Current as of December 13, 2011
47 C.F.R. §64.601 - §64.613
FCC Regulations for the Provision of Telecommunications
Relay Services (TRS) pursuant to Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA), Pub. L. No. 101-336, §401, 104 Stat.327, 366-69 (adding Section 225
to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §225).
§ 64.601 Definitions and provisions of general applicability.
(a) For purposes of this subpart, the terms Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP), statewide default answering point, and appropriate local emergency authority are defined in 47 CFR 64.3000; the terms pseudo-ANI and Wireline E911 Network are defined in 47 CFR 9.3; the term affiliate is defined in 47 CFR 52.12(a)(1)(i), and the terms majority and debt are defined in 47 CFR 52.12(a)(1)(ii).
(1) 711. The abbreviated dialing code for accessing relay services anywhere in the United States.
(2) American Sign Language (ASL). A visual language based on hand shape, position, movement, and orientation of the hands in relation to each other and the body.
(3) ANI. For 911 systems, the Automatic Number Identification (ANI) identifies the calling party and may be used as the callback number.
(4) ASCII. An acronym for American Standard Code for Information Interexchange which employs an eight bit code and can operate at any standard transmission baud rate including 300, 1200, 2400, and higher.
(5) Baudot. A seven bit code, only five of which are information bits. Baudot is used by some text telephones to communicate with each other at a 45.5 baud rate.
(6) Call release. A TRS feature that allows the CA to sign-off or be “released” from the telephone line after the CA has set up a telephone call between the originating TTY caller and a called TTY party, such as when a TTY user must go through a TRS facility to contact another TTY user because the called TTY party can only be reached through a voice-only interface, such as a switchboard.
(7) Common carrier or carrier. Any common carrier engaged in interstate Communication by wire or radio as defined in section 3(h) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act), and any common carrier engaged in intrastate communication by wire or radio, notwithstanding sections 2(b) and 221(b) of the Act.
(8) Communications assistant (CA). A person who transliterates or interprets conversation between two or more end users of TRS. CA supersedes the term “TDD operator.”
(9) Hearing carry over (HCO). A form of TRS where the person with the speech disability is able to listen to the other end user and, in reply, the CA speaks the text as typed by the person with the speech disability. The CA does not type any conversation. Two-line HCO is an HCO service that allows TRS users to use one telephone line for hearing and the other for sending TTY messages. HCO-to-TTY allows a relay conversation to take place between an HCO user and a TTY user. HCO-to-HCO allows a relay conversation to take place between two HCO users.
(10) Interconnected VoIP service. The term “interconnected VoIP service” has the meaning given such term under §9.3 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, as such section may be amended from time to time.
(11) Internet-based TRS. A telecommunications relay service (TRS) in which an individual with a hearing or a speech disability connects to a TRS communications assistant using an Internet Protocol-enabled device via the Internet, rather than the public switched telephone network. Internet-based TRS does not include the use of a text telephone (TTY) over an interconnected voice over Internet Protocol service.
(12) Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS). A telecommunications relay service that permits an individual who can speak but who has difficulty hearing over the telephone to use a telephone and an Internet Protocol-enabled device via the Internet to simultaneously listen to the other party and read captions of what the other party is saying. With IP CTS, the connection carrying the captions between the relay service provider and the relay service user is via the Internet, rather than the public switched telephone network.
(13) Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay). A telecommunications relay service that permits an individual with a hearing or a speech disability to communicate in text using an Internet Protocol-enabled device via the Internet, rather than using a text telephone (TTY) and the public switched telephone network.
(14) Non-English language relay service. A telecommunications relay service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities who use languages other than English to communicate with voice telephone users in a shared language other than English, through a CA who is fluent in that language.
(15) Non-interconnected VoIP service. The term “non-interconnected VoIP service”—
(i) Means a service that—
(A) Enables real-time voice communications that originate from or terminate to the user's location using Internet protocol or any successor protocol; and
(B) Requires Internet protocol compatible customer premises equipment; and
(ii) Does not include any service that is an interconnected VoIP service.
(16) Numbering Partner . Any entity with which an Internet-based TRS provider has entered into a commercial arrangement to obtain North American Numbering Plan telephone numbers.
(17) Qualified interpreter. An interpreter who is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.
(18) Registered Location. The most recent information obtained by a VRS or IP Relay provider that identifies the physical location of an end user.
(19) Registered Internet-based TRS User. An individual that has registered with a VRS or IP Relay provider as described in §64.611 of this chapter.
(20) Speech-to-speech relay service (STS). A telecommunications relay service that allows individuals with speech disabilities to communicate with voice telephone users through the use of specially trained CAs who understand the speech patterns of persons with speech disabilities and can repeat the words spoken by that person.
(21) Speed dialing. A TRS feature that allows a TRS user to place a call using a stored number maintained by the TRS facility. In the context of TRS, speed dialing allows a TRS user to give the CA a short-hand” name or number for the user's most frequently called telephone numbers.
(22) Telecommunications relay services (TRS). Telephone transmission services that provide the ability for an individual who has a hearing or speech disability to engage in communication by wire or radio with a hearing individual in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability of an individual who does not have a hearing or speech disability to communicate using voice communication services by wire or radio. Such term includes services that enable two-way communication between an individual who uses a text telephone or other nonvoice terminal device and an individual who does not use such a device, speech-to-speech services, video relay services and non-English relay services. TRS supersedes the terms “dual party relay system,” “message relay services,” and “TDD Relay.”
(23) Text telephone (TTY). A machine that employs graphic communication in the transmission of coded signals through a wire or radio communication system. TTY supersedes the term “TDD” or “telecommunications device for the deaf,” and TT.
(24) Three-way calling feature. A TRS feature that allows more than two parties to be on the telephone line at the same time with the CA.
(25) TRS Numbering Administrator. The neutral administrator of the TRS Numbering Directory selected based on a competitive bidding process.
(26) TRS Numbering Directory. The database administered by the TRS Numbering Administrator, the purpose of which is to map each Registered Internet-based TRS User's NANP telephone number to his or her end device.
(27) Video relay service (VRS). A telecommunications relay service that allows people with hearing or speech disabilities who use sign language to communicate with voice telephone users through video equipment. The video link allows the CA to view and interpret the party's signed conversation and relay the conversation back and forth with a voice caller.
(28) Visual privacy screen. A screen or any other feature that is designed to prevent one party or both parties on the video leg of a VRS call from viewing the other party during a call.
(29) Voice carry over (VCO). A form of TRS where the person with the hearing disability is able to speak directly to the other end user. The CA types the response back to the person with the hearing disability. The CA does not voice the conversation. Two-line VCO is a VCO service that allows TRS users to use one telephone line for voicing and the other for receiving TTY messages. A VCO-to-TTY TRS call allows a relay conversation to take place between a VCO user and a TTY user. VCO-to-VCO allows a relay conversation to take place between two VCO users.
(b) For purposes of this subpart, all regulations and requirements applicable to common carriers shall also be applicable to providers of interconnected VoIP service.
[68 FR 50976, Aug. 25, 2003, as amended at 69 FR 53351, Sept. 1, 2004; 72 FR 43559, Aug. 6, 2007; 73 FR 41294, July 18, 2008; 76 FR 24400, May 2, 2011; 76 FR 65969, Oct. 25, 2011]
§ 64.602 Jurisdiction.
Any violation of this subpart F by any common carrier engaged in intrastate communication shall be subject to the same remedies, penalties, and procedures as are applicable to a violation of the Act by a common carrier engaged in interstate communication.
[65 FR 38436, June 21, 2000]
§ 64.603 Provision of services.
Each common carrier providing telephone voice transmission services shall provide, not later than July 26, 1993, in compliance with the regulations prescribed herein, throughout the area in which it offers services, telecommunications relay services, individually, through designees, through a competitively selected vendor, or in concert with other carriers. Speech-to-speech relay service and interstate Spanish language relay service shall be provided by March 1, 2001. In addition, each common carrier providing telephone voice transmission services shall provide, not later than October 1, 2001, access via the 711 dialing code to all relay services as a toll free call. A common carrier shall be considered to be in compliance with these regulations:
(a) With respect to intrastate telecommunications relay services in any state that does not have a certified program under §64.606 and with respect to interstate telecommunications relay services, if such common carrier (or other entity through which the carrier is providing such relay services) is in compliance with §64.604; or
(b) With respect to intrastate telecommunications relay services in any state that has a certified program under §64.606 for such state, if such common carrier (or other entity through which the carrier is providing such relay services) is in compliance with the program certified under §64.606 for such state.
[65 FR 38436, June 21, 2000, as amended at 66 FR 67114, Dec. 28, 2001; 73 FR 21258, Apr. 21, 2008]
§ 64.604 Mandatory minimum standards.
The standards in this section are applicable December 18, 2000, except as stated in paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(7) of this section.
(a) Operational standards —(1) Communications assistant (CA). (i) TRS providers are responsible for requiring that all CAs be sufficiently trained to effectively meet the specialized communications needs of individuals with hearing and speech disabilities.
(ii) CAs must have competent skills in typing, grammar, spelling, interpretation of typewritten ASL, and familiarity with hearing and speech disability cultures, languages and etiquette. CAs must possess clear and articulate voice communications.
(iii) CAs must provide a typing speed of a minimum of 60 words per minute. Technological aids may be used to reach the required typing speed. Providers must give oral-to-type tests of CA speed.
(iv) TRS providers are responsible for requiring that VRS CAs are qualified interpreters. A “qualified interpreter” is able to interpret effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.
(v) CAs answering and placing a TTY-based TRS or VRS call must stay with the call for a minimum of ten minutes. CAs answering and placing an STS call must stay with the call for a minimum of fifteen minutes.
(vi) TRS providers must make best efforts to accommodate a TRS user's requested CA gender when a call is initiated and, if a transfer occurs, at the time the call is transferred to another CA.
(vii) TRS shall transmit conversations between TTY and voice callers in real time.
