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FCC Seeks Comment on Proposed Text-to-988 Rules

June 24, 2021
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently released a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) inviting public comment on proposed text-to-988 rules.

The FNPRM follows up on a Report and Order adopted on July 16, 2020, where the FCC designated 988 as the 3-digit number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline). Callers can currently reach the Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). Starting July 16, 2022, phone services providers will be required to direct all 988 voice calls to the Lifeline.

The FNPRM asks several questions about text-to-988 for individuals with disabilities, including:

  • How important is texting for individuals with disabilities as a way to reach the Lifeline?
  • Would newer texting solutions such as real-time text (RTT) make texting to 988 more accessible for individuals with disabilities?
  • Should covered text providers be required to send automatic bounce-back messages where text-to-988 service is unavailable?
  • When should covered text providers be required to support text-to-988?

    Interested parties may file comments by accessing the Electronic Comment Filing System at All filings must reference WC Docket No. 18-336. People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online at may request assistance by email to

    Comment Deadline: July 12, 2021

    Reply Comment Deadline: August 10, 2021

    General information about 988 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is available at For further information, please contact Emily Caditz, Competition Policy Division, Wireline Competition Bureau, at (202) 418-2268 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).

    Link: Go to website for News Source

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