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2013 TRS History Docket

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  • Misuse of Internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Telephone Service; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123, FCC 13-13, adopted January 24, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 703, released January 25, 2013.
  • 78 FR 8030, February 5, 2013 – Final rule; interpretation
    78 FR 8032, February 5, 2013 – Interim rule
    78 FR 8090, February 5, 2013 – Proposed rule

    The FCC released an interim Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to address certain practices related to the provision and marketing of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS).

    IP CTS is a form of relay service designed to allow people with hearing loss to speak directly to another party on a telephone call and to simultaneously listen to the other party and read captions of what that party is saying over an IP-enabled device.

    To ensure that IP CTS is provided efficiently to persons who need to use this service, this new Order establishes the following requirements on a temporary basis from March 7, 2013 to September 3, 2013:

    • IP CTS providers may not offer financial and other rewards to consumers, charitable organizations, and audiologists and other professionals for the referral and registration of new IP CTS customers.
    • New IP CTS users must self-certify to the provider that (1) they have a hearing loss requiring use of the service to effectively communicate over the phone, (2) they understand that the captioning service is provided by a live communications assistant (CA), and (3) they understand that the cost of IP CTS calls is paid by the federal TRS Fund. If the user spends $75 or more for their IP CTS phone, he or she needs to only provide this self-certification. But if the user obtains IP CTS equipment for free or for less than $75, she or he must also provide certification from a third party professional that the user needs IP CTS to communicate effectively over the phone.
    • IP CTS phones must have as a default setting with the captions are turned off, so that consumers need to turn on the captions for each call.

      The NPRM seeks comment on:

    • Whether to adopt the above interim rules as permanent rules;
    • The likely reasons for the unusually rapid growth in the use of IP CTS;
    • Whether to prohibit all provider programs that give away or loan equipment to potential or existing IP CTS users for free or at a cost below some specified level;
    • Whether to require each IP CTS provider, as a condition of continuing to offer service to existing IP CTS users who have not yet registered for service, (a) to register each of their users and (b) as part of the registration process, to obtain from each user certification that the user has a hearing loss that requires IP CTS to communicate in a manner that is functionally equivalent to communication by conventional voice telephone users;
    • Whether to establish a specific (quantitative) hearing loss threshold for eligibility to use IP CTS;
    • Whether to amend the speed of answer requirement for IP CTS;
    • Whether to adopt any requirements for IP CTS equipment to have labels informing consumers that IP CTS may be used only by people with hearing loss; and
    • Whether to require applicants for IP CTS certification to describe how they ensure that they do not bill the TRS Fund for service to ineligible users.

    Comments are due February 26, 2013. Reply comments are due March 12, 2013.

  • Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program; Healinc Telecom, LLC, Request for Reimbursement of September 2011 Video Relay Service Minutes, (Letter), CG Docket No. 10-51, DA 13-259, 28 FCC Rcd 1375, released February 21, 2013
  • Pursuant to Section 64.604(c)(5)(iii)(E) and (L) of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) rules, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) permanently denies payment to Healinc Telecom, LLC (Healinc), of the amounts withheld by the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund Administrator, Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates (Administrator, or RLSA), from Healinc’s video relay service (VRS) payment for the month of September 2011. The Bureau affirms RLSA’s determination that calls for which compensation was withheld were not compensable under the Commission’s rules.

  • Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program; Internet-based TRS Certification Application of Healinc Telecom, LLC, (Order), CG Docket No. 10-51, DA 13-260, adopted February 21, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 1381, released February 21, 2013
  • The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB, or Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) denies the application of Healinc Telecom, LLC (Healinc) to obtain recertification as a video relay service (VRS) provider and to obtain initial certification as an Internet Protocol (IP) Relay Service provider eligible to receive compensation from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund (Fund).

