On June 30, 2023, the FCC released two Orders concerning telecommunications relay services (TRS). 

The first Order extends the following waivers of certain Video Relay Service (VRS) rules relating to communications assistants (CAs):

  • The 50% cap on call minutes handled by VRS CAs working at home;
  • The requirement that CAs working at home have three years of experience as an American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter; and,
  • The ban on contracting with non-VRS-certified entities for VRS interpreting services.

The FCC extended each of these waivers for an additional six months, through December 31, 2023, or the effective date of FCC action amending the waived rules, if earlier.

The second Order establishes the compensation formulas for TRS, the total size of the TRS Fund for the 2023-24 TRS Fund year, and the percentages of revenue that covered service providers must contribute to the TRS Fund.  Specifically, the FCC:

  • Establishes the compensation formula for traditional (TTY-based) TRS; Speech-to-Speech Relay Service (STS), analog Captioned Telephone Service (CTS), and Internet Protocol (IP) Relay Services from July 1, 2023 through June 30, 2024.
  • Grants temporary waivers to extend the expiration date of the current compensation formulas for Video Relay Service (VRS) through August 31, 2023 and Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Services (IP CTS) through November 30, 2023, or the effective dates of FCC actions establishing compensation formulas for VRS and IP CTS, if earlier. 

Link to the Waiver Extension Order:

URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-extends-video-relay-service-rule-waivers

Link to the TRS Fund Compensation Formulas Order:

URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/trs-compensation-and-contribution-formulas-2023-24-fund-year

General information about TRS is available at https://www.fcc.gov/trs/  For further information about the Waiver Extension Order, contact Bill Wallace, Disability Rights Office (DRO), Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB), at (202) 418-2716, or William.Wallace@fcc.gov.  For further information about the TRS Compensation Formulas Order, contact Michael Scott, DRO, CGB, at Michael.Scott@fcc.gov or (202) 418-1264.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

Updated:
Friday, June 30, 2023