FCC Extends Reply Comment Deadline for Accessible Carceral Communications Proceeding

Reply Comments Due:  March 3, 2023

On January 5, 2023, the FCC released an Order granting a 45-day extension of time until March 3, 2023, for filing reply comments on the Sixth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Sixth Further Notice) released on September 30, 2022. 

The Order addresses the motion to extend the reply comment deadline filed by HEARD, the Wright Petitioners, Telecommunications for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Inc., Hearing Loss Association of America, National Association of the Deaf, the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Gallaudet University, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, Prison Policy Initiative, Public Knowledge, United Church of Christ Media Justice Ministry, and Worth Rises.

The Sixth Further Notice seeks comment on, among other things:

  • Whether to allow enterprise registration for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) in correctional facilities;
  • Whether to adopt the FCC’s proposal to extend inmate calling services providers’ TRS-related access obligations to include Video Relay Service (VRS), IP Relay, and IP CTS as well as American Sign Language (ASL) point-to-point video calling, where broadband is available, and analog captioned telephone service (CTS) where broadband is not available, in jurisdictions with average daily populations of fewer than 50 incarcerated persons; and
  • Whether charges for any inmate calling services for incarcerated people with disabilities should be disclosed in accessible formats.

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings/.   All filings must reference WC Docket No. 12-375. People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to [email protected]

Order Extending the Reply Comment Deadline:

URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/order-extending-deadline-inmate-calling-services-rulemaking  

Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-23-10A1.docx  

PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-23-10A1.pdf  

Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-23-10A1.txt  

Sixth Further Notice:

URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-mandates-trs-access-incarcerated-people-disabilities   

Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-22-76A1.docx  

PDF:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-22-76A1.pdf

Text:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-22-76A1.txt

For further information, please contact Michael Scott, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-1264 or [email protected].  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.