(2) Confidentiality and conversation content. (i) Except as authorized by section 705 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 605, CAs are prohibited from disclosing the content of any relayed conversation regardless of content, and with a limited exception for STS CAs, from keeping records of the content of any conversation beyond the duration of a call, even if to do so would be inconsistent with state or local law. STS CAs may retain information from a particular call in order to facilitate the completion of consecutive calls, at the request of the user. The caller may request the STS CA to retain such information, or the CA may ask the caller if he wants the CA to repeat the same information during subsequent calls. The CA may retain the information only for as long as it takes to complete the subsequent calls.
(ii) CAs are prohibited from intentionally altering a relayed conversation and, to the extent that it is not inconsistent with federal, state or local law regarding use of telephone company facilities for illegal purposes, must relay all conversation verbatim unless the relay user specifically requests summarization, or if the user requests interpretation of an ASL call. An STS CA may facilitate the call of an STS user with a speech disability so long as the CA does not interfere with the independence of the user, the user maintains control of the conversation, and the user does not object. Appropriate measures must be taken by relay providers to ensure that confidentiality of VRS users is maintained.
(3) Types of calls. (i) Consistent with the obligations of telecommunications carrier operators, CAs are prohibited from refusing single or sequential calls or limiting the length of calls utilizing relay services.
(ii) Relay services shall be capable of handling any type of call normally provided by telecommunications carriers unless the Commission determines that it is not technologically feasible to do so. Relay service providers have the burden of proving the infeasibility of handling any type of call.
(iii) Relay service providers are permitted to decline to complete a call because credit authorization is denied.
(iv) Relay services shall be capable of handling pay-per-call calls.
(v) TRS providers are required to provide the following types of TRS calls: (1) Text-to-voice and voice-to-text; (2) VCO, two-line VCO, VCO-to-TTY, and VCO-to-VCO; (3) HCO, two-line HCO, HCO-to-TTY, HCO-to-HCO.
(vi) TRS providers are required to provide the following features: (1) Call release functionality; (2) speed dialing functionality; and (3) three-way calling functionality.
(vii) Voice mail and interactive menus. CAs must alert the TRS user to the presence of a recorded message and interactive menu through a hot key on the CA's terminal. The hot key will send text from the CA to the consumer's TTY indicating that a recording or interactive menu has been encountered. Relay providers shall electronically capture recorded messages and retain them for the length of the call. Relay providers may not impose any charges for additional calls, which must be made by the relay user in order to complete calls involving recorded or interactive messages.
(viii) TRS providers shall provide, as TRS features, answering machine and voice mail retrieval.
(4) Emergency call handling requirements for TTY-based TRS providers. TTY-based TRS providers must use a system for incoming emergency calls that, at a minimum, automatically and immediately transfers the caller to an appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). An appropriate PSAP is either a PSAP that the caller would have reached if he had dialed 911 directly, or a PSAP that is capable of enabling the dispatch of emergency services to the caller in an expeditious manner.
(5) STS called numbers. Relay providers must offer STS users the option to maintain at the relay center a list of names and telephone numbers which the STS user calls. When the STS user requests one of these names, the CA must repeat the name and state the telephone number to the STS user. This information must be transferred to any new STS provider.
(6) Visual privacy screens/idle calls. A VRS CA may not enable a visual privacy screen or similar feature during a VRS call. A VRS CA must disconnect a VRS call if the caller or the called party to a VRS call enables a privacy screen or similar feature for more than five minutes or is otherwise unresponsive or unengaged for more than five minutes, unless the call is a 9–1–1 emergency call or the caller or called party is legitimately placed on hold and is present and waiting for active communications to commence. Prior to disconnecting the call, the CA must announce to both parties the intent to terminate the call and may reverse the decision to disconnect if one of the parties indicates continued engagement with the call.
(7) International calls. VRS calls that originate from an international IP address will not be compensated, with the exception of calls made by a U.S. resident who has pre-registered with his or her default provider prior to leaving the country, during specified periods of time while on travel and from specified regions of travel, for which there is an accurate means of verifying the identity and location of such callers. For purposes of this section, an international IP address is defined as one that indicates that the individual initiating the call is located outside the United States.
(b) Technical standards —(1) ASCII and Baudot. TRS shall be capable of communicating with ASCII and Baudot format, at any speed generally in use.
(2) Speed of answer. (i) TRS providers shall ensure adequate TRS facility staffing to provide callers with efficient access under projected calling volumes, so that the probability of a busy response due to CA unavailability shall be functionally equivalent to what a voice caller would experience in attempting to reach a party through the voice telephone network.
(ii) TRS facilities shall, except during network failure, answer 85% of all calls within 10 seconds by any method which results in the caller's call immediately being placed, not put in a queue or on hold. The ten seconds begins at the time the call is delivered to the TRS facility's network. A TRS facility shall ensure that adequate network facilities shall be used in conjunction with TRS so that under projected calling volume the probability of a busy response due to loop trunk congestion shall be functionally equivalent to what a voice caller would experience in attempting to reach a party through the voice telephone network.
(A) The call is considered delivered when the TRS facility's equipment accepts the call from the local exchange carrier (LEC) and the public switched network actually delivers the call to the TRS facility.
(B) Abandoned calls shall be included in the speed-of-answer calculation.
(C) A TRS provider's compliance with this rule shall be measured on a daily basis.
(D) The system shall be designed to a P.01 standard.
(E) A LEC shall provide the call attempt rates and the rates of calls blocked between the LEC and the TRS facility to relay administrators and TRS providers upon request.
(iii) Speed of answer requirements for VRS providers are phased-in as follows: by January 1, 2006, VRS providers must answer 80% of all calls within 180 seconds, measured on a monthly basis; by July 1, 2006, VRS providers must answer 80% of all calls within 150 seconds, measured on a monthly basis; and by January 1, 2007, VRS providers must answer 80% of all calls within 120 seconds, measured on a monthly basis. Abandoned calls shall be included in the VRS speed of answer calculation.
(3) Equal access to interexchange carriers. TRS users shall have access to their chosen interexchange carrier through the TRS, and to all other operator services, to the same extent that such access is provided to voice users.
(4) TRS facilities. (i) TRS shall operate every day, 24 hours a day. Relay services that are not mandated by this Commission need not be provided every day, 24 hours a day, except VRS.
(ii) TRS shall have redundancy features functionally equivalent to the equipment in normal central offices, including uninterruptible power for emergency use.
(iii) A VRS CA may not relay calls from a location primarily used as his or her home.
(iv) A VRS provider leasing or licensing an automatic call distribution (ACD) platform must have a written lease or license agreement. Such lease or license agreement may not include any revenue sharing agreement or compensation based upon minutes of use. In addition, if any such lease is between two eligible VRS providers, the lessee or licensee must locate the ACD platform on its own premises and must utilize its own employees to manage the ACD platform.
(5) Technology. No regulation set forth in this subpart is intended to discourage or impair the development of improved technology that fosters the availability of telecommunications to person with disabilities. TRS facilities are permitted to use SS7 technology or any other type of similar technology to enhance the functional equivalency and quality of TRS. TRS facilities that utilize SS7 technology shall be subject to the Calling Party Telephone Number rules set forth at 47 CFR 64.1600 et seq.
(6) Caller ID. When a TRS facility is able to transmit any calling party identifying information to the public network, the TRS facility must pass through, to the called party, at least one of the following: the number of the TRS facility, 711, or the 10-digit number of the calling party.
(c) Functional standards —(1) Consumer complaint logs. (i) States and interstate providers must maintain a log of consumer complaints including all complaints about TRS in the state, whether filed with the TRS provider or the State, and must retain the log until the next application for certification is granted. The log shall include, at a minimum, the date the complaint was filed, the nature of the complaint, the date of resolution, and an explanation of the resolution.
(ii) Beginning July 1, 2002, states and TRS providers shall submit summaries of logs indicating the number of complaints received for the 12-month period ending May 31 to the Commission by July 1 of each year. Summaries of logs submitted to the Commission on July 1, 2001 shall indicate the number of complaints received from the date of OMB approval through May 31, 2001.
(2) Contact persons. Beginning on June 30, 2000, State TRS Programs, interstate TRS providers, and TRS providers that have state contracts must submit to the Commission a contact person and/or office for TRS consumer information and complaints about a certified State TRS Program's provision of intrastate TRS, or, as appropriate, about the TRS provider's service. This submission must include, at a minimum, the following:
(i) The name and address of the office that receives complaints, grievances, inquiries, and suggestions;
(ii) Voice and TTY telephone numbers, fax number, e-mail address, and web address; and
(iii) The physical address to which correspondence should be sent.
(3) Public access to information. Carriers, through publication in their directories, periodic billing inserts, placement of TRS instructions in telephone directories, through directory assistance services, and incorporation of TTY numbers in telephone directories, shall assure that callers in their service areas are aware of the availability and use of all forms of TRS. Efforts to educate the public about TRS should extend to all segments of the public, including individuals who are hard of hearing, speech disabled, and senior citizens as well as members of the general population. In addition, each common carrier providing telephone voice transmission services shall conduct, not later than October 1, 2001, ongoing education and outreach programs that publicize the availability of 711 access to TRS in a manner reasonably designed to reach the largest number of consumers possible.
(4) Rates. TRS users shall pay rates no greater than the rates paid for functionally equivalent voice communication services with respect to such factors as the duration of the call, the time of day, and the distance from the point of origination to the point of termination.
(5) Jurisdictional separation of costs —(i) General. Where appropriate, costs of providing TRS shall be separated in accordance with the jurisdictional separation procedures and standards set forth in the Commission's regulations adopted pursuant to section 410 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended.
(ii) Cost recovery. Costs caused by interstate TRS shall be recovered from all subscribers for every interstate service, utilizing a shared-funding cost recovery mechanism. Except as noted in this paragraph, with respect to VRS, costs caused by intrastate TRS shall be recovered from the intrastate jurisdiction. In a state that has a certified program under §64.606, the state agency providing TRS shall, through the state's regulatory agency, permit a common carrier to recover costs incurred in providing TRS by a method consistent with the requirements of this section. Costs caused by the provision of interstate and intrastate VRS shall be recovered from all subscribers for every interstate service, utilizing a shared-funding cost recovery mechanism.
(iii) Telecommunications Relay Services Fund. Effective July 26, 1993, an Interstate Cost Recovery Plan, hereinafter referred to as the TRS Fund, shall be administered by an entity selected by the Commission (administrator). The initial administrator, for an interim period, will be the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.
