FCC Seeks Nominations for Communications Equity and Diversity Council

On July 6, 2021, the FCC released a public notice seeking nominations for membership on the Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC) for the new two-year charter through June 29, 2023.

The Purpose of the CEDC is to provide recommendations to the FCC on advancing equity in the provision of and access to digital communication services and products for all people, without discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, or disability.

Application Deadline: August 10, 2021 at 11:59 PM EDT

Who may apply?
The FCC seeks applications from representatives of various sectors of the communications industry, representatives of state and local regulators, and representatives of consumer and community organizations.

Public Notice:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-nominations-communications-equity-and-diversity-council
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-795A1.pdf
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-795A1.docx
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-795A1.txt

General information about CEDC is available at https://www.fcc.gov/communications-equity-and-diversity-council. For additional information about the Committee, please contact Jamila Bess Johnson, the Designated Federal Officer for the Communications Equity and Diversity Council, at 202-418-2608, or Jamila-Bess.Johnson@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in ASL may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

TRS Compensation and Contribution Factors Approved

Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech services for individuals with hearing and speech disabilities; Structure and practices of the Video Relay Service Program. Approves per-minute provider compensation for telecommunications relay services (TRS), the TRS funding requirement, and the TRS Fund contribution factors for the period from July 1, 2021 through June 30, 2022.

Word: DA-21-779A1.docx
PDF: DA-21-779A1.pdf
Text: DA-21-779A1.txt

Comment Sought on Proposal to Freeze IP CTS Rates

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau seeks comment on a request by six of the seven currently certified providers of Internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Telephone Service (CTS) to defer the reduction in the level of Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund support for IP CTS previously ordered by the Commission. Contact: William Wallace at (202) 418-2716, email: William.Wallace@fcc.gov.

Word: DA-21-753A1.docx
PDF: DA-21-753A1.pdf
Text: DA-21-753A1.txt

FCC Seeks Comment on VRS Compensation Plan

Comments due: July 15, 2021
Reply Comments due: July 30, 2021

On May 20, 2021, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) seeking comment on potential changes to the Video Relay Service (VRS) compensation plan. The FCC also adopted an Order extending the current VRS compensation plan through December 31, 2021 or earlier, if the FCC adopts a new compensation plan.

NPRM and Order:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-comment-compensation-plan-video-relay-service-0
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-61A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-372626A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-61A1.txt

News Release:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-comment-compensation-plan-video-relay-service-0
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-372626A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-372626A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-372626A1.txt

Public Notice:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/video-relay-service-compensation-nprm-comment-dates
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-713A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-713A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-713A1.txt

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 CG Docket Nos. 03-123 and 10-51. People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.

For general information about VRS, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/vrs. For specific questions about the VRS item, please contact Michael Scott, Disability Rights Office, CGB at (202) 418-1264 or Michael.Scott@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are ASL-fluent may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

FCC Seeks Comment on Proposed Text-to-988 Rules

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).

FCC Announces 2021-2022 Allocations for the NDBEDP

On June 4, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice announcing the allocations for the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) for the 2021-2022 fund year, which begins July 1, 2021 and ends June 30, 2022. The FCC provides up to $10 million annually for the NDBEDP.

Links to the Public Notice:
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-653A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-653A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-653A1.txt

For more information about the NDBEDP, visit http://www.fcc.gov/ndbedp.

For more information about this Public Notice, contact Jackie Ellington, NDBEDP Administrator, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at 202-418-1153 or Jackie.Ellington@fcc.gov. Individuals who are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at 844-432-2275 (videophone).

ClearCaptions Certified to Provide IP CTS Using Automatic Speech Recognition

On April 13, 2021, the FCC granted conditional certification to ClearCaptions to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) using automatic speech recognition (ASR) in addition to its existing communications assistant-based IP CTS. ClearCaptions will introduce ASR-based IP CTS to reduce wait times for callers when all communications assistants are occupied. The ASR platform supports the display of captions on the ClearCaptions’ display phones and its mobile application.

Conditional Certification Order:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/clearcaptions-certified-fully-automatic-ip-captioned-phone-service
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-419A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-419A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-419A1.txt

General information about Telecommunications Relay Services is available at www.fcc.gov/trs and about IP CTS at www.fcc.gov/ipcts. For further information, please contact William Wallace, Disability Rights Office, CGB, at (202) 418-2716, or William.Wallace@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (202) 432-2275.

Comment Dates on Proposal to Expand the TRS Fund Contribution Base for Support of VRS and IP Relay

Comment Date: April 19, 2021
Reply Comment Date: May 3, 2021

CG Docket Nos. 03-123, 10-51, and 12-38

On November 20, 2020, the Federal Communications Commission (Commission) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) proposing to expand the telecommunications relay service (TRS) Fund contribution base for support of video relay service (VRS) and Internet Protocol (IP) Relay to include intrastate, in addition to interstate, end-user revenues from providers of telecommunications and Voice over IP (VoIP) services. Comments on the NPRM are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, and reply comments are due 45 days after such publication.


On March 19, 2021, a summary of the NPRM was published in the Federal Register. Accordingly, comments on the NPRM must be filed by April 19, 2021, and reply comments must be filed by May 3, 2021.


To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice).


For further information, please contact Michael Scott at (202) 418-1264, or Michael.Scott@fcc.gov, or the Commission’s American Sign Language (ASL) Customer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-341A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-341A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-341A1.txt