National Association of the Deaf

FCC Announces Interim VRS Rates & Notice Of Inquiry

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rates for 2010-2011 for Video Relay Services (VRS) and other relay services. The FCC is also starting a comprehensive review of VRS to ensure that this vital program is effective, efficient, and sustainable in the future.

FCC Rates for VRS and Other Relay Services

The FCC approved the following VRS rates for 2010-2011:

$6.24 Tier I (up to 50,000 minutes per month)
$6.23 Tier II (50,000 – 500,000 minutes per month)
$5.07 Tier III (above 500,000 minutes per month)

The FCC also approved the following rates for other relay services for 2010-2011:

$2.03 for interstate TTY relay
$3.16 for Speech-to-Speech relay services
$1.67 for interstate Captioned Telephone Service (CTS) and IP CTS
$1.30 for Internet text relay services (IP Relay)

Read the FCC Rate Order for 2010-2011

NAD Supports FCC Review of VRS

The NAD has long advocated for the FCC to take action to address many VRS issues. The FCC took a big step today by releasing a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) seeking comments about VRS. The focus of this inquiry is on how to improve the way VRS providers are paid and other economic issues. The FCC wants to improve VRS to ensure that VRS is available to all eligible users, encourages innovation, and is provided efficiently. The NAD will respond to the FCC inquiry about these VRS issues to ensure that VRS users achieve functional equivalency.

Read the FCC Notice of Inquiry (June 28, 2010)

The deadline for responding to this FCC inquiry has not yet been set.

A Comprehensive Review

Today’s announcement builds on efforts begun last month, when the FCC issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. In that notice, the FCC asked for comments about ways to prevent and detect VRS waste, fraud, and abuse. The NAD will respond to that FCC notice to protect and promote the interests of VRS users.

Read the FCC Press Release (May 27, 2010)

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