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.
Public Notice Announcing Comment Due Dates:
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).