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Coin Sent Paid Public Notice, VoIP Legislation

To: Consumer Contact List
Karen Peltz Strauss, RERC-TA
Re: Consumer Contact List - Coin Sent Paid Public Notice; VoIP Legislation

Date: July 28, 2004

1. Coin Sent-Paid TRS Public Notice - In 2002, the FCC adopted new rules governing the provision of telecommunications relay service calls (TRS) made from pay telephones. The FCC concluded that it was technically not feasible to require any longer that these calls be made with coins, and adopted portions of an Alternative Plan that provided for local TRS calls made from payphones to be provided free of charge, and allowed alternative forms of payment for TRS toll calls made from payphones. In addition, the FCC encouraged telephone companies to provide outreach to consumers on how to make TRS calls from payphones, and directed the industry to file an annual report which, among other things, would address these outreach activities to educate consumers about payment alternatives. On March 9, 2004, the industry filed this annual report, which is now summarized in this FCC Public Notice. The Public Notice does not request comment on the report, but does offer consumers the opportunity to file complaints, submit letters, or request clarification of these matters with the FCC. The URL for the public notice is below.

Released: 07/28/2004. TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES AND THE
AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT OF 1990; COIN SENT-PAID TRS CALL FROM
PAYPHONES. (DA No. 04-2333). CGB. Contact: Cheryl King at (202)
418-2284, TTY: (202) 418-0416, email: Cheryl.King@fcc.gov


<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-04-2333A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-04-2333A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-04-2333A1.txt>

2. VoIP Legislation - Over the past several weeks, there has been considerable activity in the Senate on the VoIP issue. Specifically, a few months ago, Senator Sununu introduced deregulatory VoIP legislation. On July 22, 2004, Senator Sununu's VOIP bill, S. 2281, was marked up and approved by his committee. The marked-up version of the bill, which was voted out of committee by a vote of 13-9, contains language that preempts state regulation on VoIP matters with respect to communication carriers. The bill is not expected to become legislation this year, but rather to set the stage for introduction of similar legislation in September and/or when Congress resumes after the election. At present, the bill does not contain any specific disability protections (it may have a passing reference to disability coverage), but there is soon to be an amendment introduced by Boxer and Lautenberg that may allow states to continue regulating consumer protection and to give the FCC authority to create rules to provide consumer protections that are comparable to those that exist under Title II of the Communications Act. This would include Sections 225 on relay and 255 on telecom products and services.


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