- FCC Authorizes Voluntary Experiments to Measure Impact on Customers of Technology Transitions in Communications Networks, (News Release), released January 30, 2014
- Public safety communications must be available no matter the technology
- All Americans must have access to affordable communications services
- Competition in the marketplace provides choice for consumers and businesses
- Consumer protection is paramount
- Service-based experiments: Providers are invited to submit proposals to initiate tests of providing IP-based alternatives to existing services in discrete geographic areas or situations. Proposals are due by Feb. 20, followed by a public comment and reply period ending on March 31, and final decision on the proposals made at the FCC’s May meeting
- Targeted experiments and cooperative research: These experiments will explore the impact on specific values, including universal access and competition.
- Rural America: experiments will focus on ways to deliver robust broadband to rural areas
- People with disabilities: development and funding of interagency research on IP-based technologies for people with disabilities
- Telephone numbering in all-IP world: a numbering testbed will address concerns raised about number assignment and databases in an all-IP world, without disrupting current systems
- Data improvement:
- Reform of the FCC’s consumer complaint and inquiry process to collect better data on how technological change is impacting consumer values
- Intergovernmental collaboration (state, local and Tribal governments) to better understand consumer impact
- Collection and analysis of data on next-generation 911 systems in coordination with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National 911 office and public safety associations
- Technology Transitions; AT&T Petition to Launch a Proceeding Concerning the TDM-to-IP Transition; Connect America Fund; Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Program; Telecommunications Relay Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; Numbering Policies for Modern Communications, (Order, Report and Order and FNPRM, Report and Order, Order and FNPRM, Proposal for Ongoing Initiative), FCC 14-5, (GN Docket Nos. 13-5 and 12-353; WC Docket Nos. 13-97 and 10-90; CG Docket Nos.10-51 and 03-123 ), adopted January 30, 2014, released January 31, 2014
- Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Announces Workshop on Research Initiative on IP-Based Relay Technologies, (Public Notice), GN Docket No. 14-19, DA 14-117, released January 31, 2014
- Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Announces Tentative Agenda and Panelists for February 18, 2014 Workshop on IP-Based Relay Technologies, (Public Notice), GN Docket No. 14-19, DA 14-173, released February 10, 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 14-176, released February 11, 2014
- Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Clarifies Application of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) Rules on User Registration and Certification, (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 13-24 and 03-123, DA 14-251, released February 24, 2014
- Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities; Sprint Communications, Inc., Request for Review of the Decision of the TRS Administrator to Withhold TRS Payments, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 14-334, adopted March 11, 2014, released March 11, 2014
- Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 14-410, adopted March 26, 2014, released March 26, 2014
The Federal Communications Commission today launched a broad set of voluntary experiments meant to ensure that the nation’s communications networks continue to provide the services consumers want and need in this era of historic technological transformations.
Driven by developments in the marketplace, technology transitions in communications networks are already well underway. They include, for example, the transition from plain old telephone service delivered over copper lines to feature-rich voice service using Internet Protocols, delivered over coaxial cable, fiber, or wireless networks. The FCC’s experiments will focus on how the enduring values underlying operation of today’s networks can be preserved and enhanced throughout technological change. These values are fundamental:
New technologies can deliver efficient, innovative services to consumers, spark investment, and grow the economy. But at this time, consumers can revert to legacy services if the newer technologies don’t meet their needs. When adoption of new technologies reaches critical mass, many providers may ask the FCC for permission to cease offering those legacy services.
These experiments will gather information in three broad areas:
The data gathered in these experiments will ensure that the ongoing public dialogue about technology transitions is based on solid facts and data. This discussion will guide the FCC as it makes complex legal and policy choices that advance and accelerate the technology transitions while ensuring that consumers and the enduring values are not adversely affected.
Today’s Orders, Report and Orders, Further Notices of Proposed Rulemaking, and Proposal for Ongoing Data Initiative (Order) kickstart the process for a diverse set of experiments and data collection initiatives that will allow the Commission and the public to evaluate how customers are affected by the historic technology transitions that are transforming our nation’s voice communications services – from a network based on time-division multiplexed (TDM) circuit-switched voice services running on copper loops to an all-Internet Protocol (IP) network using copper, co-axial cable, wireless, and fiber as physical infrastructure. Americans have come to expect secure, reliable, and innovative communications services. The purpose of these experiments is to speed market-driven technological transitions and innovations by preserving the core statutory values as codified by Congress – public safety, ubiquitous and affordable access, competition, and consumer protection – that exist today. The experiments and initiatives will collect data that will permit service providers and their customers, and independent analysts and commentators – as well as the federal, State, local, and Tribal officials charged with oversight – to make data-driven decisions about these technology transitions. By using an open and deliberative process to identify and address challenges, all stakeholders will benefit as we together learn how we may ensure that our values flourish as providers implement new technologies at scale and, ultimately, seek to discontinue legacy services and facilities.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) will host a workshop the morning of Tuesday, February 18, 2014. The purpose of the workshop will be to gather and incorporate stakeholder input on the types of research that are needed to improve the functional equivalency and efficiency of telecommunications relay service (TRS).
This first workshop will focus on developing a platform for the delivery of IP-based relay services and the development of new and improved relay services during and after the IP transition. Panels will include discussions with academics and researchers with demonstrated relevant expertise. An audience question and answer session will follow. Additional details will be released closer to the event date.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA) will host a workshop on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Commission Meeting Room (TW-C305) located at 445 12th Street SW, Washington, D.C. 20554.
As one of its voluntary experiments meant to ensure that all Americans have access to communication services during this period of technological change, the FCC is developing and funding interagency research on IP-based technologies for people with disabilities. The workshop will gather input on the types of research that are needed to improve the functional equivalency and efficiency of Telecommunication Relay Services during and after the IP transition.
Specifically, the panel discussions will focus on developing a platform for the delivery of IP based relay services to consumers and exploring innovative IP-based technologies for relay services during and after the transition.
By this Public Notice, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) announces that it extends for 90 additional days, until May 12, 2014, the certification period for Purple Communications, Inc. (Purple), to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) and to receive compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund (Fund) for the provision of this service.
The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau clarifies that interim rule 64.604(c)(9)(v), which requires that IP CTS providers obtain third-party professional certification from new IP CTS users who pay less than $75 for equipment (other than equipment obtained from a governmental equipment distribution program), remains in effect at this time. In the IP CTS R&O, the Commission extended the effectiveness of interim rule 64.604(c)(9) until the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approves the information collections contained in final rule 64.604(c)(9) and a notice of such approval is published in the Federal Register. As such OMB approval has not yet occurred, and thus no notice of such approval has been published in the Federal Register, interim rule 64.604(c)(9)(v) is currently in effect under the terms of the IP CTS R&O.
In this Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission), acting on delegated authority, grants in part and denies in part Sprint Nextel Communications’ (Sprint) request for review of the withholding of compensation payments for Sprint’s Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay) service.
The Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund (TRS Fund, or Fund) administrator, Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates, Inc. (RLSA), withheld payment to Sprint from the TRS Fund for the provision of IP Relay from January 2012 through September 2012, based on its determination that Sprint did not comply with RLSA’s filing instructions implementing the Commission’s data submission rule for that period. The Bureau affirm RLSA’s finding that Sprint failed to comply with the Commission’s data submission rule during that period.
By the Order, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, on its own motion and pursuant to delegated authority, grants a partial waiver of the requirements for providers of Internet-based relay services, also known as iTRS providers, to file waiver status reports by April 16, 2014.