  • Pleading Cycle Established for Comment on Applications for State Certification for the Provision of Telecommunications Relay Service, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-275, 28 FCC Rcd 1443, released February 22, 2013
  • Notice is hereby given that the states listed below have applied to the Commission for renewal of the certification of their State Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) program pursuant to Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 47 U.S.C. § 225, and the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.601-605. Current state certifications expire July 25, 2013. A state’s application for certification, covering the five year period from July 26, 2013 to July 25, 2018, must demonstrate that the state TRS program complies with Section 225 and the Commission’s rules governing the provision of TRS. The notice seeks public comment on the following state applications for certification, which can be found on the Commission’s website at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/. When searching for the state application in the ECFS, please enter docket number 03-123, in the proceeding number fill-in block, and the state identification number, (e.g., TRS-46-12) assigned for the specific state application in the bureau identification number fill-in block:

    Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Saipan, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming. Comments are due March 15, 2013. Reply comments are due March 29, 2013.

  • Request For Comment on Petition For Rulemaking Filed By Sorenson Communications, Inc. Regarding Cost Recovery Methodology for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service, (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123, DA 13-369, 28 FCC Rcd 2256, released March 8, 2013
  • The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau seek comment on a petition for rulemaking filed by Sorenson Communications, Inc. (Sorenson) and its wholly subsidiary, CaptionCall, LLC on February 20, 2013. In its petition for rulemaking, Sorenson requests that the Commission initiate a rulemaking proceeding to adopt a price cap regulatory approach to determine the rates for the provision of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS). The proposed methodology would replace the current Multistate Average Rate Structure (MARS) rate methodology currently used for determining the IP CTS rate. Comments and reply comments should be filed in accord with the procedures outlined below. Comments are due March 25, 2013. Reply comments are due April 4, 2013.

  • The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Accepts American Network, Inc.’s (ANI) Relinquishment of Authority to Provide iTRS Services, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-534, 28 FCC Rcd 3130, released March 21, 2013
  • By this Notice, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) hereby accepts the relinquishment of American Network, Inc.’s (ANI) authority to provide of Internet-based telecommunications relay services (TRS) and eligibility for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund).

  • Pleading Cycle Established for Comment on Applications for State Certification for the Provision of Telecommunications Relay Service, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-770, 28 FCC Rcd 4762, released April 16, 2013
  • Notice is hereby given that the states listed below have applied to the Commission for renewal of the certification of their State Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) program pursuant to Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as codified in the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. § 225, and the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.601-605. Current state certifications expire July 25, 2013. A state’s application for certification, covering the five year period from July 26, 2013 to July 25, 2018, must demonstrate that its TRS program complies with Section 225 and the Commission’s rules governing the provision of TRS. This notice seeks public comment on the following state applications for certification, which can be found on the Commission’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs//. When searching for the state application in the ECFS, please enter docket number 03-123 in the proceeding number fill-in block, and the state identification number, (i.e., TRS-19-12) assigned for that specific state application in the bureau identification number fill-in block: Alaska, U.S. Virgin Islands, and West Virginia. Comments are due April 29, 2013. Reply comments are due May 13, 2013.

  • Implementation of Sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010; Amendments to the Commission’s Rules Implementing Sections 255 and 251(a)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Telecommunications Act of 1996; In the Matter of Accessible Mobile Phone Options for People who are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Low Vision, (Second Report and Order), CG Docket Nos. 10-213 and 10-145, WT Docket No. 96-198, FCC 13-57, adopted April 26, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 5957, released April 29, 2013
  • 78 FR 8030, February 5, 2013 – Final rule

    In the Second Report and Order, the Commission implements section 718 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (Act), which was added by section 104 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) to ensure that people with disabilities have access to emerging and innovative advanced communications technologies. Section 718 requires mobile phone manufacturers and mobile service providers that include or arrange for the inclusion of an Internet browser on mobile phones to ensure that the functions of the included browser are accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or have a visual impairment, unless doing so is not achievable. Specifically, the Commission takes the following actions:
    • Affirm that Internet browsers used for advanced communications services (ACS), that are installed or included by ACS equipment manufacturers or provided by ACS service providers, are software subject to section 716 of the Act;
    • Find that sections 716 and 718 have overlapping requirements with respect to ensuring the accessibility of Internet browsers;
    • Adopt implementing regulations for section 718 that are consistent with the Commission’s Part 14 rules implementing section 716;
    • Decline to adopt requirements or safe harbors with respect to accessibility application programming interfaces (APIs); and
    • Retain section 14.31 of the Commission’s rules with respect to recordkeeping requirements applicable to manufacturers and service providers subject to section 718.
    In accordance with the CVAA, the effective date for the new accessibility requirements under section 718 is three years after the enactment of the CVAA, or October 8, 2013.

