HLAA has learned that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which provides oversight for Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), has issued a new Order relaxing some rules for internet protocol captioned telephone services (IP CTS) and Video Relay Service (VRS). The FCC hopes these actions will help IP CTS and VRS providers ensure that during the national emergency that we all can still make the calls we need. See the FCC announcement below.
What does this mean to you? If you use an IP CTS phone, you are probably accustomed to picking up the phone and having an immediate connection. During this emergency, there may be times that prompt connection time takes a little longer. Providers are doing their best to fully staff their call centers to ensure that the phones are answered as quickly as possible. But understand if there are a lot of people calling at the same time, it may take a bit longer to get connected.
However, if you are having repeated problems with getting a connection or spending more than 2 minutes waiting to get connected, let the FCC know. The FCC is monitoring this situation and will take your complaints: https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us or via phone or email .
- Phone: 1-888-225-5322
- TTY: 1-888-835-5322
- Videophone: 1-844-432-2275
- Fax: 1-866-418-0232
- Web: https://www.fcc.gov/about/contact
From the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
The FCC, continuing its Keep Americans Connected Initiative, grants waiver of certain TRS rules to facilitate VRS at-home call handling and provide flexibility to TRS providers to ensure the continued provision of these vital services. All other TRS rules remain in effect at this time. The overwhelming public interest in ensuring the continued availability of TRS services during this national emergency justifies grant of the temporary waivers. The FCC will continue to monitor this emergency situation and will consider and take additional actions as warranted.
- URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-grants-temporary-waiver-certain-trs-rules-during-coronavirus
- Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-281A1.docx
- PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-281A1.pdf
- Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-20-281A1.txt
- URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-grants-flexibility-trs-providers-during-coronavirus
- Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-363076A1.docx
- PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-363076A1.pdf
- Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-363076A1.txt
General information about TRS is available at https://www.fcc.gov/general/telecommunications-relay-services-trs. For further information, please contact Michael Scott, Disability Rights Office, CGB, at (202) 418-1264 or Michael.Scott@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). TTY users may call the FCC’s TTY number at (888) 835-5322.