The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Enforcement Bureau has reached settlements totaling $1.4 million with Hamilton Relay, InnoCaption, and Sprint Corp. for failing to to properly handle 911 calls through applications used by callers who are hard of hearing. Individuals who can use their own voice but have difficulty hearing utilize a Telephone Relay Service (TRS) called Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) to engage in a telephone conversation using an Internet Protocol-enabled device that allows callers to simultaneously listen while reading captions of what the other party is saying.
The FCC’s Enforcement Bureau and Consumer and Government Affairs Bureau discovered, through test calls made in 2014, that the companies were not able to accept and handle 911 emergency calls made using IP CTS applications, as required by Commission rules governing TRS. The Enforcement Bureau also found that the companies submitted inaccurate requests to the TRS Fund administrator for compensation provided to users of IP CTS applications during the period the companies were not in compliance with the emergency call handling rules. To resolve the investigations, Sprint will pay $1,175,000, Hamilton will pay $235,000, and InnoCaption will pay $25,000, and each company will file detailed compliance reports with the Enforcement Bureau.