  • Misuse of Internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Telephone Service; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Order), CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123, DA 13-1045, adopted May 9, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 6454, released May 9, 2013
  • In the Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission), pursuant to delegated authority, addresses the following petitions for waiver: (1) Petition for Limited Waiver filed by Hamilton Relay, Inc. (Hamilton), Sprint Communications Company, L.P. (Sprint), and their equipment provider, Captel Inc. (Captel) on February 22, 2013 (Hamilton/Sprint Petition); (2) Petition for Limited Waiver filed by Purple Communications, Inc. (Purple) on March 1, 2013 (Purple Petition); (3) Emergency Petition of Sprint Nextel for Limited Waiver and Clarification filed by Sprint Nextel Corporation (Sprint), on behalf of its subsidiary, Sprint Communications Company L.P., on March 5, 2013 (Sprint Petition); and (4) Emergency Petition for Waiver filed by Sorenson Communications, Inc. (Sorenson) and its wholly owned subsidiary, CaptionCall, LLC (CaptionCall) on March 7, 2013 (CaptionCall Petition). All of the petitions concern recently adopted rules addressing the provision of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), a form of telecommunications relay service that permits people who can speak, but who have difficulty hearing over the telephone, to speak directly to another party on a telephone call and to both listen to the other party and read captions of what that party is saying, in real-time, on an Internet Protocol (IP) enabled device. Each petitioner seeks a waiver of section 64.604(c)(10) of the Commission’s rules, which requires IP CTS providers to ensure that equipment and software used in conjunction with their service have a default setting of captions off, so that IP CTS users must affirmatively turn on captioning for each telephone call initiated or received before captioning is provided.

  • Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates Submits Payment Formulas and Funding Requirement for the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Fund for the July 2013 Through June 2014 Fund Year, (Public Notice ), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 13-1137, 28 FCC Rcd 7296, released May 17, 2013
  • The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) seeks comment on RLSA’s proposed carrier contribution factor and funding requirement, as well as the proposed compensation rates, for the period of July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2014. In this regard, comment is invited on the various IP CTS demand projections submitted by Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates (RLSA). Specifically, CGB seeks comment on whether RLSA’s recommended demand projection (409 million minutes) is the most appropriate one to use to calculate the funding requirement for the 2013-2014 TRS Fund year for IP CTS. CGB also seeks comment on how RLSA’s demand projections, which do not take into account the effects of an emergency Order and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that were recently adopted by the Commission to reform the IP CTS program, may be affected by the adoption of those rules. In addition, in light of the Commission’s ongoing review of comments received in response to a recent Public Notice seeking comment on the IP CTS rate methodology, CGB proposes to adopt RLSA’s recommended IP CTS rate as an interim rate and seeks comment on this proposal. Comments are due May 31, 2013. Reply comments are due June 7, 2013.

  • FCC Launches Fundamental Restructuring of Video Relay Service Program Serving Americans with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (News Release), released June 10, 2013
  • The Federal Communications Commission unanimously adopted comprehensive reforms to further protect and strengthen the Video Relay Service (VRS) program that enables people with disabilities to do what most Americans take for granted: make a simple phone call. The VRS program permits people with hearing and speech disabilities to use American Sign Language to communicate with other individuals over a broadband connection. Using a video link, an intermediary – called a communications assistant – translates the user’s signed communications to the hearing person on the other end of the conversation, and then signs back the spoken words to the user, allowing the conversation to flow in near real-time. The program is financed through the FCC’s Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund.

  • Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), CG Docket Nos. 10-51 and 03-123, FCC 13-82, adopted June 7, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 8618, released June 10, 2013
  • 78 FR 40582, July 5, 2013 - Final rule
    78 FR 40407, July 5, 2013 – Proposed rule

    In the Report and Order, the Commission adopts further measures to improve the structure, efficiency, and quality of the VRS program, reducing the noted inefficiencies in the program, as well as reducing the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse, and ensuring that the program makes full use of advances in commercially-available technology.

