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Guide

Use of TTY Devices with Digital Wireless Phones

Text telephone devices (TTYs or TDDs) are used by people with hearing or speech disabilities to send and receive text messages over telephone networks. In the past, wireline telephone and analog cellular networks generally were compatible with TTYs, but digital wireless networks were not. Since July 1, 2002, as a result of FCC rules to ensure that TTY users can complete emergency 911 calls, wireless service providers have upgraded their digital networks to be compatible with TTYs. Consumers are now generally able to use TTYs to complete calls with their digital wireless phones, including 911 calls, if the phone itself is TTY-compatible. To find a TTY-compatible digital wireless phone, contact your wireless service provider or handset retailer.

Filing a Complaint

If you are having a problem completing a 911 call using TTY, you can file a complaint with the FCC. There is no charge for filing a complaint. You can file your complaint using an online complaint form. You can also file your complaint with the FCC’s Consumer Center using the contact information provided in the For More Information section, below.

The best way for you to provide all the information the FCC needs to process your complaint is to complete fully the online complaint form. When you open the online complaint form, you will be asked a series of questions that will take you to the particular section of the form you need to complete. If you do not use the online complaint form, your complaint, at a minimum, should indicate:

  • your name, address, email address and phone number where you can be reached;
  • whether you are filing a complaint on behalf of another party, and if so, the party’s name, address, email address, day time phone number and your relationship to the party;
  • preferred format or method of response (letter, fax, voice phone call, email, TRS, TTY, ASCII text, audio recording or Braille);
  • that your complaint is about TTY;
  • the name, address and telephone number (if known) of the company or companies involved with your complaint;
  • a brief description of your complaint and the resolution you are seeking, and a full description of the equipment or service you are complaining about, including date of purchase, use, or attempt to use.

For More Information

For more information about TTY devices and digital wireless phones, visit the FCC’s website. For more information about wireless 911 services, visit the FCC's 911 service website or see our 911 Wireless Services consumer guide.

For information about other communications issues, visit the FCC’s Consumer website, or contact the FCC’s Consumer Center by calling 1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322) voice or 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322) TTY; faxing 1-866-418-0232; or writing to:

Federal Communications Commission
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
Consumer Inquiries and Complaints Division
445 12th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20554

Print Out

Use of TTY Devices with Digital Wireless Phones Guide (pdf)

Reviewed: October 8, 2014
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