Have you registered for a ten-digit telephone number for Video Relay Service (VRS) and IP Relay? If you have not done so, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urges you to register as soon as possible. This is because, after November 12, 2009, VRS and IP Relay providers will not be able to handle non-emergency calls for users who have not registered. An unregistered user calling after November 12th will be asked to register by providing his or her name and the address from which the user will be making VRS or IP Relay calls. The user will be given a new ten-digit telephone number.
VRS and IP Relay users will benefit from the new ten-digit numbering and registration rules in several ways. Most importantly, emergency 911 calls will be able to be quickly routed to emergency personnel, and voice telephone users will be able to call a VRS or IP Relay user simply by dialing that person's ten-digit number.
When you make a 911 call using your new ten-digit number, the providers will be able to automatically determine your name and location information then pass that information to appropriate emergency personnel. This is because you will have already provided your name and location information as part of the registration process. Thus, the VRS or IP Relay user placing an emergency call does not have to manually give relay provider his or her location information.
Because you may want to change the location from which you will be making calls, the FCC requires that VRS and IP Relay providers make it easy for you to update your information if your ten-digit number will be used in a different location. It is vital that you familiarize yourself with your default provider's procedures for updating your location information and that the information you provide be accurate and up-to-date. If you fail to maintain accurate and up-to-date information, the VRS or IP Relay provider may not be able to route an emergency call to appropriate emergency call center and emergency personnel may not be dispatched to your correct location. Furthermore, VRS and IP Relay providers may not charge you a fee to register your location or update your Registered Location information.
In addition, the ten digit numbering requirement allows voice telephone users to call a VRS or IP Relay user by dialing that person's ten-digit number in the same manner that they call other voice telephone users. This eliminates the need for the voice telephone user to know both the relay provider's telephone number and the called party's number (either an IP address or a proxy number) to complete a call. In addition, through use of the ten-digit numbers, VRS and IP Relay users can place or receive direct peer-to-peer calls (i.e., non-relay calls) by calling the other party's ten-digit number.
The registration process is easy and simple. First, you must select your preferred VRS or IP Relay provider, which then becomes your "default provider." Selecting and registering with a default provider does not mean that you must always use that provider for your calls. You may continue to place and receive calls through any other VRS or IP Relay provider through "dial-around calls." You may also change your default provider at any time and keep your same ten-digit telephone number. You must obtain separate numbers for VRS and IP Relay calls. In addition, if you have more than one VRS or IP relay device, you will likely have to obtain a separate ten-digit number for each device.
Remember that it only take a few minutes to register. Call your VRS or IP Relay provider today if you have not registered. For further information on this subject, visit the FCC's website at www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/numbering-and-e911-requirements-vrs-and-ip-relay-video-american-sign-language-asl .