• FCC Extends Telecommunications Relay Service COVID-19 Waivers.  (Order),  CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-946, adopted August 26, 2020, released August 26, 2020.

On August 26, 2020, the FCC released an Order extending temporary waivers through November 30, 2020, for telecommunications relay services (TRS) providers to ensure relay services remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These waivers allow TRS providers flexibility to deal with reduced staffing and increased call volumes, to enable more of their employees to provide services from their homes, to expand the pool of contractors qualified to provide American Sign Language interpretation services for Video Relay Service (VRS), and to allow registered VRS users who are abroad to make calls to the U.S. during the national emergency.

  • TRS Equal Access and Billing Options Waiver Extension.  (Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 20-903, adopted August 19, 2020, released August 19, 2020.

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the Federal Communications Commission extends waivers previously granted to Hamilton Relay and Sprint Communications of the equal access and billing options requirements for telecommunications relay services (TRS) offered through state TRS programs.

  • Comment Sought IP Relay Rate Reconsideration Petition.  (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and
    10-51, DA 20-885, released August 14, 2020.

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) of the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) seeks comment on Sprint Relay’s petition for partial reconsideration of the Bureau’s order adopting compensation rates for telecommunications relay services (TRS), as well as TRS Fund requirements and contribution factors, for the 2020-21 Fund Year. Sprint Relay seeks reconsideration of two aspects of the $1.7146 per-minute compensation rate adopted for IP Relay service: (1) the decision to set the efficiency factor for IP Relay equal to inflation under the Commission’s price-cap-like methodology and (2) the denial of Sprint’s request for exogenous cost recovery.

  • FCC Modernizes TRS Rules and Procedures.  (Report and Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, FCC 20-105, adopted August 4, 2020, released August 5, 2020.

On August 5, 2020, the FCC released a Report and Order eliminating the requirements that telecommunications relay service (TRS) providers offer “equal access” to long distance services and various “billing options” (e.g., collect calls) to use with relay services.  Today, such features are not offered with most voice services and so are no longer needed to provide TRS that is functionally equivalent with voice services.  The FCC also decided that, for the next renewal cycle, which is a few years off, it will no longer publish notice of applications for state TRS program certification applications in the Federal Register, but will continue to post these notices on its website and in its electronic document management system (EDOCS).

  • VRS Non-Service Related Inducements Rule Clarified.  (Declaratory Ruling), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-739, adopted July 15, 2020, released July 15, 2020.

On July 15, 2020, The FCC released a Declaratory Ruling clarifying that particular devices offered at no charge by ZP to its video relay service users, including the OneVP, are service-related, and thus are not prohibited by rule section 64.604(8)(c)(v).

  • TRS Rates and Contribution Factors Set for 2020-21 Year.  (Order), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51,
    DA 20-692, adopted June 30, 2020, released June 30, 2020.

On June 30, 2020, The Federal Communications Commission Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau adopts per-minute Interstate compensation rates for telecommunications relay services (TRS) for the 2020-21 Fund Year, as well as the total size of the TRS Fund and the contribution factors that determine the amounts contributors pay to the TRS Fund.

  • FCC Extends Telecommunications Relay Service COVID-19 Waivers.  (Order),  CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-650, adopted June 22, 2020, released June 22, 2020.

On June 22, 2020, the FCC released an Order extending temporary waivers through August 31, 2020, for telecommunications relay services (TRS) providers to ensure relay services remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These waivers allow TRS providers flexibility to deal with reduced staffing and increased call volumes, to enable more of their employees to provide services from their homes, to expand the pool of contractors qualified to provide American Sign Language interpretation services for Video Relay Service (VRS), and to allow registered VRS users who are abroad to make calls to the U.S. during the national emergency.

  • Clarity Certified as Automatic Speech Recognition IP CTS Provider.  (Memorandum Opinion and Order), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 20-587, adopted June 4, 2020, released June 4, 2020.

Clarity Products, LLC granted conditional certification to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) using only automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology.

  • TRS Complaint Log Summaries Due July 1, 2020.  (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 20-583, released June 3, 2020.

The Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (Bureau) reminds states and providers of interstate telecommunications relay services (TRS)  that they must submit their annual consumer complaint log summaries covering the 12-month period from June 1, 2019 through May 31, 2020, on or before Wednesday, July 1, 2020.  

The Bureau also remind certified state TRS programs, interstate TRS providers, and TRS providers that have state contracts that they must submit to the Commission the name of a contact person or office, or both, for the receipt of inquiries and complaints from consumers about the certified state TRS program’s intrastate service or, as appropriate, about the TRS provider’s service.

  • IP CTS Compensation Rate $1.58 Per Minute Extended to September 30, 2020.  (Order),
    CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-570, adopted May 29, 2020, released May 29, 2020.

Limited waiver granted of June 30, 2020 expiration of compensation rate for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service; interim rate of $1.58 per minute extended to September 30, 2020, unless Commission takes action with an earlier effective date.

  • Request Comment on Proposed TRS Rates and Sprint Petition on IP Relay Rate.  (Public Notice),
    CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-522, released May 15, 2020.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Public Notice seeking comment on the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund administrator’s proposed provider compensation rates, funding requirement, and carrier contribution factors for interstate TRS for the period from July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021.  

The FCC is also seeking comment on a related request filed by Sprint Communications Company L.P. regarding the 2020-21 Fund Year rate for Internet Protocol Relay Service.

