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CapTel Order, Requests for Captioning Exemptions


To: Consumer Contact List
Karen Peltz Strauss, RERC-TA
Re: CapTel Order, Requests for Captioning Exemptions

Date: August 10,2003

1. CapTel Order released:

IN THE MATTER OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES, AND SPEECH-TO-SPEECH SERVICES FOR INDIVIDUALS WITH HEARING AND SPEECH DISABILITIES. Adopted rules in this Declaratory Ruling. (Dkt No. 98-67). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 07/25/2003 by Declaratory Ruling. (FCC No. 03-190). CGB

<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-190A1.doc> <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-190A1.pdf> <http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-190A1.txt>

On August 1st, the FCC released a declaratory ruling defining CapTel, an enhanced VCO (voice carryover)relay service, as a telecommunications relay service that is eligible to receive reimbursement from relay funds. CapTel allows individuals to use their residual hearing to simultaneously hear a telephone conversationwhile they read the text of those conversations. The text is provided by communications assistants (CAs) who use speech recognition technology to repeat everything said by the other party.The Orderconcludes that CapTel is a form of VCO that will contribute to efforts to provide functionally equivalent telephone service for people with hearing disabilities, as is required by the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Order permits reimbursement to take place from both the interstate and intrastate TRS funds, applying the same rate as is used for traditional text-to-speech TRS.

The Order also explains that the voice recognition technology used in CapTel can be used to meet minimum standards for CAs to transmit relay messages at 60 words per minute. The FCC also ruled that STS and HCO does not apply to the new service, and granted permanent CapTel waivers for outbound 711 calls,gender choice of CA, call release (used in switchboard situations where the CA drops off the call), and the use of Baudot and ASCII transmissions. A one year waiver was granted for inbound 711 calls. A three year waiver was granted for standards that require (1) CAs to have competency in typewritten ASL, (2) an oral-to-type text for CAs (Anoral-to-text test will be permitted instead), and (3) sequential outbound calls (and seemingly inbound calls where there is automatic call set up). Annual reports are required for the temporary waivers. The Order is effective immediately.

2. Two requests for exemptions from the captioning rules were recently filed. Attempts to open these documents were unsuccessful, but here are their urls:

Released: 07/30/2003. REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM COMMISSION'S CLOSED CAPTIONING RULES. (DA No. 03-2537) CSR-6213. MB.
Contact: Sonia Greenaway-Mickle or Steve Garner at (202) 418-7200, TTY: (202) 418-7172.
News Media Contact: Michelle Russo at (202) 418-7200

<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-2537A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-2537A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-2537A1.txt>


Released: 07/30/2003. REQUEST FOR EXEMPTION FROM COMMISSION'S CLOSED CAPTIONING RULES. (DA No. 03-2538) CSR 6214. MB.
Contact: Sonia Greenaway-Mickle or Steve Garner at (202) 418-7200, TTY: (202) 418-7172.
News Media Contact: Michelle Russo at (202) 418-7200


<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-2538A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-2538A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-03-2538A1.txt>


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