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July 14 open meeting; VoIP E911 access, new TRS rates, wireless HAC rules; captioning; brand X decision
To: Consumer Contact List
From: Karen Peltz Strauss, RERC-TA
Re: Consumer Contact List -Misc Items related to July 14 open meeting, VoIP E911 access, new TRS rates, wireless HAC rules, captioning, Brand X decision
Date: July 7, 2005

1. July 14 FCC Open Meeting - On July 14, the FCC will be voting on several issues of importance to the disability community. Orders on the following issues are expected to be addressed: VRS speed of answer, video mail, ASL-Spanish VRS, VRS hours, and two-line captioned telephone. In addition, the FCC is expected to approve a notice of proposed rulemaking on closed captioning. The meeting will be open to the public and take will place at 9:30 a.m. Consumers are encouraged to attend.

2.Comment dates set on E911 VoIP proceeding - On May 19, 2005, the FCC adopted an order requiring VoIP providers to offer E911 emergency services to their customers. A notice of proposed rulemaking was attached to that order, which in part requests information on the extent to which Section 255 should apply to VoIP services as well as the extent to which the FCC's E911 VoIP order should apply to relay and other services provided specifically for people with disabilities. A link to a summary of the FCC's VoIP order is below, along with the public notice for the comment schedule. Comments are due on August 15 and reply comments are due on September 12.

3.New rates adopted for relay services - On July 28, 2005, the FCC adopted new rates for TRS, VRS, IP, and STS relay services. Of significance is that the FCC rejected the VRS rate proposed by NECA and adopted a higher rate in order to ensure reasonable compensation to VRS providers and ensure a better service to VRS consumers. In addition, the FCC has now separated the Internet and traditional TRS rates. Listed below are links to the order and separate statements by Commissioners Copps and Adelstein.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES AND SPEECH-TO-SPEECH SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH HEARING AND SPEECH DISABILITIES. Adopted interstate TRS compensation rates for the period of July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2006. (Dkt No. 98-67, 03-123). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 06/28/2005 by ORDER. (FCC No. 05-135). CGB
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A2.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A3.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A2.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A3.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A1.txt>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A2.txt>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-135A3.txt>

4. FCC HAC Reconsideration - In a prior e-mail, you were notified about the FCC's recent order resolving many of the outstanding issues on wireless hearing aid compatibility. Listed below is a link to a summary of that order.

Released: 06/29/2005. COMMENT AND REPLY COMMENT DATES ESTABLISHED FOR NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING IN THE MATTER OF E911 REQUIREMENTS FOR IP-ENABLED SERVICE PROVIDERS. (DA No. 05-1905). (Dkt No 05-196).
Comments Due: 08/15/2005. Reply Comments Due: 09/12/2005. WCB.
Contact: Christi Shewman at (202) 418-1686
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-1905A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-1905A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-1905A1.txt>

5. Commissioner Copps Remarks at SHHH - On July 1, 2005, FCC Commissioner Copps gave a speech on telecommunications access at the SHHH convention. The URL is below.

REMARKS AT THE SELF HELP FOR HARD OF HEARING PEOPLE CONVENTION. CMMR
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259823A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259823A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259823A1.txt>

6. Closed Captioning Exemption Sought - Little Heart Entertainment has sought a request for an exemption from the closed captioning requirements: Released: 06/30/2005. REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM COMMISSION'S CLOSED CAPTIONING RULES. (DA No. 05-1834) CSR 6571. MB. Contact: Sonia Greenaway-Mickle or Steve Garner at (202) 418-7200
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-1834A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-1834A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-1834A1.txt>

7. Supreme Court Decision in Brand X - The Supreme Court has determined that cable broadband modem services are information services rather than telecommunications services. Although the significance of this decision remains to be seen with respect to people with disabilities, the ruling will likely mean that many of the FCC's rules currently applying to telecommunications services will not apply to cable modem services. Below are comments on the decision from some of the Commissioners.

COMMISSIONER ABERNATHY'S STATEMENT REGARDING THE SUPREME COURT'S DECISION IN BRAND X. STMT. News Media Contact: Russ Hanser at (202) 418-2400 CMMR
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259628A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259628A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259628A1.txt>

STATEMENT OF COMMISSIONER COPPS IN RESPONSE TO SUPREME COURT DECISION IN BRAND X INTERNET SERVICES. STMT CMMR
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259623A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259623A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259623A1.txt>

COMMISSIONER JONATHAN S. ADELSTEIN ISSUES STATEMENT IN RESPONSE TO U.S. SUPREME COURT BRAND X DECISION. STMT. News Media Contact: Barry Ohlson
at (202) 418-2300, email: Barry.Ohlson@fcc.gov CMMR
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259627A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259627A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259627A1.txt>


8. For Your Info Only: The FCC has released data on increased usage of high speed Internet access:

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION RELEASES DATA ON HIGH-SPEED INTERNET ACCESS CONNECTIONS. High-Speed Connections to the Internet Increased 34% During 2004 for a Total of 38 Million Lines in Service. News Release. News Media Contact: Mark Wigfield at 202-418-0253;
mark.wigfield@fcc.gov WCB. Contact James Eisner and Suzanne Mendez at 202-418-0940
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259870A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259870A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-259870A1.txt>

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