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New FCC rules on VRS, CapTel, NPRM on CC, Emergency Preparedness Meeting

To: Consumer Contact List
From: Karen Peltz Strauss, RERC-TA
Re: Consumer Contact List - New FCC rules on VRS, CapTel, NPRM on CC, FCC website, Emergency Preparedness meeting
Date: July 19, 2005

On Thursday, July 14, 2005, the FCC approved various reports, orders and notices of proposed rulemakings addressing disabilities issues. The various orders were:

1. Improvements to Video Relay Service (VRS). The FCC has made the following changes to VRS:

* VRS providers will be required to provide services 24 hours a day, 7 days a week

* VRS providers will be required to meet the following speeds of answer:

By January 1, 2006, 80% of all VRS calls must be handled within 180 seconds
(3 minutes).
By July 1, 2007, 80% of all VRS calls must be handled within 150 seconds (2
and 1/2 minutes).
By January 1, 2007, 80% of all VRS calls must be handled within 120 seconds
(2 minutes).

*VRS mail was approved as a reimbursement form of relay service

*ASL-Spanish VRS was approved as a reimbursement form of relay service

The following orders pertain to the above rulings:

NEW RULES ADOPTED TO IMPROVE VIDEO RELAY SERVICE. Speed of Answer
Requirements Now Mandated. News Release. (Dkt No 98-67, 03-123). Adopted: 07/14/2005. News Media Contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0511, Rosemary.Kimball@fcc.gov or Dan.Rumelt at (202) 418-7512 CGB. Contact Thomas Chandler at (202) 418-1475, TTY: (202) 418-0597
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ASL-SPANISH TRANSLATION VIDEO RELAY SERVICE ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION FROM INTERSTATE TRS FUND. The Commission concluded that Spanish translation video relay service is a form of telecommunications relay service (TRS) compensable from the Interstate TRS fund.. News Release.
(Dkt No 98-67, 03-123). Adopted: 07/14/2005. News Media Contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0511,Rosemary.Kimball@fcc.gov or Dan.Rumelt at (202) 418-7512 CGB. Contact
Thomas Chandler at (202) 418-1475 (voice); (202) 418-0597 (TTY)
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2. Two-Line Captioned Telephone - The FCC has approved two-line captioned telephone service as a reimbursable relay service. This service enables one phone line to remain as a traditional telephone line over the PSTN, while the second line is used to receive captions from the captioned telephone communications assistant.

COMMISSION CLARIFIES THAT TWO-LINE CAPTIONED TELEPHONE SERVICE IS ELIGIBLE FOR COMPENSATION FROM THE INTERSTATE TRS FUND. FCC clarified that two-line captioned telephone service is a type of telecommunications relay service (TRS) eligible for compensation from the Interstate TRS Fund. News Release. (Dkt No 98-67, 03-123). Adopted: 07/14/2005. News Media Contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0511, Rosemary.Kimball@fcc.gov or Dan.Rumelt at (202) 418-7512 CGB. Contact Thomas Chandler at (202) 418-1475, TTY: (202) 418-0597
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3. Closed Captioning Notice of Proposed Rulemaking - The FCC has approved the issuance of a notice of proposed rulemaking on its closed captioning rules, in response to a petition filed last July by TDI, NAD, SHHH, ALDA, and DHHCAN. In this notice, the FCC seeks comment on the need for standards for captioning quality, the need for additional procedures to prevent and remedy technical problems such as captions not being delivered intact or ending before the termination of a show, needed mechanisms for caption monitoring by providers, the FCC's complaint and enforcement procedures for its closed captioning mandates (including the structure for assessing forfeitures for violations), the need for compliance reports on the amount of closed captioning provided by video programming distributors, the need to extend the ban on electronic newsroom technique captioning to smaller television markets, the need for electronic filing of exemption requests, and the current supply of available captioners.

The url follows for this proceeding follows (no comment dates have yet been set):

FCC LAUNCHES REVIEW OF CLOSED CAPTIONING RULES. The FCC has begun a proceeding to assess how its closed captioning rules are succeeding in ensuring that video programming is accessible to the millions of deaf and hard of hearing Americans and whether any revisions should be made to enhance the rules. News Release. (Dkt No 05-231). Adopted:
07/14/2005. News Media Contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0511,
Rosemary.Kimball@fcc.gov or Dan.Rumelt at (202) 418-7512 CGB. Contact
Amelia Brown at (202) 418-2799, TTY: (202) 418-0597
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4. The FCC has launched a new website, http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/dro/ada.html, celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The website provides an easy reference for many of the FCC's rules pertaining to telecommunications access by people with disabilities.

5. On Thursday, July 21, 2005 at 10:00 a.m., the annual meeting of the ICC Emergency Preparedness and Individuals with Disabilities group will be held. Interested parties can link to the FCC's Audio Video Page at http://www.fcc.gov/realaudio/#jul21 to watch the webcast.


This page last updated:July 19, 2005

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