    In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission solicits further comment on options and proposals to ensure that VRS continues to offer functional equivalence to all eligible users and is as immune as possible from any additional waste, fraud, and abuse. The steps the Commission takes today and the further steps proposed therein are designed to ensure that this vital program fulfills the goals set for the Commission in section 225 of the Communications Act for the benefit of all consumers, and is an effective, efficient, and sustainable program for the future. Comments are due August 19, 2013. Reply comments are due September 18, 2013.

  • Reminder to States and Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Providers that the Annual Summary of Consumer Complaints is due July 1, 2013; Reminder of Ongoing Obligation to Report Contact Information and Substantive Changes in TRS Programs (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-1402, 28 FCC Rcd 8907, released June 18, 2013
  • The Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) reminds states and providers of interstate telecommunications relay services (TRS) that they must submit their annual consumer complaint log summaries covering the 12-month period from June 1, 2012 to May 31, 2013, on or before Monday, July 1, 2013.

    Complaint log summaries should include information pertaining to complaints received between June 1, 2012, and May 31, 2013. The summaries must include, at a minimum, the total number of interstate relay calls by type of TRS (i.e., traditional TRS, speech-to-speech (STS), captioned telephone service (CTS), Internet protocol (IP) CTS, IP Relay, video relay service (VRS)), the number of complaints alleging a violation of the federal TRS mandatory minimum standards, the date of the complaint, the nature of the complaint, the date of its resolution, and an explanation of the resolution.

    CGB also remind certified state TRS programs, interstate TRS providers, and TRS providers that have state contracts that, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(c)(2), they must submit to the Commission the name of a contact person and/or office for the receipt of inquiries and complaints from consumers about the certified state TRS program’s intrastate service or, as appropriate, about the TRS provider’s service. The submission must include the name and address of the state or TRS office that receives complaints, grievances, inquiries and suggestions; the voice, TTY, and fax numbers for that office; the email address; and the physical address to which correspondence should be sent. The Commission must be notified each time there is a change in any of this required information. Any changes in contact information for certified state TRS programs and/or interstate TRS providers should be sent to TRS_POC@fcc.gov.

    CGB also remind certified state TRS programs that, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 64.606(f)(1), state TRS programs must notify the Commission of any substantive changes in their TRS programs within 60 days of when they occur, and must certify that the state TRS program continues to meet federal mandatory minimum standards after implementing the substantive change. Similarly, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 64.606(f)(2), providers of VRS, IP Relay and IP CTS certified under 47 C.F.R. § 64.606 must also notify the Commission of any substantive changes in theirTRS programs, services, and features within 60 days of when such changes occur, and certify that they continue to meet federal mandatory minimum standards after implementing the substantive change. Notices of substantive changes in TRS Programs must reference CG Docket No. 03-123.

  • Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program, (Order), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 13-1483, adopted July 1, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 9219, released July 1, 2013
  • In the Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau adopted per-minute compensation rates to be paid from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Services Fund (Fund) for the 2013-14 Fund year for all forms of telecommunications relay services (TRS) other than video relay service (VRS). These rates are based on the proposals of the current Fund administrator, Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates (RLSA).

  • Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; E911 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123 and WC Docket No. 05-196, DA 13-1489, adopted July 1, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 9246, released July 1, 2013
  • In the Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) and the Wireline Competition Bureau (WCB) extend the waivers of certain telecommunications relay services (TRS) mandatory minimum standards for video relay service (VRS) and Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay).

  • Notice of Certification of State Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Program, (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-1530, 28 FCC Rcd 9987, released July 8, 2013
  • The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) hereby grants certification to the state telecommunication relay services (TRS) programs listed below, pursuant to Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 47 U.S.C. § 225(f)(2), and section 64.606(b) of the Commission’s rules:

    Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Saipan, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

    On the basis of the state applications received, the Bureau has determined that:

    (1) The TRS programs of the listed states meet or exceed all operational, technical, and functional minimum standards contained in section 64.604 of the Commission’s rules;

    (2) The TRS programs of the listed states make available adequate procedures and remedies for enforcing the requirements of their state programs; and

    (3) The TRS programs of the listed states in no way conflict with federal law.