(A) Contributions. Every carrier providing interstate telecommunications services (including interconnected VoIP service providers pursuant to §64.601(b)) and every provider of non-interconnected VoIP service shall contribute to the TRS Fund on the basis of interstate end-user revenues as described herein. Contributions shall be made by all carriers who provide interstate services, including, but not limited to, cellular telephone and paging, mobile radio, operator services, personal communications service (PCS), access (including subscriber line charges), alternative access and special access, packet-switched, WATS, 800, 900, message telephone service (MTS), private line, telex, telegraph, video, satellite, intraLATA, international and resale services.
(B) Contribution computations. Contributors' contributions to the TRS fund shall be the product of their subject revenues for the prior calendar year and a contribution factor determined annually by the Commission. The contribution factor shall be based on the ratio between expected TRS Fund expenses to the contributors' revenues subject to contribution. In the event that contributions exceed TRS payments and administrative costs, the contribution factor for the following year will be adjusted by an appropriate amount, taking into consideration projected cost and usage changes. In the event that contributions are inadequate, the fund administrator may request authority from the Commission to borrow funds commercially, with such debt secured by future years' contributions. Each subject contributor that has revenues subject to contribution must contribute at least $25 per year. Contributors whose annual contributions total less than $1,200 must pay the entire contribution at the beginning of the contribution period. Contributors whose contributions total $1,200 or more may divide their contributions into equal monthly payments. Contributors shall complete and submit, and contributions shall be based on, a “Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet” (as published by the Commission in the Federal Register ). The worksheet shall be certified to by an officer of the contributor, and subject to verification by the Commission or the administrator at the discretion of the Commission. Contributors' statements in the worksheet shall be subject to the provisions of section 220 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. The fund administrator may bill contributors a separate assessment for reasonable administrative expenses and interest resulting from improper filing or overdue contributions. The Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau may waive, reduce, modify or eliminate contributor reporting requirements that prove unnecessary and require additional reporting requirements that the Bureau deems necessary to the sound and efficient administration of the TRS Fund.
(C) Registration Requirements for Providers of Non-Interconnected VoIP Service.
( 1 ). Applicability. A non-interconnected VoIP service provider that will provide interstate service that generates interstate end-user revenue that is subject to contribution to the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund shall file the registration information described in paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 2 ) of this section in accordance with the procedures described in paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 3 ) and (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 4 ) of this section. Any non-interconnected VoIP service provider already providing interstate service that generates interstate end-user revenue that is subject to contribution to the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund on the effective date of these rules shall submit the relevant portion of its FCC Form 499–A in accordance with paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 2 ) and ( 3 ) of this section.
( 2 ). Information required for purposes of TRS Fund contributions. A non-interconnected VoIP service provider that is subject to the registration requirement pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 1 ) of this section shall provide the following information:
( i ) The provider's business name(s) and primary address;
( ii ) The names and business addresses of the provider's chief executive officer, chairman, and president, or, in the event that a provider does not have such executives, three similarly senior-level officials of the provider;
( iii ) The provider's regulatory contact and/or designated agent;
( iv ) All names that the provider has used in the past; and
( v ) The state(s) in which the provider provides such service.
( 3 ). Submission of registration. A provider that is subject to the registration requirement pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 1 ) of this section shall submit the information described in paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 2 ) of this section in accordance with the Instructions to FCC Form 499–A. FCC Form 499–A must be submitted under oath and penalty of perjury.
( 4 ). Changes in information. A provider must notify the Commission of any changes to the information provided pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 2 ) of this section within no more than one week of the change. Providers may satisfy this requirement by filing the relevant portion of FCC Form 499–A in accordance with the Instructions to such form.
(D) Data collection and audits. ( 1 ) TRS providers seeking compensation from the TRS Fund shall provide the administrator with true and adequate data, and other historical, projected and state rate related information reasonably requested to determine the 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 investment in general in 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.
( 2 ) Call data required from all TRS providers. In addition to the data requested by paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 1 ) of this section, TRS providers seeking compensation from the TRS Fund shall submit the following specific data associated with each TRS call for which compensation is sought:
( i ) The call record ID sequence;
( ii ) CA ID number;
( iii ) Session start and end times noted at a minimum to the nearest second;
( iv ) Conversation start and end times noted at a minimum to the nearest second;
( v ) Incoming telephone number and IP address (if call originates with an IP-based device) at the time of the call;
( vi ) Outbound telephone number (if call terminates to a telephone) and IP address (if call terminates to an IP-based device) at the time of call;
( vii ) Total conversation minutes;
( viii ) Total session minutes;
( ix ) The call center (by assigned center ID number) that handled the call; and
( x ) The URL address through which the call is handled.
( 3 ) Additional call data required from Internet-based Relay Providers. In addition to the data required by paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 2 ) of this section, Internet-based Relay Providers seeking compensation from the Fund shall submit speed of answer compliance data.
( 4 ) Providers submitting call record and speed of answer data in compliance with paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 2 ) and (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 3 ) of this section shall:
( i ) Employ an automated record keeping system to capture such data required pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)( 2 ) of this section for each TRS call for which minutes are submitted to the fund administrator for compensation; and
( ii ) Submit such data electronically, in a standardized format. For purposes of this subparagraph, an automated record keeping system is a system that captures data in a computerized and electronic format that does not allow human intervention during the call session for either conversation or session time.
( 5 ) Certification. The chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), or other senior executive of a TRS provider with first hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, when submitting a request for compensation from the TRS Fund must, with each such request, certify as follows:
I swear under penalty of perjury that:
(i) I am __ (name and title), _an officer of the above-named reporting entity and that I have examined the foregoing reports and that all requested information has been provided and all statements of fact, as well as all cost and demand data contained in this Relay Services Data Request, are true and accurate; and
(ii) The TRS calls for which compensation is sought were handled in compliance with Section 225 of the Communications Act and the Commission's rules and orders, and are not the result of impermissible financial incentives or payments to generate calls.
( 6 ) Audits . The fund administrator and the Commission, including the Office of Inspector General, shall have the authority to examine and verify TRS provider data as necessary to assure the accuracy and integrity of TRS Fund payments. TRS providers must submit to audits annually or at times determined appropriate by the Commission, the fund administrator, or by an entity approved by the Commission for such purpose. A TRS provider that fails to submit to a requested audit, or fails to provide documentation necessary for verification upon reasonable request, will be subject to an automatic suspension of payment until it submits to the requested audit or provides sufficient documentation.
( 7 ) Call data record retention . Internet-based TRS providers shall retain the data required to be submitted by this section, and all other call detail records, other records that support their claims for payment from the TRS Fund, and records used to substantiate the costs and expense data submitted in the annual relay service data request form, in an electronic format that is easily retrievable, for a minimum of five years.
(E) Payments to TRS providers. TRS Fund payments shall be distributed to TRS providers based on formulas approved or modified by the Commission. The administrator shall file schedules of payment formulas with the Commission. Such formulas shall be designed to compensate TRS providers for reasonable costs of providing interstate TRS, and shall be subject to Commission approval. Such formulas shall be based on total monthly interstate TRS minutes of use. TRS minutes of use for purposes of interstate cost recovery under the TRS Fund are defined as the minutes of use for completed interstate TRS calls placed through the TRS center beginning after call set-up and concluding after the last message call unit. In addition to the data required under paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C) of this section, all TRS providers, including providers who are not interexchange carriers, local exchange carriers, or certified state relay providers, must submit reports of interstate TRS minutes of use to the administrator in order to receive payments. The administrator shall establish procedures to verify payment claims, and may suspend or delay payments to a TRS provider if the TRS provider fails to provide adequate verification of payment upon reasonable request, or if directed by the Commission to do so. The TRS Fund administrator shall make payments only to eligible TRS providers operating pursuant to the mandatory minimum standards as required in §64.604, and after disbursements to the administrator for reasonable expenses incurred by it in connection with TRS Fund administration. TRS providers receiving payments shall file a form prescribed by the administrator. The administrator shall fashion a form that is consistent with parts 32 and 36 procedures reasonably tailored to meet the needs of TRS providers. The Commission shall have authority to audit providers and have access to all data, including carrier specific data, collected by the fund administrator. The fund administrator shall have authority to audit TRS providers reporting data to the administrator. The formulas should appropriately compensate interstate providers for the provision of VRS, whether intrastate or interstate.
(F) Eligibility for payment from the TRS Fund. ( 1 ) TRS providers, except Internet-based TRS providers, eligible for receiving payments from the TRS Fund must be:
( i ) TRS facilities operated under contract with and/or by certified state TRS programs pursuant to §64.606; or
( ii ) TRS facilities owned or operated under contract with a common carrier providing interstate services operated pursuant to this section; or
( iii ) Interstate common carriers offering TRS pursuant to this section.
( 2 ) Internet-based TRS providers eligible for receiving payments from the TRS fund must be certified by the Commission pursuant to §64.606.
(G) Any eligible TRS provider as defined in paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(F) of this section shall notify the administrator of its intent to participate in the TRS Fund thirty (30) days prior to submitting reports of TRS interstate minutes of use in order to receive payment settlements for interstate TRS, and failure to file may exclude the TRS provider from eligibility for the year.
(H) Administrator reporting, monitoring, and filing requirements. The administrator shall perform all filing and reporting functions required in paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(A) through (c)(5)(iii)(J) of this section. TRS payment formulas and revenue requirements shall be filed with the Commission on May 1 of each year, to be effective the following July 1. The administrator shall report annually to the Commission an itemization of monthly administrative costs which shall consist of all expenses, receipts, and payments associated with the administration of the TRS Fund. The administrator is required to keep the TRS Fund separate from all other funds administered by the administrator, shall file a cost allocation manual (CAM) and shall provide the Commission full access to all data collected pursuant to the administration of the TRS Fund. The administrator shall account for the financial transactions of the TRS Fund in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles for federal agencies and maintain the accounts of the TRS Fund in accordance with the United States Government Standard General Ledger. When the administrator, or any independent auditor hired by the administrator, conducts audits of providers of services under the TRS program or contributors to the TRS Fund, such audits shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards. In administering the TRS Fund, the administrator shall also comply with all relevant and applicable federal financial management and reporting statutes. The administrator shall establish a non-paid voluntary advisory committee of persons from the hearing and speech disability community, TRS users (voice and text telephone), interstate service providers, state representatives, and TRS providers, which will meet at reasonable intervals (at least semi-annually) in order to monitor TRS cost recovery matters. Each group shall select its own representative to the committee. The administrator's annual report shall include a discussion of the advisory committee deliberations.
