 2007-2008 Fund year.
    • For interstate STS, the Commission adopts a rate of $2.723 per-minute. This rate is based on the MARS plan rate of $1.592, but includes an additional $1.131 per minute in compensation that shall be directed for outreach. This rate shall be effective March 1, 2008 for the remainder of the 2007-2008 Fund year.
    • For interstate CTS and interstate and intrastate IP CTS, the Commission adopts the MARS plan rate of $1.629 per-minute based on the states' competitively bid compensation rates for intrastate captioned telephone service. This rate shall be effective March 1, 2008 for the remainder of the 2007-2008 Fund year.
    • For interstate and intrastate IP Relay, the Commission adopts the rate of $1.293. This rate shall be effective March 1, 2008 for the 2007-2008 through 2009-2010 Fund years, subject to annual adjustment.
    • For interstate and intrastate VRS, the Commission adopts the following rates and tiers: (1) for the first 50,000 monthly minutes: $6.77; (2) for monthly minutes between 50,001 and 500,000: $6.50; and (3) for monthly minutes above 500,000: $6.30. The VRS rates shall be effective March 1, 2008 for the 2007-2008 through 2009-2010 Fund years, subject to annual adjustment.
  • Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition for Clarification Concerning the Provision of Deaf Blind Relay Services (DRRS), (Public Notice, CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 07-4924, released December 7, 2007.
  • On May 18, 2007, Hawk Relay (Hawk) filed a Petition for Clarification that its proposed Deaf Blind Relay Service (DBRS) is a Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) compensable from the Interstate TRS Fund. As described by Hawk, its proposed DBRS would use an interpreter (a "Communications Facilitator" (CF)) to sit with the deaf/blind user, place or receive conventional voice-to-voice telephone calls on his or her behalf, and interpret the ensuing conversation(s). The CF would travel to the DBRS consumer's location to assist in placing the call. Alternatively, a DBRS consumer could travel to a regional DBRS center to place a call through a CF.

    The Commission seeks comment on the DBRS Petition, including, specifically, whether DBRS falls within the definition of TRS as set forth in section 225(a)(3) of the Communications Act of 1934. The Commission notes, for example, that Hawk's proposed DBRS does not fit within the typical two-leg relay paradigm in which a relay center receives and places inbound and outbound calls between the end users to the relay call. Instead, the DBRS would employ a CF to assist the caller, in person, in making a telephone call

  • In the Matter of Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Erratum), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 07-5089, released December 21, 2007.
  • On November 19, 2007, the Commission released a Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling (FCC 07-186). The Erratum amends the Report and Order and Declaratory Ruling as follows: (1) Paragraph 2, fourth bullet, the last sentence is revised to read as follows:

    This rate shall be effective for the 2007-2008 through 2009-2010 Fund years, beginning on the first day of the month following the effective date of this Order, subject to annual adjustment as set forth below; (2) Paragraph 2, fifth bullet, the last sentence is revised to read as follows: The VRS rates shall be effective for the 2007-2008 through 2009-2010 Fund years, beginning on the first day of the month following the effective date of this Order, subject to annual adjustment as set forth below; (3) Paragraph 47, in the second-to-last sentence, "0.05 percent" is replaced by "0.5 percent"; (4) Paragraph 55, in the last sentence, "0.05 percent" is replaced by "0.5 percent"; (5) Paragraph 56, in the second-to-last sentence, "0.05 percent" is replaced by "0.5 percent"; (6) Paragraph 67, in the second-to-last sentence, "1,000,000" is replaced by "500,000"; (7) Paragraph 88, in the second-to-last sentence, delete ", as raised below in the FNPRM,[.]"; (8) Paragraph 103, in the last sentence, http://www.fcc.gov/cgb.dro"is replaced by http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/dro."; and (9) In Appendix H, replace the amendment to 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(C) with the following paragraph: (C) Data collection from TRS providers. TRS providers shall provide the administrator with true and adequate data, and other historical, projected and state rate related information reasonably requested by the administrator, necessary to determine TRS Fund revenue requirements and payments. TRS providers shall provide the administrator with the following: total TRS minutes of use, total interstate TRS minutes of use, total TRS operating expenses and total TRS investment in general accordance with part 32 of this chapter, and other historical or projected information reasonably requested by the administrator for purposes of computing payments and revenue requirements. The administrator and the Commission shall have the authority to examine, verify and audit data received from TRS providers as necessary to assure the accuracy and integrity of TRS Fund payments.

  • 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 07-5098, adopted December 26, 2007, released December 26, 2007.
  • In this Order, the Commission extends the waivers for one year (i.e., until January 1, 2009), conditioned upon the filing of a status report due April 16th, 2008, of the one-line VCO, VCO-to-TTY, and VCO-to-VCO; one-line HCO, HCO-to-TTY, and HCO-to-HCO; call release; STS; pay-per-call (900) calls, types of calls, equal access to interexchange carrier requirements; and speed dialing (for IP Relay) requirements; and (2) allow the waivers of the speed dialing (for VRS) and three-way calling (for VRS and IP Relay) requirements to expire on January 1, 2008.

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