Comments Due:  July 12, 2021
Reply Comments Due:  August 10, 2021

On April 23, 2021, the FCC released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) inviting public comment on proposed text-to-988 rules. 

The FNPRM follows up on a Report and Order adopted on July 16, 2020, where the FCC designated 988 as the 3-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline).  Callers can currently reach the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK).  Starting July 16, 2022, phone services providers will be required to direct all 988 voice calls to the Lifeline.

The FNPRM asks several questions about text-to-988 for individuals with disabilities, including:

  • How important is texting for individuals with disabilities as a way to reach the Lifeline? 
  • Would newer texting solutions such as real-time text (RTT) make texting to 988 more accessible for individuals with disabilities?  
  • Should covered text providers be required to send automatic bounce-back messages where text-to-988 service is unavailable? 
  • When should covered text providers be required to support text-to-988? 

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.  All filings must reference WC Docket No. 18-336.  People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.

News Release:
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-371833A1.docx
PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-371833A1.pdf
Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-371833A1.txt

Text-to-988 FNPRM:
URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-lays-groundwork-text-988-0
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-47A1.docx
PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-47A1.pdf
Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-47A1.txt

Public Notice Announcing Comment Due Dates:
URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/comment-deadlines-texting-988-proposal-announced
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-692A1.docx
PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-692A1.pdf
Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-692A1.txt

General information about 988 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at https://www.fcc.gov/suicide-prevention-hotline.  For further information, please contact Emily Caditz, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-2268 or Emily.Caditz@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).  

Updated: 
Tuesday, June 15, 2021