    This certification, as conditioned herein, shall remain in effect for a five (5) year period, beginning July 26, 2013, and ending July 25, 2018, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. § 64.606(c).

    One year prior to the expiration of this certification, July 25, 2017, the states may apply for renewal of their TRS program certification by filing documentation in accordance with the Commission’s rules, pursuant to 47 C.F.R. §§ 64.606(a) and (b).

  • Speech-to-Speech and Internet Protocol (IP) Speech-to-Speech Telecommunications Relay Services; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities (Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), CG Docket Nos. 08-15 and 03-123, FCC 13-101, adopted July 19, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 10702, released Jul 19, 2013
  • 78 FR 49693, August 15, 2013 - Final rule
    78 FR 49717, August 15, 2013 – Proposed rule

    In the Report and Order, the Commission amends certain telecommunications relay services (TRS) mandatory minimum standards applicable to Speech-to-Speech (STS) relay services. These amendments will ensure that persons with speech disabilities have access to relay services that address their unique needs, in furtherance of the objective of section 225 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, to provide relay services in a manner that is functionally equivalent to conventional telephone voice services.

    In the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission seeks comment on other ways to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the STS program, for example by creating a nationwide STS outreach program. The actions taken in this proceeding and proposed in the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking demonstrate the Commission’s longstanding commitment to ensuring that TRS is available to enable Americans with hearing and speech disabilities to communicate in a manner that is functionally equivalent to communications using voice telephone service. Comments are due September 16, 2013. Reply comments are September 30, 2013.

  • Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Letter), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-1704, 28 FCC Rcd 11243, released August 2, 2013
  • On July 8, 2013, Purple Communications, Inc. (Purple) requested on an emergency basis, a limited, 120-day waiver of the Commission’s speed-of-answer requirements with respect to Purple’s Internet protocol relay service (IP Relay). The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau grants Purple a limited waiver of section 64.604(b)(2) of the Commission’s rules, applicable to Purple’s provision of IP Relay during the period from August 1 through August 12, 2013.

  • Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Letter), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-1705, 28 FCC Rcd 11244, released August 2, 2013
  • On July 16, 2013, Sprint Corporation (Sprint) requested a limited, four-month waiver of the Commission’s speed-of-answer requirements with respect to Sprint’s Internet protocol relay service (IP Relay). The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau grants Sprint a limited waiver of section 64.604(b)(2) of the Commission’s rules, applicable to Sprint’s provision of IP Relay during the period from August 1 through August 12, 2013.

  • Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; Purple Communications, Inc. Emergency Petition for Limited Waiver, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-1753, adopted August 13, 2013, 28 FCC Rcd 12218, released August 13, 2013
  • In the order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission), pursuant to delegated authority, addresses Purple Communications, Inc.’s (Purple) petition for waiver of the Commission's speed-of-answer (SOA) rule with respect to Internet protocol (IP) relay service (IP Relay).

    The Petition for Limited Waiver filed by Purple Communications, Inc., on July 8, 2013, is granted to the extent and subject to the conditions set forth in the order, for a period of 93 days beginning on July 31, 2013, and ending on October 31, 2013.

  • Misuse of Internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Telephone Service; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123, FCC 13-118, adopted August 26, 2013, released August 26, 2013
  • 78 FR 53684, August 30, 2013 - Final rule
    78 FR 54201, September 3, 2013 – Proposed rule

    In the Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission takes the next steps in addressing practices related to the provision and marketing of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS). IP CTS, a form of telecommunications relay service (TRS), permits people who can speak, but who have a hearing loss and have difficulty hearing over the telephone, to speak directly to another party on a telephone call and to use an Internet Protocol-enabled device to simultaneously listen to the other party and read captions of what that party is saying. The steps the Commission has taken will ensure that this service continues to be available to those who need it, while protecting the service and the Telecommunications Relay Services Fund (TRS Fund, or Fund) from certain improper practices that, if left unaddressed, will adversely impact both the service and the Fund. Comments are due October 18, 2013. Reply comments are due November 18, 2013.