(I) Information filed with the administrator. The Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or other senior executive of a provider submitting minutes to the Fund for compensation must, in each instance, certify, under penalty of perjury, that the minutes were handled in compliance with section 225 and the Commission's rules and orders, and are not the result of impermissible financial incentives or payments to generate calls. The CEO, CFO, or other senior executive of a provider submitting cost and demand data to the TRS Fund administrator shall certify under penalty of perjury that such information is true and correct. The administrator shall keep all data obtained from contributors and TRS providers confidential and shall not disclose such data in company-specific form unless directed to do so by the Commission. Subject to any restrictions imposed by the Chief of the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the TRS Fund administrator may share data obtained from carriers with the administrators of the universal support mechanisms ( see §54.701 of this chapter), the North American Numbering Plan administration cost recovery ( see §52.16 of this chapter), and the long-term local number portability cost recovery ( see §52.32 of this chapter). The TRS Fund administrator shall keep confidential all data obtained from other administrators. The administrator shall not use such data except for purposes of administering the TRS Fund, calculating the regulatory fees of interstate common carriers, and aggregating such fee payments for submission to the Commission. The Commission shall have access to all data reported to the administrator, and authority to audit TRS providers. Contributors may make requests for Commission nondisclosure of company-specific revenue information under §0.459 of this chapter by so indicating on the Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet at the time that the subject data are submitted. The Commission shall make all decisions regarding nondisclosure of company-specific information.
(J) [ Reserved]
(K) All parties providing services or contributions or receiving payments under this section are subject to the enforcement provisions specified in the Communications Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Commission's rules.
(L) Procedures for the suspension/withholding of payment. ( 1 ) The Fund administrator will continue the current practice of reviewing monthly requests for compensation of TRS minutes of use within two months after they are filed with the Fund administrator.
( 2 ) If the Fund administrator in consultation with the Commission, or the Commission on its own accord, determines that payments for certain minutes should be withheld, a TRS provider will be notified within two months from the date for the request for compensation was filed, as to why its claim for compensation has been withheld in whole or in part. TRS providers then will be given two additional months from the date of notification to provide additional justification for payment of such minutes of use. Such justification should be sufficiently detailed to provide the Fund administrator and the Commission the information needed to evaluate whether the minutes of use in dispute are compensable. If a TRS provider does not respond, or does not respond with sufficiently detailed information within two months after notification that payment for minutes of use is being withheld, payment for the minutes of use in dispute will be denied permanently.
( 3 ) If, the TRS provider submits additional justification for payment of the minutes of use in dispute within two months after being notified that its initial justification was insufficient, the Fund administrator or the Commission will review such additional justification documentation, and may ask further questions or conduct further investigation to evaluate whether to pay the TRS provider for the minutes of use in dispute, within eight months after submission of such additional justification.
( 4 ) If the provider meets its burden to establish that the minutes in question are compensable under the Commission's rules, the Fund administrator will compensate the provider for such minutes of use. Any payment by the Commission will not preclude any future action by either the Commission or the U.S. Department of Justice to recover past payments (regardless of whether the payment was the subject of withholding) if it is determined at any time that such payment was for minutes billed to the Commission in violation of the Commission's rules or any other civil or criminal law.
( 5 ) If the Commission determines that the provider has not met its burden to demonstrate that the minutes of use in dispute are compensable under the Commission's rules, payment will be permanently denied. The Fund administrator or the Commission will notify the provider of this decision within one year of the initial request for payment.
(M) Whistleblower protections. Providers shall not take any reprisal in the form of a personnel action against any current or former employee or contractor who discloses to a designated manager of the provider, the Commission, the TRS Fund administrator or to any Federal or state law enforcement entity, any information that the reporting person reasonably believes evidences known or suspected violations of the Communications Act or TRS regulations, or any other activity that the reporting person reasonably believes constitutes waste, fraud, or abuse, or that otherwise could result in the improper billing of minutes of use to the TRS Fund and discloses that information to a designated manager of the provider, the Commission, the TRS Fund administrator or to any Federal or state law enforcement entity. Providers shall provide an accurate and complete description of these TRS whistleblower protections, including the right to notify the FCC's Office of Inspector General or its Enforcement Bureau, to all employees and contractors, in writing. Providers that already disseminate their internal business policies to its employees in writing ( e.g. in employee handbooks, policies and procedures manuals, or bulletin board postings—either online or in hard copy) must include an accurate and complete description of these TRS whistleblower protections in those written materials.
(N) In addition to the provisions set forth above, VRS providers shall be subject to the following provisions:
( 1 ) Eligibility for reimbursement from the TRS Fund. ( i ) Only an eligible VRS provider, as defined in paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(F) of this section, may hold itself out to the general public as providing VRS.
( ii ) VRS service must be offered under the name by which the eligible VRS provider offering such service became certified and in a manner that clearly identifies that provider of the service. Where a TRS provider also utilizes sub-brands to identify its VRS, each sub-brand must clearly identify the eligible VRS provider. Providers must route all VRS calls through a single URL address used for each name or sub-brand used.
( iii ) An eligible VRS provider may not contract with or otherwise authorize any third party to provide interpretation services or call center functions (including call distribution, call routing, call setup, mapping, call features, billing, and registration) on its behalf, unless that authorized third party also is an eligible provider.
( iv ) To the extent that an eligible VRS provider contracts with or otherwise authorizes a third party to provide any other services or functions related to the provision of VRS other than interpretation services or call center functions, that third party must not hold itself out as a provider of VRS, and must clearly identify the eligible VRS provider to the public. To the extent an eligible VRS provider contracts with or authorizes a third party to provide any services or functions related to marketing or outreach, and such services utilize VRS, those VRS minutes are not compensable on a per minute basis from the TRS fund.
( v ) All third-party contracts or agreements entered into by an eligible provider must be in writing. Copies of such agreements shall be made available to the Commission and to the TRS Fund administrator upon request.
( 2 ) Call center reports . VRS providers shall file a written report with the Commission and the TRS Fund administrator, on April 1st and October 1st of each year for each call center that handles VRS calls that the provider owns or controls, including centers located outside of the United States, that includes:
( i ) The complete street address of the center;
( ii ) The number of individual CAs and CA managers; and
( iii ) The name and contact information (phone number and e-mail address) of the manager(s) at the center. VRS providers shall also file written notification with the Commission and the TRS Fund administrator of any change in a center's location, including the opening, closing, or relocation of any center, at least 30 days prior to any such change.
( 3 ) Compensation of CAs . VRS providers may not compensate, give a preferential work schedule or otherwise benefit a CA in any manner that is based upon the number of VRS minutes or calls that the CA relays, either individually or as part of a group.
( 4 ) Remote training session calls . VRS calls to a remote training session or a comparable activity will not be compensable from the TRS Fund when the provider submitting minutes for such a call has been involved, in any manner, with such a training session. Such prohibited involvement includes training programs or comparable activities in which the provider or any affiliate or related party thereto, including but not limited to its subcontractors, partners, employees or sponsoring organizations or entities, has any role in arranging, scheduling, sponsoring, hosting, conducting or promoting such programs or activities.
(6) Complaints —(i) Referral of complaint. If a complaint to the Commission alleges a violation of this subpart with respect to intrastate TRS within a state and certification of the program of such state under §64.606 is in effect, the Commission shall refer such complaint to such state expeditiously.
(ii) Intrastate complaints shall be resolved by the state within 180 days after the complaint is first filed with a state entity, regardless of whether it is filed with the state relay administrator, a state PUC, the relay provider, or with any other state entity.
(iii) Jurisdiction of Commission. After referring a complaint to a state entity under paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section, or if a complaint is filed directly with a state entity, the Commission shall exercise jurisdiction over such complaint only if:
(A) Final action under such state program has not been taken within:
( 1 ) 180 days after the complaint is filed with such state entity; or
( 2 ) A shorter period as prescribed by the regulations of such state; or
(B) The Commission determines that such state program is no longer qualified for certification under §64.606.
(iv) The Commission shall resolve within 180 days after the complaint is filed with the Commission any interstate TRS complaint alleging a violation of section 225 of the Act or any complaint involving intrastate relay services in states without a certified program. The Commission shall resolve intrastate complaints over which it exercises jurisdiction under paragraph (c)(6)(iii) of this section within 180 days.
(v) Complaint procedures. Complaints against TRS providers for alleged violations of this subpart may be either informal or formal.
(A) Informal complaints —( 1 ) Form. An informal complaint may be transmitted to the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau by any reasonable means, such as letter, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), Internet e-mail, or some other method that would best accommodate a complainant's hearing or speech disability.
( 2 ) Content. An informal complaint shall include the name and address of the complainant; the name and address of the TRS provider against whom the complaint is made; a statement of facts supporting the complainant's allegation that the TRS provided it has violated or is violating section 225 of the Act and/or requirements under the Commission's rules; the specific relief or satisfaction sought by the complainant; and the complainant's preferred format or method of response to the complaint by the Commission and the defendant TRS provider (such as letter, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), Internet e-mail, or some other method that would best accommodate the complainant's hearing or speech disability).
( 3 ) Service; designation of agents. The Commission shall promptly forward any complaint meeting the requirements of this subsection to the TRS provider named in the complaint. Such TRS provider shall be called upon to satisfy or answer the complaint within the time specified by the Commission. Every TRS provider shall file with the Commission a statement designating an agent or agents whose principal responsibility will be to receive all complaints, inquiries, orders, decisions, and notices and other pronouncements forwarded by the Commission. Such designation shall include a name or department designation, business address, telephone number (voice and TTY), facsimile number and, if available, internet e-mail address.
(B) Review and disposition of informal complaints. ( 1 ) Where it appears from the TRS provider's answer, or from other communications with the parties, that an informal complaint has been satisfied, the Commission may, in its discretion, consider the matter closed without response to the complainant or defendant. In all other cases, the Commission shall inform the parties of its review and disposition of a complaint filed under this subpart. Where practicable, this information shall be transmitted to the complainant and defendant in the manner requested by the complainant (e.g., letter, facsmile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY) or Internet e-mail.
