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FCC Adopts Real-Time Text Proposed Rulemaking

May 2, 2016
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

On April 28, 2016, the FCC adopted a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) to seek comment on proposals to replace FCC rules requiring support for TTY technology with rules requiring support for real-time text (RTT) technology. The Notice is designed to ensure that millions of Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled, and deaf-blind who rely on text-based communications are able to access communication over Internet Protocol (IP) networks and services. RTT allows individuals with and without disabilities to communicate directly with one another, using text on a voice line without the need to buy a stand-alone device like a TTY.

Some of the issues in the Notice include:

  • Proposed requirements for interoperability (so that any RTT user can connect to any other user, over any covered provider or device used by either party to the call);
  • A proposed requirement for RTT communications to be backward compatible with TTYs for a period of time, so consumers who still use TTYs can communicate with RTT users;
  • Whether to require specific features (e.g., conference calling, access to 911, the ability to call and be called using 10 digit numbers) so people with disabilities have accessible and effective text-based communications service, and
  • A proposed deadline of December 31, 2017 for larger wireless service providers (and a request for comment about an appropriate timeline for smaller providers).

We will announce the public comment due dates for the NPRM when these become available.

Links to the Press Release:

Links to the Notice:

For more information about RTT, please contact Suzy Rosen Singleton at

Link: Go to website for News Source

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