Video Relay Service: Program Funding and Reform [November 6, 2018]   [open pdf - 892KB]

"The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulates a number of disability-related telecommunications services, including video relay service (VRS). VRS allows persons with hearing disabilities, using American Sign Language (ASL), to communicate with voice telephone users through video equipment rather than through typed text. VRS has quickly become a very popular service, as it offers several features not available with the text-based telecommunications relay service (TRS). The FCC has adopted various rules to maintain the quality of VRS service. Now VRS providers must answer 80% of all VRS calls within 120 seconds. VRS providers must also offer the service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, in June 2010, the FCC began a comprehensive review of the rates, structure, and practices of the VRS program to minimize waste, fraud, and abuse and update compensation rates that had become inflated above actual cost. Rules in that proceeding were issued in June 2013. The new rules initiated fundamental restructuring of the program to support innovation and competition, drive down ratepayer and provider costs, eliminate incentives for waste, and further protect consumers. In addition, the new rules transition VRS compensation rates toward actual costs over the next four years, initiating a step-by-step transition from existing tiered TRS Fund compensation rates toward a unitary, market-based compensation rate."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R42830
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/
Media Type:
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