( 2 ) A complainant unsatisfied with the defendant's response to the informal complaint and the staff's decision to terminate action on the informal complaint may file a formal complaint with the Commission pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(v)(C) of this section.
(C) Formal complaints. A formal complaint shall be in writing, addressed to the Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Telecommunications Consumer Division, Washington, DC 20554 and shall contain:
( 1 ) The name and address of the complainant,
( 2 ) The name and address of the defendant against whom the complaint is made,
( 3 ) A complete statement of the facts, including supporting data, where available, showing that such defendant did or omitted to do anything in contravention of this subpart, and
( 4 ) The relief sought.
(D) Amended complaints. An amended complaint setting forth transactions, occurrences or events which have happened since the filing of the original complaint and which relate to the original cause of action may be filed with the Commission.
(E) Number of copies. An original and two copies of all pleadings shall be filed.
(F) Service. ( 1 ) Except where a complaint is referred to a state pursuant to §64.604(c)(6)(i), or where a complaint is filed directly with a state entity, the Commission will serve on the named party a copy of any complaint or amended complaint filed with it, together with a notice of the filing of the complaint. Such notice shall call upon the defendant to satisfy or answer the complaint in writing within the time specified in said notice of complaint.
( 2 ) All subsequent pleadings and briefs shall be served by the filing party on all other parties to the proceeding in accordance with the requirements of §1.47 of this chapter. Proof of such service shall also be made in accordance with the requirements of said section.
(G) Answers to complaints and amended complaints. Any party upon whom a copy of a complaint or amended complaint is served under this subpart shall serve an answer within the time specified by the Commission in its notice of complaint. The answer shall advise the parties and the Commission fully and completely of the nature of the defense and shall respond specifically to all material allegations of the complaint. In cases involving allegations of harm, the answer shall indicate what action has been taken or is proposed to be taken to stop the occurrence of such harm. Collateral or immaterial issues shall be avoided in answers and every effort should be made to narrow the issues. Matters alleged as affirmative defenses shall be separately stated and numbered. Any defendant failing to file and serve an answer within the time and in the manner prescribed may be deemed in default.
(H) Replies to answers or amended answers. Within 10 days after service of an answer or an amended answer, a complainant may file and serve a reply which shall be responsive to matters contained in such answer or amended answer and shall not contain new matter. Failure to reply will not be deemed an admission of any allegation contained in such answer or amended answer.
(I) Defective pleadings. Any pleading filed in a complaint proceeding that is not in substantial conformity with the requirements of the applicable rules in this subpart may be dismissed.
(7) Treatment of TRS customer information. Beginning on July 21, 2000, all future contracts between the TRS administrator and the TRS vendor shall provide for the transfer of TRS customer profile data from the outgoing TRS vendor to the incoming TRS vendor. Such data must be disclosed in usable form at least 60 days prior to the provider's last day of service provision. Such data may not be used for any purpose other than to connect the TRS user with the called parties desired by that TRS user. Such information shall not be sold, distributed, shared or revealed in any other way by the relay center or its employees, unless compelled to do so by lawful order.
[65 FR 38436, June 21, 2000]
Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting §64.604, see the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.
§ 64.605 Emergency calling requirements.
(a) Additional emergency calling requirements applicable to internet-based TRS providers. (1) As of December 31, 2008, the requirements of paragraphs (a)(2)(i) and (a)(2)(iv) of this section shall not apply to providers of VRS and IP Relay to which §64.605(b) applies.
(2) Each provider of Internet-based TRS shall:
(i) Accept and handle emergency calls and access, either directly or via a third party, a commercially available database that will allow the provider to determine an appropriate PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority that corresponds to the caller's location, and to relay the call to that entity;
(ii) Implement a system that ensures that the provider answers an incoming emergency call before other non-emergency calls ( i.e. , prioritize emergency calls and move them to the top of the queue);
(iii) Request, at the beginning of each emergency call, the caller's name and location information, unless the Internet-based TRS provider already has, or has access to, a Registered Location for the caller;
(iv) Deliver to the PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority, at the outset of the outbound leg of an emergency call, at a minimum, the name of the relay user and location of the emergency, as well as the name of the relay provider, the CA's callback number, and the CA's identification number, thereby enabling the PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority to re-establish contact with the CA in the event the call is disconnected;
(v) In the event one or both legs of an emergency call are disconnected ( i.e. , either the call between the TRS user and the CA, or the outbound voice telephone call between the CA and the PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority), immediately re-establish contact with the TRS user and/or the appropriate PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority and resume handling the call; and
(vi) Ensure that information obtained as a result of this section is limited to that needed to facilitate 911 services, is made available only to emergency call handlers and emergency response or law enforcement personnel, and is used for the sole purpose of ascertaining a user's location in an emergency situation or for other emergency or law enforcement purposes.
(b) E911 Service for VRS and IP Relay —(1) Scope. The following requirements are only applicable to providers of VRS or IP Relay. Further, the following requirements apply only to 911 calls placed by registered users whose Registered Location is in a geographic area served by a Wireline E911 Network and is available to the provider handling the call.
(2) E911 Service. As of December 31, 2008:
(i) VRS or IP Relay providers must, as a condition of providing service to a user, provide that user with E911 service as described in this section;
(ii) VRS or IP Relay providers must transmit all 911 calls, as well as ANI, the caller's Registered Location, the name of the VRS or IP Relay provider, and the CA's identification number for each call, to the PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority that serves the caller's Registered Location and that has been designated for telecommunications carriers pursuant to §64.3001 of this chapter, provided that “all 911 calls” is defined as “any communication initiated by an VRS or IP Relay user dialing 911”;
(iii) All 911 calls must be routed through the use of ANI and, if necessary, pseudo-ANI, via the dedicated Wireline E911 Network; and
(iv) The Registered Location, the name of the VRS or IP Relay provider, and the CA's identification number must be available to the appropriate PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority from or through the appropriate automatic location information (ALI) database.
(3) Service level obligation. Notwithstanding the provisions in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, if a PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority is not capable of receiving and processing either ANI or location information, a VRS or IP Relay provider need not provide such ANI or location information; however, nothing in this paragraph affects the obligation under paragraph (c) of this section of a VRS or IP Relay provider to transmit via the Wireline E911 Network all 911 calls to the PSAP, designated statewide default answering point, or appropriate local emergency authority that serves the caller's Registered Location and that has been designated for telecommunications carriers pursuant to §64.3001 of this chapter.
(4) Registered location requirement. As of December 31, 2008, VRS and IP Relay providers must:
(i) Obtain from each Registered Internet-based TRS User, prior to the initiation of service, the physical location at which the service will first be utilized; and
(ii) If the VRS or IP Relay is capable of being used from more than one location, provide their Registered Internet-based TRS Users one or more methods of updating their Registered Location, including at least one option that requires use only of the CPE necessary to access the VRS or IP Relay. Any method utilized must allow a Registered Internet-based TRS User to update the Registered Location at will and in a timely manner.
[73 FR 41294, July 18, 2008, as amended at 73 FR 79696, Dec. 30, 2008]
§ 64.606 Internet-based TRS provider and TRS program certification.
(a) Documentation —(1) Certified state program. Any state, through its office of the governor or other delegated executive office empowered to provide TRS, desiring to establish a state program under this section shall submit, not later than October 1, 1992, documentation to the Commission addressed to the Federal Communications Commission, Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, TRS Certification Program, Washington, DC 20554, and captioned “TRS State Certification Application.” All documentation shall be submitted in narrative form, shall clearly describe the state program for implementing intrastate TRS, and the procedures and remedies for enforcing any requirements imposed by the state program. The Commission shall give public notice of states filing for certification including notification in the Federal Register .
(2) Internet-based TRS provider . Any entity desiring to provide Internet-based TRS and to receive compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund, shall submit documentation to the Commission addressed to the Federal Communications Commission, Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, TRS Certification Program, Washington, DC 20554, and captioned “Internet-based TRS Certification Application.” The documentation shall include, in narrative form:
(i) A description of the forms of Internet-based TRS to be provided ( i.e., VRS, IP Relay, and/or IP captioned telephone relay service);
(ii) A detailed description of how the applicant will meet all non-waived mandatory minimum standards applicable to each form of TRS offered, including documentary and other evidence, and in the case of VRS, such documentary and other evidence shall demonstrate that the applicant leases, licenses or has acquired its own facilities and operates such facilities associated with TRS call centers and employs communications assistants, on a full or part-time basis, to staff such call centers at the date of the application. Such evidence shall include, but not be limited to:
(A) In the case of VRS applicants or providers,
( 1 ) Operating five or fewer call centers within the United States, a copy of each deed or lease for each call center operated by the applicant within the United States;
( 2 ) Operating more than five call centers within the United States, a copy of each deed or lease for a representative sampling (taking into account size (by number of communications assistants) and location) of five call centers operated by the applicant within the United States, together with a list of all other call centers that they operate that includes the information required under §64.604(c)(5)(iii)(N)( 2 );
( 3 ) Operating call centers outside of the United States, a copy of each deed or lease for each call center operated by the applicant outside of the United States;
( 4 ) A description of the technology and equipment used to support their call center functions—including, but not limited to, automatic call distribution, routing, call setup, mapping, call features, billing for compensation from the TRS Fund, and registration—and for each core function of each call center for which the applicant must provide a copy of technology and equipment proofs of purchase, leases or license agreements in accordance with paragraphs (a)(2)(ii)(A)( 5 ) through ( 7 ) of this section, a statement whether such technology and equipment is owned, leased or licensed (and from whom if leased or licensed);
( 5 ) Operating five or fewer call centers within the United States, a copy of each proof of purchase, lease or license agreement for all technology and equipment used to support their call center functions for each call center operated by the applicant within the United States;
( 6 ) Operating more than five call centers within the United States, a copy of each proof of purchase, lease or license agreement for technology and equipment used to support their call center functions for a representative sampling (taking into account size (by number of communications assistants) and location) of five call centers operated by the applicant within the United States; a copy of each proof of purchase, lease or license agreement for technology and equipment used to support their call center functions for all call centers operated by the applicant within the United States must be retained by the applicant for three years from the date of the application, and submitted to the Commission upon request;
( 7 ) Operating call centers outside of the United States, a copy of each proof of purchase, lease or license agreement for all technology and equipment used to support their call center functions for each call center operated by the applicant outside of the United States; and
( 8 ) A complete copy of each lease or license agreement for automatic call distribution.