  • Request for Comment on Petition Filed by Purple Communications, Inc. Regarding the Provision of both Inbound and Outbound Functionality for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Services, (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 10-51 and 03-123, DA 13-1814, released August 27, 2013
  • On July 8, 2013, Purple Communications, Inc. (Purple) filed a petition (Purple Petition) requesting expedited clarification or partial reconsideration, or, alternatively, a waiver of one aspect of the VRS Reform Order regarding the use of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) through web or wireless technologies. Specifically, Purple requests that the Commission clarify that footnote 122 of the VRS Reform Order, stating that “calls that are completed using a technology that does not provide both inbound and outbound functionality are not compensable from the TRS Fund,” does not apply when users access IP CTS through web and wireless services. Purple asserts that this footnote, if left intact, would force Purple and other IP CTS providers to cease the provision of IP CTS using web and wireless applications because “there is no technology currently available that allows inbound IP CTS over web or wireless technologies to be captioned without some intermediary step. Comments are due September 26, 2013. Reply comments are due October 7, 2013.

  • Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; Waivers of iTRS Mandatory Minimum Standards, (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 13-119, adopted September 5, 2013, released September 6, 2013
  • 78 FR 63152, October 23, 2013 - Proposed rule

    In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice), the Commission proposes to address the continuing need for waivers pertaining to the Commission’s mandatory minimum standards for telecommunications relay services (TRS). In the last decade, providers of Internet-based relay services (iTRS) and public switched telephone network (PSTN)-based captioned telephone service (CTS) have petitioned for and been granted waivers of various TRS mandatory minimum standards deemed inapplicable to or technologically infeasible for iTRS and CTS. Several of these waivers have been limited in duration, necessitating periodic requests for extension by the affected providers.

    Also in the Notice, the Commission seeks comment on proposals to exempt certain iTRS and CTS providers permanently from certain mandatory minimum standards because of the technical infeasibility or inapplicability of these mandatory minimum standards to the services in question. The Commission also seeks comment on whether there is any public interest need to continue to waive various other mandatory minimum standards, given the current state of the technologies pertaining to these standards and in light of recent annual reports submitted by providers reporting the ability to comply with such mandatory minimum standards. The goal of this proceeding is to provide greater certainty for iTRS and CTS users and providers with respect to the TRS mandatory minimum standards and to obviate the need for further periodic waiver filings regarding these standards. Comments are due December 23, 2013. Reply comments are due January 21, 2014.

  • Notice of Temporary Extension of Certification of Purple Communications, Inc. as a Provider of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Relay Service, (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 13-2176, released November 13, 2013
  • By this Public Notice, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announces that it temporarily extends, until Febraury 11, 2014, the certification period for Purple Communications, Inc. to provide Internet Protocol captioned telephone service and to receive compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund for the provision of this service.

  • Request for Comment on Petition Filed by Sprint Corporation for Reconsideration of Certain Rules Adopted for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service, (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123, DA 13-2190, released November 14, 2013
  • On September 30, 2013, Sprint Corporation (Sprint) filed a petition (Sprint Reconsideration Petition) requesting reconsideration of certain rules adopted for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) in the IP CTS Reform Order of August 26, 2013. First, Sprint asks that the Commission reconsider the rule prohibiting all providers from receiving compensation from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund (Fund) for minutes of use generated by consumers using IP CTS software and applications that consumers receive at no charge or purchase for less than $75 on or after the effective date of the rule. Second, Sprint asks that the Commission modify its registration and certification requirements to allow access to IP CTS phones in public places. Third, Sprint seeks authorization to utilize wording that differs slightly from the Commission’s required wording for labels warning consumers that only registered users of IP CTS may use IP CTS with captions turned on. Such labels must be adhered to IP CTS devices and displayed on the device screens of software-based IP CTS applications.

    Comments are due December 31, 2013. Reply comments are due January 10, 2014.

