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FCC Issues Report and Order and Seeks Comment on Improving Speech-to-Speech Relay Service

July 24, 2013
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

On July 19, 2013, the FCC adopted a Report and Order amending rules to improve Speech-to-Speech (STS) relay service, a type of telecommunications relay service (TRS) for persons with a speech disability. By this Order, the Commissionís action improves the STS userís experience on a call by:

  • Increasing the time a communication assistant (CA) must stay with a call from 15 minutes to 20 minutes;
  • Allowing STS users the option to mute their voices during an STS call; and
  • Ensuring that STS users who dial 711 have the same ease of reaching an STS CA as users of other types of TRS.

In addition to the order, the FCC issued a further notice of proposed rulemaking (FNPRM), seeking comments on several issues, including:

  • Whether to contract for a national STS outreach coordinator to conduct all STS outreach;
  • Whether to adopt consumer registration for STS; and
  • Whether to adopt other recommendations made by consumers to improve STS, such as the use of caller profiles that provide CAs with information about the communication preferences of STS users in advance of calls.

Comment Date: (30 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)
Reply Comment Date: (45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register)

Links to the Order and FNPRM:

For additional information on this proceeding, contact Gregory Hlibok, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office, (202) 559-5158, or email at

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