FCC Invites Comments on TRS Fund Compensation for IP Relay

Comments due:  December 20, 2021
Reply comments due:  January 18, 2022

On August 6, 2021, the FCC released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) seeking comment on proposals to modify how providers of Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay) are compensated by the TRS Fund.  The current IP Relay compensation plan expires on June 30, 2022.

On November 18, 2021, the comment due dates were published in the Federal Register.  On November 29, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice to announce the comment due dates.

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings.  All filings must reference CG Docket No. 03-123 and RM-11820.  People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov

Press Release:
URL:   https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-modernize-telecommunications-relay-service-compensation-0
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-374694A1.docx
PDF:    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-374694A1.pdf
Text:    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DOC-374694A1.txt

IP Relay Compensation NPRM:
URL:    https://www.fcc.gov/document/fcc-seeks-modernize-telecommunications-relay-service-compensation-0
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-95A1.docx
PDF:    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-95A1.pdf
Text:    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/FCC-21-95A1.txt

Public Notice Announcing Comment Due Dates:
URL:   https://www.fcc.gov/document/ip-relay-compensation-methodology-comment-dates
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1480A1.docx
PDF:    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1480A1.pdf
Text:    https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1480A1.txt   

For general information regarding IP Relay, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/ip-relay.  For further information, please contact William Wallace, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-2716 or William.Wallace@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are ASL-fluent may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone). 

TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES AND SPEECH-TO-SPEECH SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH HEARING AND SPEECH DISABILITIES; STRUCTURE AND PRACTICES OF THE VIDEO RELAY SERVICE PROGRAM

Grants waiver of December 31, 2021 expiration of current compensation levels for video relay service (VRS), and extends these levels through June 30, 2022, unless the Commission takes action with an earlier effective date. (Dkt No 03-123 10-51). Action by: Chief, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau. Adopted: 2021-11-12 by ORDER. (DA No. 21-1417). CGB. Contact: Michael Scott, at: (202) 418-1264; email: Michael.Scott@fcc.gov. DA-21-1417A1.docx DA-21-1417A1.pdf DA-21-1417A1.txt

FCC Grants GSA’s Petition for Partial Waiver of IP CTS and IP Relay Registration Requirements

On October 8, 2021, the FCC released an Order granting a petition of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) for partial waiver of the user registration requirements for two types of telecommunications relay service (TRS): Internet Protocol Relay Service (IP Relay) and Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS).

This conditional waiver facilitates GSA’s transitioning federal workers to use of TRS in place of most Federal Relay services and applies only to federal government employees and on-premises contractors. As a condition of these waivers, the FCC requires providers of IP Relay and IP CTS to federal workers to follow a registration process similar to the “enterprise” registration process currently applicable to the Video Relay Service (VRS).

Links to Order Granting GSA Petition for Waiver:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/partial-waiver-ip-cts-and-ip-relay-registration-rules
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1262A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1262A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1262A1.txt

Link to GSA Petition for Waiver:
https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/1031150110993/FCC%20Waiver%20Request_March%202021_signed.pdf

General information about TRS is available at https://www.fcc.gov/trs; for IP CTS at https://www.fcc.gov/ipcts; and for IP Relay at https://www.fcc.gov/ip-relay. For further information, please contact William Wallace, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Bureau, at 202-418-2716, or William.Wallace@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).

CaptionCall Certified to Provide IP CTS Using Automatic Speech Recognition

On August 31, 2021, the FCC granted conditional certification to CaptionCall to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) using automatic speech recognition (ASR) in addition to its existing communications assistant-based IP CTS.  CaptionCall will introduce ASR-based IP CTS in overflow situations when a communications assistant is not available.  The ASR platform supports the display of captions on CaptionCall phones and other devices running the CaptionCall application.

Conditional Certification Order:

URL:  https://www.fcc.gov/document/ip-cts-asr-only-authorization-granted-captioncall       
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1080A1.docx   
PDF:   https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1080A1.pdf    
Text:   https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1080A1.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.

Pandemic TRS Rule Waivers Extended through December 31, 2021

Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech services for individuals with hearing and speech disabilities; Structure and practices of the video relay service program. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, extends through December 31, 2021, the temporary waivers of certain rules governing telecommunications relay services (TRS).

Word: DA-21-1064A1.docx
PDF: DA-21-1064A1.pdf
Text: DA-21-1064A1.txt

FCC Seeks Comment on T-Mobile’s Amended Application to Provide IP CTS

Comments due: September 2, 2021
Reply Comments due: September 17, 2021

On August 3, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on an amendment filed by T-Mobile USA, Inc., to its application for certification to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS).

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs. All filings must reference CG Docket No. 03-123. People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.

Public Notice:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/comment-sought-t-mobile-trs-application-amendment
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-949A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-949A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-949A1.txt

Link to T-Mobile’s Amended Application:
PDF: https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/10726096440697/IP%20CTS%20ASR%20Amendment%20-%20REDACTED%20-%20Final%20-%2007.26.2021.pdf

For general information about IP CTS, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/vrs. For specific questions about the 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 Tive, LLC Application to Provide VRS

Comments due: August 26, 2021
Reply Comments due: September 10, 2021

The Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB) of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeks comment on the application filed by Tive, LLC, for certification to provide Video Relay Service (VRS) supported by the interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (iTRS) Fund.

Public Notice:
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-914A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-914A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-914A1.txt

FCC Seeks Comment on Hamilton Relay’s Amended Application to Provide IP CTS

Comments due: August 16, 2021
Reply Comments due: August 31, 2021

On July 16, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice seeking comment on an amendment filed by Hamilton Relay, Inc., to its application for certification to provide Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS).

Interested parties may file comments by accessing the Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings. All filings must reference CG Docket No. 03-123. 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:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/comment-sought-hamilton-ip-cts-application-amendment
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-852A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-852A1.pdf
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-852A1.txt

Link to Hamilton Relay’s Amended Application:
https://ecfsapi.fcc.gov/file/1070942156998/Hamilton%20ASR-only%20(Sixth)%20Amendment%20-%20Redacted%20version.pdf

General information about IP CTS is available at www.fcc.gov/ipcts. For further information, please contact William Wallace, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Bureau, at 202-418-2716, or William.Wallace@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 Extends Comment Period for VRS Compensation NPRM

New Comment Due Date: July 29, 2021
New Reply Comment Due Date: August 13, 2021

On July 13, 2021, the FCC released a Public Notice extending the deadlines for comment on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) concerning Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund compensation for the provision of video relay service (VRS). The FCC provided the extension so that interested parties have an opportunity to review updated provider cost and demand data placed in the record prior to filing comments in the NPRM.

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.

Public Notice:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/vrs-compensation-nprm-comment-deadline-extended
Word: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-828A1.docx
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-828A1.docx
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-828A1.docx

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

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 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).