(B) For all applicants, a list of individuals or entities that hold at least a 10 percent equity interest in the applicant, have the power to vote 10 percent or more of the securities of the applicant, or exercise de jure or de facto control over the applicant, a description of the applicant's organizational structure, and the names of its executives, officers, members of its board of directors, general partners (in the case of a partnership), and managing members (in the case of a limited liability company);
(C) For all applicants, a list of the number of applicant's full-time and part-time employees involved in TRS operations, including and divided by the following positions: executives and officers; video phone installers (in the case of VRS), communications assistants, and persons involved in marketing and sponsorship activities;
(D) For all applicants, copies of employment agreements for all of the provider's employees directly involved in TRS operations, executives, and communications assistants, and a list of names of employees directly involved in TRS operations, need not be submitted with the application, but must be retained by the applicant for five years from the date of application, and submitted to the Commission upon request; and
(E) For all applicants, a list of all sponsorship arrangements relating to Internet-based TRS, including on that list a description of any associated written agreements; copies of all such arrangements and agreements must be retained by the applicant for three years from the date of the application, and submitted to the Commission upon request;
(iii) A description of the provider's complaint procedures; and
(iv) A statement that the provider will file annual compliance reports demonstrating continued compliance with these rules.
(v) The chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), or other senior executive of an applicant for Internet-based TRS certification under this section with first hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, when submitting an application for certification under paragraph (a)(2) of this section, must certify as follows: I swear under penalty of perjury that I am __(name and title), _an officer of the above-named applicant, and that I have examined the foregoing submissions, and that all information required under the Commission’s rules and orders has been provided and all statements of fact, as well as all documentation contained in this submission, are true, accurate, and complete.
(3) Assessment of internet-based TRS provider certification application. In order to assess the merits of a certification application submitted by an Internet-based TRS provider, the Commission may conduct one or more on-site visits of the applicant's premises, to which the applicant must consent.
(b)(1) Requirements for state certification. After review of state documentation, the Commission shall certify, by letter, or order, the state program if the Commission determines that the state certification documentation:
(i) Establishes that the state program meets or exceeds all operational, technical, and functional minimum standards contained in §64.604;
(ii) Establishes that the state program makes available adequate procedures and remedies for enforcing the requirements of the state program, including that it makes available to TRS users informational materials on state and Commission complaint procedures sufficient for users to know the proper procedures for filing complaints; and
(iii) Where a state program exceeds the mandatory minimum standards contained in §64.604, the state establishes that its program in no way conflicts with federal law.
(2) Requirements for Internet-based TRS Provider FCC certification. After review of certification documentation, the Commission shall certify, by Public Notice, that the Internet-based TRS provider is eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund if the Commission determines that the certification documentation:
(i) Establishes that the provision of Internet-based TRS will meet or exceed all non-waived operational, technical, and functional minimum standards contained in §64.604;
(ii) Establishes that the Internet-based TRS provider makes available adequate procedures and remedies for ensuring compliance with the requirements of this section and the mandatory minimum standards contained in §64.604, including that it makes available for TRS users informational materials on complaint procedures sufficient for users to know the proper procedures for filing complaints.
(c)(1) State certification period. State certification shall remain in effect for five years. One year prior to expiration of certification, a state may apply for renewal of its certification by filing documentation as prescribed by paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section.
(2) Internet-based TRS Provider FCC certification period. Certification granted under this section shall remain in effect for five years. An Internet-based TRS provider applying for renewal of its certification must file documentation with the Commission containing the information described in paragraph (a)(2) of this section at least 90 days prior to expiration of its certification.
(d) Method of funding. Except as provided in §64.604, the Commission shall not refuse to certify a state program based solely on the method such state will implement for funding intrastate TRS, but funding mechanisms, if labeled, shall be labeled in a manner that promote national understanding of TRS and do not offend the public.
(e)(1) Suspension or revocation of state certification. The Commission may suspend or revoke such certification if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, the Commission determines that such certification is no longer warranted. In a state whose program has been suspended or revoked, the Commission shall take such steps as may be necessary, consistent with this subpart, to ensure continuity of TRS. The Commission may, on its own motion, require a certified state program to submit documentation demonstrating ongoing compliance with the Commission's minimum standards if, for example, the Commission receives evidence that a state program may not be in compliance with the minimum standards.
(2) Suspension or revocation of Internet-based TRS Provider FCC certification. The Commission may suspend or revoke the certification of an Internet-based TRS provider if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, the Commission determines that such certification is no longer warranted. The Commission may, on its own motion, require a certified Internet-based TRS provider to submit documentation demonstrating ongoing compliance with the Commission's minimum standards if, for example, the Commission receives evidence that a certified Internet-based TRS provider may not be in compliance with the minimum standards.
(f) Notification of substantive change. (1) States must notify the Commission of 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 minimum standards after implementing the substantive change.
(2) VRS and IP Relay providers certified under this section must notify the Commission of substantive changes in their TRS programs, services, and features within 60 days of when such changes occur, and must certify that the interstate TRS provider continues to meet Federal minimum standards after implementing the substantive change. Substantive changes shall include, but not be limited to:
(i) The use of new equipment or technologies to facilitate the manner in which relay services are provided;
(ii) Providing services from a new facility not previously identified to the Commission or the Fund administrator; and
(iii) Discontinuation of service from any facility.
(g) Internet-based TRS providers certified under this section shall file with the Commission, on an annual basis, a report demonstrating that they are in compliance with §64.604.
(1) Such reports must update the information required in paragraph (a)(2) of this section and include updated documentation and a summary of the updates, or certify that there are no changes to the information and documentation submitted with the application for certification, application for renewal of certification, or the most recent annual report, as applicable.
(2) The chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial officer (CFO), or other senior executive of an Internet-based TRS provider under this section with first hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the information provided, when submitting an annual report under paragraph (g) of this section, must, with each such submission, certify as follows:
I swear under penalty of perjury that I am __ (name and title), an officer of the above-named reporting entity, and that I have examined the foregoing submissions, and that all information required under the Commission's rules and orders has been provided and all statements of fact, as well as all documentation contained in this submission, are true, accurate, and complete.
(h) Unauthorized service interruptions. (1) Each certified VRS provider must provide Internet-based TRS without unauthorized voluntary service interruptions.
(2) A VRS provider seeking to voluntarily interrupt service for a period of 30 minutes or more in duration must first obtain Commission authorization by submitting a written request to the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) at least 60 days prior to any planned service interruption, with detailed information of:
(i) Its justification for such interruption;
(ii) Its plan to notify customers about the impending interruption; and
(iii) Its plans for resuming service, so as to minimize the impact of such disruption on consumers through a smooth transition of temporary service to another provider, and restoration of its service at the completion of such interruption. CGB will grant or deny such a request and provide a response to the provider at least 35 days prior to the proposed interruption, in order to afford an adequate period of notification to consumers. In evaluating such a request, CGB will consider such factors as the length of time of the proposed interruption, the reason for such interruption, the frequency with which such requests have been made by the provider in the past, the potential impact of the interruption on consumers, and the provider's plans for a smooth service restoration.
(3) In the event of an unforeseen service interruption due to circumstances beyond an Internet-based TRS service provider's control, or in the event of a VRS provider's voluntary service interruption of less than 30 minutes in duration, the provider must submit a written notification to CGB within two business days of the commencement of the service interruption, with an explanation of when and how the provider has restored service or the provider's plan to do so imminently. In the event the provider has not restored service at the time such report is filed, the provider must submit a second report within two business days of the restoration of service with an explanation of when and how the provider has restored service. The provider also must provide notification of service outages covered by this paragraph to consumers on an accessible Web site, and that notification of service status must be updated in a timely manner.
(4) A VRS provider that fails to obtain prior Commission authorization for a voluntary service interruption or fails to provide written notification after a voluntary service interruption of less than 30 minutes in duration, or an Internet-based TRS provider that fails to provide written notification after the commencement of an unforeseen service interruption due to circumstances beyond the provider's control in accordance with this subsection, may be subject to revocation of certification, suspension of payment from the TRS Fund, or other enforcement action by the Commission, as appropriate.
[70 FR 76215, Dec. 23, 2005. Redesignated at 73 FR 21259, Apr. 21, 2008; 76 FR 24402, May 2, 2011; 76 FR 47474, 47477, Aug. 5, 2011; 76 FR 67073, Oct. 31, 2011]
Editorial Note: At 76 FR 47477, Aug. 5, 2011, §64.606, paragraph (a)(2)(v) was revised, however, the amendment could not be incorporated because paragraph (a)(v) did not exist.
§ 64.607 Furnishing related customer premises equipment.
(a) Any communications common carrier may provide, under tariff, customer premises equipment (other than hearing aid compatible telephones as defined in part 68 of this chapter, needed by persons with hearing, speech, vision or mobility disabilities. Such equipment may be provided to persons with those disabilities or to associations or institutions who require such equipment regularly to communicate with persons with disabilities. Examples of such equipment include, but are not limited to, artificial larynxes, bone conductor receivers and TTs.
(b) Any carrier which provides telecommunications devices for persons with hearing and/or speech disabilities, whether or not pursuant to tariff, shall respond to any inquiry concerning:
(1) The availability (including general price levels) of TTs using ASCII, Baudot, or both formats; and
(2) The compatibility of any TT with other such devices and computers.
[56 FR 36731, Aug. 1, 1991, as amended at 72 FR 43560, Aug. 6, 2007; 73 FR 21252, Apr. 21, 2008. Redesignated at 73 FR 21259, Apr. 21, 2008]
§ 64.608 Provision of hearing aid compatible telephones by exchange carriers.
In the absence of alternative suppliers in an exchange area, an exchange carrier must provide a hearing aid compatible telephone, as defined in §68.316 of this chapter, and provide related installation and maintenance services for such telephones on a detariffed basis to any customer with a hearing disability who requests such equipment or services.
