"This page is a digitally archived AccessInfo Announcement"
Please see six summaries of disability access progress made at the FCC the week of April 8-11, 2011.
1) FCC Sets Comprehensive Reforms to Eliminate Abuses and Ensure Viability of Video Relay Service (VRS)
On April 6, 2001, the FCC released a Report and Order (R&O) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) to ensure that video relay service (VRS) continues to provide a crucial telecommunications link for people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing.
In the R&O, the Commission adopted rules designed to eliminate the waste, fraud and abuse that has plagued the VRS program. In the accompanying FNPRM, the Commission seeks comment on proposed modifications to the current FCC certification procedures used to determine which companies may provide Internet-based TRS service.
Comments are due 30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.
Reply comments are due 45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register.
(Note: Exact dates will be issued in a forthcoming Accesslnfo post, once these dates are established)
For additional information, contact: Greg Hlibok at (202) 559-5158 (voice & videophone), TTY: (202) 418-0431, email: Gregory.Hlibok@fcc.gov.
2) FCC Names New Administrator of Interstate TRS Fund
On April 6, 2011, the FCC announced the selection of Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates, LLC (RLSA) as the new Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund Administrator. The TRS Fund supports interstate relay service for persons who have hearing or speech disabilities or who are deaf-blind. RLSA will also oversee the distribution of funds for the FCC's National Equipment Distribution Program for persons who are deaf-blind.
TRS Fund Admininistrator's responsibilities include oversight of collection and payment of TRS Funds and oversight of those who contribute or are reimbursed by the TRS Fund.
News Release announcing the new TRS Fund Administrator:
For additional information, please contact: Diane Mason, (202) 418-7126, email: Diane.Mason@fcc.gov.
3) FCC Establishes National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
On April 6, 2011, the Commission released a Report and Order (R&O) adopting rules to establish a National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) to enable low-income individuals who are deaf-blind to access 21st Century communications services.
This action implements a provision of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA). The Commission will operate the NDBEDP as a pilot program for two or three years. Under the NDBEDP pilot program, the Commission will certify and provide funding to one entity in each state to distribute equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.
Links to Commissioner Copps Statement:
For additional information, contact: Rosaline Crawford at (202) 418-2075, email: Rosafine.Crawford@fcc.gov.
4) Extension of Comment and Reply Comment Dates for Advanced Communications Accessibility NPRM (CG Docket No. 10-213, WT Docket No. 96-198, and CG Docket No. 10-145)
On March 3, 2011, the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on how to ensure that the 54 million Americans with disabilities can access advanced communications services, equipment and networks under the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).
The comment and reply comment dates for this NPRM have been extended. The new comment dates for this proceeding are:
Comments are due: April 25, 2011
Reply Comments are due: May 23, 2011
To read the NPRM on Advanced Communications Accessibility under the CVAA:
For additional information, contact: Rosaline Crawford at (202) 418-2075, email: Rosaline.Crawford@fcc.gov.
5) Extension of Comment and Reply Comment Dates for Video Description NPRM (MB Docket No. 11-43)
On March 3, 2011, the Commission released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to reinstate the Commission's former rules on video description for television programs.
On, March 22, 2011, the Commission extended the due dates for comments and reply comments to the video description NPRM. The new comment dates for this proceeding are:
Comments are due: April 28, 2011
Reply Comments are due: May 27, 2011
6) TRS Fund Contributions (CG Docket No. 11-47)
On March 3, 2011, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on proposed rules to require contributions to the Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund) by non-interconnected voice over Internet-protocol (VoIP) service providers.
Comments are due: May 4, 2011
Reply Comments are due: May 19, 2011