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News for State and Local Government Agencies

FCC Acts to Improve Video Relay Service and Direct Video Calling

May 16, 2019
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

On May 9, 2019, the FCC adopted a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to improve video communications while seeking to protect the VRS [video relay service] program against waste, fraud, and abuse.

In the Report and Order, the FCC took actions to:

  • Facilitate direct video calling between sign language users and customer support call centers;
  • Register enterprise and public videophones in the TRS user registration database; and
  • Prohibit VRS providers from offering or providing non-service related inducements to entice consumers to sign up for or use a VRS provider’s service.

In the Further Notice, the FCC seeks comment on its proposed actions to:

  • Convert the pilot at-home interpreting program to a permanent program;
  • Permit VRS providers to commence service to new and porting VRS users for up to two weeks, pending database verification of the user’s identity, with compensation to be paid only after the user’s identity is verified; and
  • Require consumers to log in to enterprise and public videophones before using them to place VRS calls.

Links to Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking [72 pages]:

General information about TRS [telecommunications relay service] is available at For further information, please contact Michael Scott, Disability Rights Office, CGB, at (202) 418-1264 or 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). TTY users may call the FCC’s TTY number at (888) 835-5322.

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