[61 FR 42185, Aug. 14, 1996. Redesignated at 73 FR 21259, Apr. 21, 2008]
§ 64.609 Enforcement of related customer premises equipment rules.
Enforcement of §§64.607 and 64.608 is delegated to those state public utility or public service commissions which adopt those sections and provide for their enforcement. Subpart G—Furnishing of Enhanced Services and Customer-Premises Equipment by Communications Common Carriers
[56 FR 36731, Aug. 1, 1991. Redesignated and amended at 73 FR 21259, Apr. 21, 2008]
§ 64.610 Establishment of a National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.
(a) The National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) is established as a pilot program to distribute specialized customer premises equipment (CPE) used for telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. The duration of this pilot program will be two years, with a Commission option to extend such program for an additional year.
(b) Certification to receive funding. For each state, the Commission will certify a single program as the sole authorized entity to participate in the NDBEDP and receive reimbursement for its program's activities from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund). Such entity will have full oversight and responsibility for distributing equipment and providing related services in that state, either directly or through collaboration, partnership, or contract with other individuals or entities in-state or out-of-state, including other NDBEDP certified programs.
(1) Any state with an equipment distribution program (EDP) may have its EDP apply to the Commission for certification as the sole authorized entity for the state to participate in the NDBEDP and receive reimbursement for its activities from the TRS Fund.
(2) Other public programs, including, but not limited to, vocational rehabilitation programs, assistive technology programs, or schools for the deaf, blind or deaf-blind; or private entities, including but not limited to, organizational affiliates, independent living centers, or private educational facilities, may apply to the Commission for certification as the sole authorized entity for the state to participate in the NDBEDP and receive reimbursement for its activities from the TRS Fund.
(3) The Commission shall review applications and determine whether to grant certification based on the ability of a program to meet the following qualifications, either directly or in coordination with other programs or entities, as evidenced in the application and any supplemental materials, including letters of recommendation:
(i) Expertise in the field of deaf-blindness, including familiarity with the culture and etiquette of people who are deaf-blind, to ensure that equipment distribution and the provision of related services occurs in a manner that is relevant and useful to consumers who are deaf-blind;
(ii) The ability to communicate effectively with people who are deaf-blind (for training and other purposes), by among other things, using sign language, providing materials in Braille, ensuring that information made available online is accessible, and using other assistive technologies and methods to achieve effective communication;
(iii) Staffing and facilities sufficient to administer the program, including the ability to distribute equipment and provide related services to eligible individuals throughout the state, including those in remote areas;
(iv) Experience with the distribution of specialized CPE, especially to people who are deaf-blind;
(v) Experience in how to train users on how to use the equipment and how to set up the equipment for its effective use; and
(vi) Familiarity with the telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services that will be used with the distributed equipment.
(c) Definitions. For purposes of this section, the following definitions shall apply:
(1) Equipment. Hardware, software, and applications, whether separate or in combination, mainstream or specialized, needed by an individual who is deaf-blind to achieve access to telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, as these services have been defined by the Communications Act.
(2) Individual who is deaf-blind. (i) Any person:
(A) Who has a central visual acuity of 20/200 or less in the better eye with corrective lenses, or a field defect such that the peripheral diameter of visual field subtends an angular distance no greater than 20 degrees, or a progressive visual loss having a prognosis leading to one or both these conditions;
(B) Who has a chronic hearing impairment so severe that most speech cannot be understood with optimum amplification, or a progressive hearing loss having a prognosis leading to this condition; and
(C) For whom the combination of impairments described in clauses (c)(2)(i)(A) and (B) of this section cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining a vocation.
(ii) The definition in this paragraph also includes any individual who, despite the inability to be measured accurately for hearing and vision loss due to cognitive or behavioral constraints, or both, can be determined through functional and performance assessment to have severe hearing and visual disabilities that cause extreme difficulty in attaining independence in daily life activities, achieving psychosocial adjustment, or obtaining vocational objectives. An applicant's functional abilities with respect to using telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services in various environments shall be considered when determining whether the individual is deaf-blind under clauses (c)(2)(i)(B) and (C) of this section.
(d) Eligibility criteria— (1) Verification of disability. Individuals claiming eligibility under the NDBEDP must provide verification of disability from a professional with direct knowledge of the individual's disability.
(i) Such professionals may include, but are not limited to, community-based service providers, vision or hearing related professionals, vocational rehabilitation counselors, educators, audiologists, speech pathologists, hearing instrument specialists, and medical or health professionals.
(ii) Such professionals must attest, either to the best of their knowledge or under penalty of perjury, that the applicant is an individual who is deaf-blind (as defined in 47 CFR 64.610(b)). Such professionals may also include, in the attestation, information about the individual's functional abilities to use telecommunications, Internet access, and advanced communications services in various settings.
(iii) Existing documentation that a person is deaf-blind, such as an individualized education program (IEP) or a statement from a public or private agency, such as a Social Security determination letter, may serve as verification of disability.
(iv) The verification of disability must include the attesting professional's name, title, and contact information, including address, phone number, and e-mail address.
(2) Verification of low income status. An individual claiming eligibility under the NDBEDP must provide verification that he or she has an income that does not exceed 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines as defined at 42 U.S.C. 9902(2) or that he or she is enrolled in a federal program with a lesser income eligibility requirement, such as the Federal Public Housing Assistance or Section 8; Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as Food Stamps; Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program; Medicaid; National School Lunch Program's free lunch program; Supplemental Security Income; or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. The NDBEDP Administrator may identify state or other federal programs with income eligibility thresholds that do not exceed 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for determining income eligibility for participation in the NDBEDP. Where an applicant is not already enrolled in a qualifying low-income program, low-income eligibility may be verified by the certified program using appropriate and reasonable means.
(3) Prohibition against requiring employment. No program certified under the NDBEDP may impose a requirement for eligibility in this program that an applicant be employed or actively seeking employment.
(4) Access to communications services. A program certified under the NDBEDP may impose, as a program eligibility criterion, a requirement that telecommunications, Internet access, or advanced communications services are available for use by the applicant.
(e) Equipment distribution and related services. (1) Each program certified under the NDBEDP must:
(i) Distribute specialized CPE and provide related services needed to make telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services or advanced telecommunications and information services, accessible to individuals who are deaf-blind;
(ii) Obtain verification that NDBEDP applicants meet the definition of an individual who is deaf-blind contained in 47 CFR 64.610(c)(1) and the income eligibility requirements contained in 47 CFR 64.610(d)(2);
(iii) When a recipient relocates to another state, permit transfer of the recipient's account and any control of the distributed equipment to the new state's certified program; (iv) Permit transfer of equipment from a prior state, by that state's NDBEDP certified program;
(v) Prohibit recipients from transferring equipment received under the NDBEDP to another person through sale or otherwise;
(vi) Conduct outreach, in accessible formats, to inform their state residents about the NDBEDP, which may include the development and maintenance of a program Web site;
(vii) Engage an independent auditor to perform annual audits designed to detect and prevent fraud, waste, and abuse, and submit, as necessary, to audits arranged by the Commission, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the NDBEDP Administrator, or the TRS Fund Administrator for such purpose;
(viii) Retain all records associated with the distribution of equipment and provision of related services under the NDBEDP for two years following the termination of the pilot program; and
(ix) Comply with the reporting requirements contained in 47 CFR 64.610(g).
(2) Each program certified under the NDBEDP may not:
(i) Impose restrictions on specific brands, models or types of communications technology that recipients may receive to access the communications services covered in this section;
(ii) Disable or otherwise intentionally make it difficult for recipients to use certain capabilities, functions, or features on distributed equipment that are needed to access the communications services covered in this section, or direct manufacturers or vendors of specialized CPE to disable or make it difficult for recipients to use certain capabilities, functions, or features on distributed equipment that are needed to access the communications services covered in this section; or
(iii) Accept any type of financial arrangement from equipment vendors that could incentivize the purchase of particular equipment.
(f) Payments to NDBEDP certified programs. (1) Programs certified under the NDBEDP shall be reimbursed for the cost of equipment that has been distributed to eligible individuals and authorized related services, up to the state's funding allotment under this program as determined by the Commission or any entity authorized to act for the Commission on delegated authority.
(2) Within 30 days after the end of each six-month period of the Fund Year, each program certified under the NDBEDP pilot must submit documentation that supports its claim for reimbursement of the reasonable costs of the following:
(i) Equipment and related expenses, including maintenance, repairs, warranties, returns, refurbishing, upgrading, and replacing equipment distributed to consumers;
(ii) Individual needs assessments;
(iii) Installation of equipment and individualized consumer training;
(iv) Maintenance of an inventory of equipment that can be loaned to the consumer during periods of equipment repair;
(v) Outreach efforts to inform state residents about the NDBEDP; and
(vi) Administration of the program, but not to exceed 15 percent of the total reimbursable costs for the distribution of equipment and related services permitted under the NDBEDP.
(3) With each request for payment, the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or other senior executive of the certified program, such as a manager or director, with first-hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the claim in the request, must certify as follows:
I swear under penalty of perjury that I am (name and title), an officer of the above-named reporting entity and that I have examined all cost data associated with equipment and related services for the claims submitted herein, and that all such data are true and an accurate statement of the affairs of the above-named certified program.
(g) Reporting requirements. (1) Each program certified under the NDBEDP must submit the following data electronically to the Commission, as instructed by the NDBEDP Administrator, every six months, commencing with the start of the pilot program:
(i) For each piece of equipment distributed, the identity of and contact information, including street and e-mail addresses, and phone number, for the individual receiving that equipment;
(ii) For each piece of equipment distributed, the identity of and contact information, including street and e-mail addresses, and phone number, for the individual attesting to the disability of the individual who is deaf-blind;
(iii) For each piece of equipment distributed, its name, serial number, brand, function, and cost, the type of communications service with which it is used, and the type of relay service it can access;
(iv) For each piece of equipment distributed, the amount of time, following any assessment conducted, that the requesting individual waited to receive that equipment;
(v) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to assessing an individual's equipment needs;
(vi) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to installing equipment and training deaf-blind individuals on using equipment;
(vii) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to maintain, repair, cover under warranty, and refurbish equipment;
(viii) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to outreach activities related to the NDBEDP, and the type of outreach efforts undertaken;
(ix) The cost, time and any other resources allocated to upgrading the distributed equipment, along with the nature of such upgrades;
(x) To the extent that the program has denied equipment requests made by their deaf-blind residents, a summary of the number and types of equipment requests denied and reasons for such denials;
(xi) To the extent that the program has received complaints related to the program, a summary of the number and types of such complaints and their resolution; and
(xii) The number of qualified applicants on waiting lists to receive equipment.