  • Request for Comment on Petition Filed by AT&T Services, Inc. Regarding the Provision of Muting for Speech-to-Speech Telephone Services, (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 08-15 and 03-123, DA 13-2191, released November 14, 2013
  • On September 26, 2013, AT&T Services, Inc. (AT&T) filed a petition (AT&T Petition) requesting clarification or, in the alternative, expedited waiver of the requirement contained in the 2013 STS Order for providers to offer speech-to-speech (STS) users the option to have their voices muted during an STS call. Specifically, AT&T claims that it can meet this obligation for incoming calls to an STS user who has not pre-selected muting in his or her profile, by “mut[ing] the user’s voice only if the STS user drops off the call and the CA adds the user back to the call.” AT&T seeks clarification that this process complies with 47 C.F.R. § 64.604(a)(1)(viii).

    In the alternative, AT&T seeks a twelve-month expedited waiver of the STS muting rule for calls where the STS user has not pre-selected muting in his or her profile. AT&T maintains that this will allow it to continue offering STS users the call back option while it modifies its platform to add a “hold” function during STS calls, to allow the CA to mute an STS user’s voice at any time during a call without requiring a call back.

    Comments are due December 31, 2013. Reply comments are due January 10, 2014.

  • Request for Comment on Petition Filed by Sprint Corporation for Reconsideration of the Commission's Internet Protocol Relay Rate Order, (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 13-2258, released November 25, 2013
  • On July 31, 2013, Sprint Corporation (Sprint) filed a petition (Sprint Reconsideration Petition) requesting reconsideration of the 2013 Rate Order, including a request for immediate suspension of the Internet Protocol Relay (IP Relay) compensation rate adopted in the 2013 Rate Order. Specifically, Sprint claims that the rates established by the 2013 Rate Order are too low to ensure high quality service. Additionally, Sprint contends that the rapid exodus of three of the five IP Relay providers from the marketplace appears to be evidence of inadequate compensation of providers for their provision of IP Relay services, and argues that the departure of these providers renders the Commission’s rate calculations obsolete. Sprint further expresses concern that only an adequate compensation rate will retain the two remaining providers, that the consumer benefits of competition would be lost if one of the providers withdraws, and that if both providers left the market, consumers would be deprived of important IP Relay services completely.

    Sprint asks for a rate that offers IP Relay providers reasonable regulatory certainty, and seeks a reinstatement of the rate of $1.2855 per minute until the Commission is able to analyze recent developments in the IP Relay market and adopt a rate that adequately compensates IP Relay providers.

    Comments are due December 5, 2013. Reply comments are due December 12, 2013.

  • Personal Information Required for Consumers to Register for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service and Applicable Confidentiality Safeguards, (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123, DA 13-2300, released December 2, 2013
  • The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau (Bureau) understands that some IP CTS providers have received inquiries regarding the need to collect personal information from consumers wishing to register for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS), and the extent to which such information will be kept confidential. To guard against TRS fraud, abuse, and waste, in August 2013, the FCC adopted regulations requiring consumers who are registering for IP CTS to provide the following information to their IP CTS providers: full name, date of birth, address, telephone number, and the last four digits of the consumer’s social security number. Each IP CTS provider must obtain this information from all users of IP CTS, regardless of when these individuals began receiving these relay services. In addition, consumers must certify that, among other things, they have a hearing loss that necessitates IP CTS to communicate by phone.

    The Bureau takes this opportunity to reaffirm that, under FCC regulations, IP CTS providers must maintain the confidentiality of the personal information obtained from consumers through their registration and certification. Specifically, Commission regulations require that each IP CTS provider “maintain the confidentiality of . . . registration and certification information” and prohibit VRS and IP CTS providers from “disclos[ing] such registration and certification information or the content of such registration and certification information except as required by law or regulation.

  • Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; Purple Communications, Inc. Emergency Petition for Limited Waiver, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 13-2345, adopted December 6, 2013, released December 6, 2013
  • In the Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC, or Commission), on its own motion, pursuant to delegated authority, modifies the August 13, 2013 conditional waiver of the Commission's speed-of-answer (SOA) rule with respect to Internet Protocol (IP) relay service (IP Relay) granted to Purple Communications, Inc. (Purple). CGB modifies the waiver to apply when there is a specified sustained increase in traffic that occurs during any 30-day period that includes the day for which a waiver is needed, rather than being limited to increases sustained over a calendar month.

Updated: December 17, 2013
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