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Video Relay Service Data Reporting Requirement Is Effective

Rules run through the end of 2013.

The U.S. government approved information collection requirements for Internet-based telecommunications relay service (iTRS) providers with those requirements becoming effective on Nov. 22, 2011 and running through Dec. 31, 2013.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) posted on the Federal Register a “final rule” notice—Internet-Based Telecommunications Relay Service Numbering—that lists the effective dates of the regulation.

In the document, the FCC says on Sept. 27, 2011 the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved, for a period of three years, the information collection requirements for service providers of Internet-based telecommunications relay programs.

The OMB’s approval is in response to the FCC adopting final rules containing information collection requirements designed to improve assignment of telephone numbers associated with iTRS. The final rule is designed to promote the use of geographically appropriate local numbers, while ensuring that the deaf and hard-of-hearing community has access to toll free telephone numbers that is equivalent to access enjoyed by the hearing community, the FCC says. The new information collection requirements cover “provision of routing information;” “user notification;” and “transferring toll free numbers.”

Provision of Routing Information: In addition to provisioning their registered users’ routing information to the TRS Numbering Directory and maintaining such information in the database, the video relay service (VRS) and Internet protocol (IP) relay providers must:

  • Remove from the Internet-based TRS Numbering Directory any toll free number that has not been transferred to a subscription with a toll free service provider and for which the user is the subscriber of record
  • Ensure that the toll free number of a user that is associated with a geographically appropriate North American numbering plan (NANP) number will be associated with the same uniform resource identifier (URI) as that geographically appropriate NANP telephone number.

User Notification: In addition to the information that the FCC previously instructed VRS and IP Relay providers to include in the consumer advisories, VRS and IP Relay providers must also include certain additional information in their consumer advisories. Specifically, the consumer advisories must explain:

  • The process by which a VRS or IP Relay user may acquire a toll free number from a toll free service provider, or transfer control of a toll free number from a VRS or IP relay provider to the user
  • The process by which persons holding a toll free number may have that number linked to their ten-digit telephone number in the TRS Numbering Directory.

Transferring Toll Free Numbers: VRS and IP Relay providers that have already assigned or provided a toll free number to a VRS or IP relay user must, at the VRS or IP relay user’s request, facilitate the transfer of the toll free number to a toll free subscription with a toll free service provider that is under the direct control of the user.