(2) With each report, the chief executive officer, chief financial officer, or other senior executive of the certified program, such as a director or manager, with first-hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the information provided in the report, must certify as follows:
I swear under penalty of perjury that I am (name and title), an officer of the above-named reporting entity and that I have examined the foregoing reports and that all requested information has been provided and all statements of fact are true and an accurate statement of the affairs of the above-named certified program.
(h) Administration of the program. The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau shall designate a Commission official as the NDBEDP Administrator.
(1) The NDBEDP Administrator will work in collaboration with the TRS Fund Administrator, and be responsible for:
(i) Reviewing program applications received from state EDPs and alternate entities and certifying those that qualify to participate in the program;
(ii) Allocating NDBEDP funding as appropriate and in consultation with the TRS Fund Administrator;
(iii) Reviewing certified program submissions for reimbursement of costs under the NDBEDP, in consultation with the TRS Fund Administrator;
(iv) Working with Commission staff to establish and maintain an NDBEDP Web site, accessible to individuals with disabilities, that includes contact information for certified programs by state and links to their respective Web sites, if any, and overseeing other outreach efforts that may be undertaken by the Commission;
(v) Obtaining, reviewing, and evaluating reported data for the purpose of assessing the pilot program and determining best practices;
(vi) Conferring with stakeholders, jointly or separately, during the course of the pilot program to obtain input and feedback on, among other things, the effectiveness of the pilot program, new technologies, equipment and services that are needed, and suggestions for the permanent program;
(vii) Working with Commission staff to adopt permanent rules for the NDBEDP; and
(viii) Serving as the Commission point of contact for the NDBEDP, including responding to inquiries from certified programs and consumer complaints filed directly with the Commission.
(2) The TRS Fund Administrator, as directed by the NDBEDP Administrator, shall have responsibility for:
(i) Reviewing cost submissions and releasing funds for equipment that has been distributed and authorized related services, including outreach efforts;
(ii) Releasing funds for other authorized purposes, as requested by the Commission or the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau; and
(iii) Collecting data as needed for delivery to the Commission and the NDBEDP Administrator.
(i) Whistleblower protections. (1) NDBEDP certified programs shall permit, without reprisal in the form of an adverse personnel action, purchase or contract cancellation or discontinuance, eligibility disqualification, or otherwise, any current or former employee, agent, contractor, manufacturer, vendor, applicant, or recipient, to disclose to a designated official of the certified program, the NDBEDP Administrator, the TRS Fund Administrator, the Commission's Office of Inspector General, or to any federal or state law enforcement entity, any known or suspected violations of the Act or Commission rules, or any other activity that the reporting person reasonably believes to be unlawful, wasteful, fraudulent, or abusive, or that otherwise could result in the improper distribution of equipment, provision of services, or billing to the TRS Fund.
(2) NDBEDP certified programs shall include these whistleblower protections with the information they provide about the program in any employee handbooks or manuals, on their Web sites, and in other appropriate publications.
(j) Suspension or revocation of certification. (1) The Commission may suspend or revoke NDBEDP certification if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, the Commission determines that such certification is no longer warranted.
(2) In the event of suspension or revocation, the Commission shall take such steps as may be necessary, consistent with this subpart, to ensure continuity of the NDBEDP for the state whose program has been suspended or revoked.
(3) The Commission may, at its discretion and on its own motion, require a certified program to submit documentation demonstrating ongoing compliance with the Commission's rules if, for example, the Commission receives evidence that a state program may not be in compliance with those rules.
(k) Expiration of rules. These rules will expire at the termination of the NDBEDP pilot program.
[76 FR 26647, May 9, 2011; 76 FR 31261, May 31, 2011]
§ 64.611 Internet-based TRS registration.
(a) Default provider registration. Every provider of VRS or IP Relay must, no later than December 31, 2008, provide users with the capability to register with that VRS or IP Relay provider as a “default provider.” Upon a user's registration, the VRS or IP Relay provider shall:
(i) Facilitate the user's valid number portability request as set forth in 47 CFR 52.34; or, if the user does not wish to port a number,
(ii) Assign that user a geographically appropriate North American Numbering Plan telephone number; and
(2) Route and deliver all of that user's inbound and outbound calls unless the user chooses to place a call with, or receives a call from, an alternate provider.
(b) Mandatory registration of new users. As of December 31, 2008, VRS and IP Relay providers must, prior to the initiation of service for an individual that has not previously utilized VRS or IP Relay, register that new user as described in paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) Obligations of default providers and former default providers. (1) Default providers must:
(i) Obtain current routing information, including IP addresses or domain names and user names, from their Registered Internet-based TRS Users;
(ii) Provision such information to the TRS Numbering Directory; and
(iii) Maintain such information in their internal databases and in the TRS Numbering Directory.
(2) Internet-based TRS providers (and, to the extent necessary, their Numbering Partners) must:
(i) Take such steps as are necessary to cease acquiring routing information from any VRS or IP Relay user that ports his or her number to another VRS or IP Relay provider or otherwise selects a new default provider;
(ii) Communicate among themselves as necessary to ensure that:
(A) Only the default provider provisions routing information to the central database; and
(B) VRS and IP Relay providers other than the default provider are aware that they must query the TRS Numbering Directory in order to obtain accurate routing information for a particular user of VRS or IP Relay.
(d) Proxy numbers. After December 31, 2008, a VRS or IP Relay provider:
(1) May not assign or issue a proxy or alias for a NANP telephone number to any user; and
(2) Must cease to use any proxy or alias for a NANP telephone number assigned or issued to any Registered Internet-based TRS User.
(e) Toll free numbers. A VRS or IP Relay provider:
(1) May not assign or issue a toll free number to any VRS or IP Relay user.
(2) That has already assigned or provided a toll free number to a VRS or IP Relay user must, at the VRS or IP Relay user's request, facilitate the transfer of the toll free number to a toll free subscription with a toll free service provider that is under the direct control of the user.
(3) Must within one year after the effective date of this Order remove from the Internet-based TRS Numbering Directory any toll free number that has not been transferred to a subscription with a toll free service provider and for which the user is the subscriber of record.
(f) CPE. (1) Every VRS or IP Relay provider must ensure that all CPE they have issued, leased, or otherwise provided to VRS or IP Relay users delivers routing information or other information only to the user's default provider, except as is necessary to complete or receive “dial around” calls on a case-by-case basis.
(2) All CPE issued, leased, or otherwise provided to VRS or IP Relay users by Internet-based TRS providers must be capable of facilitating the requirements of this section.
(g) User notification. Every VRS or IP Relay provider must include an advisory on its website and in any promotional materials addressing numbering or E911 services for VRS or IP Relay.
(1) At a minimum, the advisory must address the following issues:
(i) The process by which VRS or IP Relay users may obtain ten-digit telephone numbers, including a brief summary of the numbering assignment and administration processes adopted herein;
(ii) The portability of ten-digit telephone numbers assigned to VRS or IP Relay users;
(iii) The process by which persons using VRS or IP Relay may submit, update, and confirm receipt by the provider of their Registered Location information;
(iv) An explanation emphasizing the importance of maintaining accurate, up-to-date Registered Location information with the user's default provider in the event that the individual places an emergency call via an Internet-based relay service;
(v) The process by which a VRS or IP Relay user may acquire a toll free number, or transfer control of a toll free number from a VRS or IP Relay provider to the user; and
(vi) The process by which persons holding a toll free number request that the toll free number be linked to their ten-digit telephone number in the TRS Numbering Directory.
(2) VRS and IP Relay providers must obtain and keep a record of affirmative acknowledgment by every Registered Internet-based TRS User of having received and understood the advisory described in this subsection.
[73 FR 41295, July 18, 2008, as amended at 76 FR 59557, Sept. 27, 2011]
§ 64.613 Numbering directory for Internet-based TRS users.
(a) TRS Numbering Directory. (1) The TRS Numbering Directory shall contain records mapping the geographically appropriate NANP telephone number of each Registered Internet-based TRS User to a unique Uniform Resource Identifier (URI).
(2) For each record associated with a VRS user's geographically appropriate NANP telephone number, the URI shall contain the IP address of the user's device. For each record associated with an IP Relay user's geographically appropriate NANP telephone number, the URI shall contain the user's user name and domain name that can be subsequently resolved to reach the user.
(3) Within one year after the effective date of this Order, Internet-based TRS providers must ensure that a user's toll free number that is associated with a geographically appropriate NANP number will be associated with the same URI as that geographically appropriate NANP telephone number.
(4) Only the TRS Numbering Administrator and Internet-based TRS providers may access the TRS Numbering Directory.
(b) Administration —(1) Neutrality. (i) The TRS Numbering Administrator shall be a non-governmental entity that is impartial and not an affiliate of any Internet-based TRS provider.
(ii) Neither the TRS Numbering Administrator nor any affiliate may issue a majority of its debt to, nor derive a majority of its revenues from, any Internet-based TRS provider.
(iii) Nor may the TRS Numbering Administrator nor any affiliate be unduly influenced, as determined by the North American Numbering Council, by parties with a vested interest in the outcome of TRS-related numbering administration and activities.
(iv) Any subcontractor that performs any function of the TRS Numbering Administrator must also meet these neutrality criteria.
(2) Terms of Administration. The TRS Numbering Administrator shall administer the TRS Numbering Directory pursuant to the terms of its contract.
(3) Compensation. The TRS Fund, as defined by 47 CFR 64.604(a)(5)(iii), may compensate the TRS Numbering Administrator for the reasonable costs of administration pursuant to the terms of its contract.
[73 FR 41296, July 18, 2008, as amended at 76 FR 59577, Sept. 27, 2011]..