FCC Adopts & Proposes New Rules Related to IP Captioned Telephone Service

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In a press release, the FCC announced that it has adopted new rules and proposed further regulations to enhance program management, prevent waste, fraud, and abuse, and improve emergency call handling in its Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) program.  Under the FCC’s new rules, IP CTS will be integrated into the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) User Registration Database, which is a centralized system of records currently used in the Video Relay Service (VRS) program.  According to the Commission, by integrating IP CTS user registrations into the TRS Registration Database, the agency will be able to more easily verify the identity of IP CTS users and better audit IP CTS provider practices.

In addition to adopting these new rules, the Commission also proposed several new rules related to IP CTS, including a rule that would require IP CTS providers to add user account identifiers to call records submitted for compensation and a rule that would simplify the handling of IP CTS 911 calls by no longer requiring IP CTS providers to serve as an intermediary in connecting 911 call centers and IP CTS users.  Pending the proposed rulemaking’s outcome, the Commission has partially waived several of the IP CTS providers’ responsibilities as a 911 call intermediary.

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