  • FCC Extends Temporary Waivers For Relay Services Rules During Pandemic.  (Order),
    CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-517, adopted May 14, 2020, released May 14, 2020.

The FCC released an Order extending temporary waivers through June 30, 2020, for telecommunications relay services (TRS) providers to ensure relay services remain available during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These waivers allow TRS providers flexibility to deal with reduced staffing and increased call volumes, to enable more of their employees to provide services from their homes, and to expand the pool of contractors qualified to provide American Sign Language interpretation services for Video Relay Service (VRS).

The Bureau also temporarily waived two additional TRS rules to enable Internet Protocol Relay Service communications assistants to provide service from home workstations and to allow registered VRS users who are abroad as of May 14, and did not preregister to make calls from abroad, to make calls to the U.S. during the national emergency.

  • MachineGenius Certified to Provide IP CTS Using Automatic Speech Recognition.  (Order),
    CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 20-485, adopted May 5, 2020, released May 5, 2020.

MachineGenius, Inc. granted conditional certification to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service
(IP CTS) using only automatic speech recognition (ASR) technology.

  • VRS At-Home Call Handling Pilot Program Extended.  (Order), CG Docket Nos. 10-51 and 03-123,
    DA 20-434, adopted April 20, 2020, released April 20, 2020.

Waiver granted of the expiration date of the at-home call-handling pilot program for video relay service (VRS), extending the program through the effective date of the Commission's permanent rules regarding at-home VRS call-handling.

  • Seeking Comment on Consumer Groups Petition Regarding TRS Rules.  (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 03-123, 10-51 and 10-210, DA 20-427, released April 20, 2020.

On April 20, 2020, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on a consumer groups’ petition asking the FCC to:

(1) temporarily waive certain Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) user registration requirements during the COVID-19 pandemic; and 
(2) issue a declaratory ruling that TRS providers can receive compensation from the TRS Fund for the distribution of software used for TRS access by deafblind individuals, including those who do not meet the low-income threshold to qualify for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.

  • Temporary Waiver Permits VRS Providers to Contract for Interpreter Services.  (Order), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-378, adopted April 3, 2020, released April 3, 2020.

Temporary waiver granted of rule restricting video relay service (VRS) providers from contracting for video interpretation services with entities that are not eligible providers.

  • Seeking Comment on InnoCaption Application to Provide IP CTS.  (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 13-24, DA 20-313, released March 20, 2020.

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau of the FCC released a public notice seeking comment on an amendment filed by Mezmo Corporation (InnoCaption) to its application for certification to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) and its accompanying request for waiver of certain IP CTS rules.

  • FCC Grants Temporary Waiver of Certain TRS Rules During Coronavirus.  (Order), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-281, adopted March 16, 2020, released March 16, 2020.

In consideration of the recent substantial increase in COVID-19 (coronavirus) cases across the United States, the resulting widespread public concern, various state and local public health measures taken in response, and the President’s declaration of a national emergency, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau finds good cause to grant, on its own motion, temporary waivers of certain requirements under sections 64.604 and 64.606 of the Commission’s rules, in order to ensure the uninterrupted availability of telecommunications relay services in the United States during this public health emergency.

In this Order on Reconsideration and Order Suspending Compliance Deadline, CGB grants in part and dismisses in part the petition for reconsideration of Sorenson, rescinding the requirement to comply with the RUE Profile and suspending the deadline for compliance with the requirement for interoperability with the VATRP.

  • Effective Date for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service Rules Subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act.  (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 03-123, DA 20-185, released February 21, 2020.

In this Public Notice, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announced that the Commission published a notice in the Federal Register announcing that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved 
modified information collection requirements related to the provision and marketing of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service, and establishing February 19, 2020, as the effective date for amendments to 47 CFR § 64.604(c)(11)(v) and (c)(13)(iii)-(iv) and for compliance with 47 CFR §§ 64.611(j)(2), 64.615(a)(3), and (a)(5).

  • Purple Surrenders VRS Certification in Merger with ZVRS.  (Public Notice), CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51, DA 20-162, released February 14, 2020.

In this Public Notice, the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau announced effective February 15, 2020, Purple Communications, Inc. (PCI), surrenders its conditional certification to provide video relay service (VRS) and withdraws its application for certification to provide VRS.   PCI will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of CSDVRS, LLC.  CSDVRS, LLC (which is changing its name to ZP Better Together, LLC) will continue to provide VRS under the sub-brands ZVRS and Purple, pursuant to its conditional certification to provide VRS.

  • FCC Permits At-Home Call Handling by Sign-Language Interpreters for Video Relay Service.  (Report and Order), CG Docket Nos. 10-51 and 03-123, FCC 20-7, adopted January 30, 2020, released January 31, 2020.

This Report and Order allows compensating Video Relay Service (VRS) providers for VRS calls handled by communications assistants (CAs) working from their homes.

  • Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Announces Effective Date and Comment Cycle for Updating TRS Rules.  (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 20-48, released January 13, 2020.

In this Public Notice, the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau announced February 10, 2020 as the effective date of the Report and Order, and establishing the comment dates for the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Rulemaking to update the definition of telecommunications relay services (TRS) and to seek comment on eliminating certain TRS requirements.

  • Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Announces Effective Date for Expanding TRS Contribution Base to Support IP CTS.  (Public Notice), CG Docket No. 03-123, DA 20-41, released January 10, 2020.

In this Public Notice, the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau announced February 5, 2020 as the effective date of the Report and Order to expand the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund contribution base for support of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS).

Updated: 
Thursday, August 20, 2020