Goto Section: 64.603 | 64.605 | Table of Contents

FCC 64.604
Revised as of December 6, 2018
Goto Year:2018 | 2020
  § 64.604   Mandatory minimum standards.

   The standards in this section are applicable December 18, 2000, except
   as stated in paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(7) of this section.

   (a) Operational standards—(1) Communications assistant (CA). (i) TRS
   providers are responsible for requiring that all CAs be sufficiently
   trained to effectively meet the specialized communications needs of
   individuals with hearing and speech disabilities.

   (ii) CAs must have competent skills in typing, grammar, spelling,
   interpretation of typewritten ASL, and familiarity with hearing and
   speech disability cultures, languages and etiquette. CAs must possess
   clear and articulate voice communications.

   (iii) CAs must provide a typing speed of a minimum of 60 words per
   minute. Technological aids may be used to reach the required typing
   speed. Providers must give oral-to-type tests of CA speed.

   (iv) TRS providers are responsible for requiring that VRS CAs are
   qualified interpreters. A “qualified interpreter” is able to interpret
   effectively, accurately, and impartially, both receptively and
   expressively, using any necessary specialized vocabulary.

   (v) CAs answering and placing a TTY-based TRS or VRS call shall stay
   with the call for a minimum of ten minutes. CAs answering and placing
   an STS call shall stay with the call for a minimum of twenty minutes.
   The minimum time period shall begin to run when the CA reaches the
   called party. The obligation of the CA to stay with the call shall
   terminate upon the earlier of:

   (A) The termination of the call by one of the parties to the call; or

   (B) The completion of the minimum time period.

   (vi) TRS providers must make best efforts to accommodate a TRS user's
   requested CA gender when a call is initiated and, if a transfer occurs,
   at the time the call is transferred to another CA.

   (vii) TRS shall transmit conversations between TTY and voice callers in
   real time.

   (viii) STS providers shall offer STS users the option to have their
   voices muted so that the other party to the call will hear only the CA
   and will not hear the STS user's voice.

   (2) Confidentiality and conversation content. (i) Except as authorized
   by section 705 of the Communications Act, 47 U.S.C. 605, CAs are
   prohibited from disclosing the content of any relayed conversation
   regardless of content, and with a limited exception for STS CAs, from
   keeping records of the content of any conversation beyond the duration
   of a call, even if to do so would be inconsistent with state or local
   law. STS CAs may retain information from a particular call in order to
   facilitate the completion of consecutive calls, at the request of the
   user. The caller may request the STS CA to retain such information, or
   the CA may ask the caller if he wants the CA to repeat the same
   information during subsequent calls. The CA may retain the information
   only for as long as it takes to complete the subsequent calls.

   (ii) CAs are prohibited from intentionally altering a relayed
   conversation and, to the extent that it is not inconsistent with
   federal, state or local law regarding use of telephone company
   facilities for illegal purposes, must relay all conversation verbatim
   unless the relay user specifically requests summarization, or if the
   user requests interpretation of an ASL call. An STS CA may facilitate
   the call of an STS user with a speech disability so long as the CA does
   not interfere with the independence of the user, the user maintains
   control of the conversation, and the user does not object. Appropriate
   measures must be taken by relay providers to ensure that
   confidentiality of VRS users is maintained.

   (3) Types of calls. (i) Consistent with the obligations of
   telecommunications carrier operators, CAs are prohibited from refusing
   single or sequential calls or limiting the length of calls utilizing
   relay services.

   (ii) Relay services shall be capable of handling any type of call
   normally provided by telecommunications carriers unless the Commission
   determines that it is not technologically feasible to do so. Relay
   service providers have the burden of proving the infeasibility of
   handling any type of call. Providers of Internet-based TRS need not
   provide the same billing options (e.g., sent-paid long distance,
   operator-assisted, collect, and third party billing) traditionally
   offered for wireline voice services if they allow for long distance
   calls to be placed using calling cards or credit cards or do not assess
   charges for long distance calling. Providers of Internet-based TRS need
   not allow for long distance calls to be placed using calling cards or
   credit cards if they do not assess charges for long distance calling.

   (iii) Relay service providers are permitted to decline to complete a
   call because credit authorization is denied.

   (iv) Relay services other than Internet-based TRS shall be capable of
   handling pay-per-call calls.

   (v) TRS providers are required to provide the following types of TRS
   calls:

   (A) Text-to-voice and voice-to-text;

   (B) One-line VCO, two-line VCO, VCO-to-TTY, and VCO-to-VCO; and

   (C) One-line HCO, two-line HCO, HCO-to-TTY, HCO-to-HCO. VRS providers
   are not required to provide text-to-voice and voice-to-text
   functionality. IP Relay providers are not required to provide one-line
   VCO and one-line HCO. IP Relay providers and VRS providers are not
   required to provide:

   (1) VCO-to-TTY and VCO-to-VCO; and

   (2) HCO-to-TTY and HCO-to-HCO. Captioned telephone service providers
   and IP CTS providers are not required to provide:

   (i) Text-to-voice functionality; and

   (ii) One-line HCO, two-line HCO, HCO-to-TTY, and HCO-to-HCO. IP CTS
   providers are not required to provide one-line VCO.

   (vi) TRS providers are required to provide the following features:

   (A) Call release functionality (only with respect to the provision of
   TTY-based relay service);

   (B) Speed dialing functionality; and

   (C) Three-way calling functionality.

   (vii) Voice mail and interactive menus. CAs must alert the TRS user to
   the presence of a recorded message and interactive menu through a hot
   key on the CA's terminal. The hot key will send text from the CA to the
   consumer's TTY indicating that a recording or interactive menu has been
   encountered. Relay providers shall electronically capture recorded
   messages and retain them for the length of the call. Relay providers
   may not impose any charges for additional calls, which must be made by
   the relay user in order to complete calls involving recorded or
   interactive messages.

   (viii) TRS providers shall provide, as TRS features, answering machine
   and voice mail retrieval.

   (4) Emergency call handling requirements for TTY-based TRS providers.
   TTY-based TRS providers must use a system for incoming emergency calls
   that, at a minimum, automatically and immediately transfers the caller
   to an appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). An appropriate
   PSAP is either a PSAP that the caller would have reached if he had
   dialed 911 directly, or a PSAP that is capable of enabling the dispatch
   of emergency services to the caller in an expeditious manner.

   (5) STS called numbers. Relay providers must offer STS users the option
   to maintain at the relay center a list of names and telephone numbers
   which the STS user calls. When the STS user requests one of these
   names, the CA must repeat the name and state the telephone number to
   the STS user. This information must be transferred to any new STS
   provider.

   (6) Visual privacy screens/idle calls. A VRS CA may not enable a visual
   privacy screen or similar feature during a VRS call. A VRS CA must
   disconnect a VRS call if the caller or the called party to a VRS call
   enables a privacy screen or similar feature for more than five minutes
   or is otherwise unresponsive or unengaged for more than five minutes,
   unless the call is a 9-1-1 emergency call or the caller or called party
   is legitimately placed on hold and is present and waiting for active
   communications to commence. Prior to disconnecting the call, the CA
   must announce to both parties the intent to terminate the call and may
   reverse the decision to disconnect if one of the parties indicates
   continued engagement with the call.

   (7) International calls. VRS calls that originate from an international
   IP address will not be compensated, with the exception of calls made by
   a U.S. resident who has pre-registered with his or her default provider
   prior to leaving the country, during specified periods of time while on
   travel and from specified regions of travel, for which there is an
   accurate means of verifying the identity and location of such callers.
   For purposes of this section, an international IP address is defined as
   one that indicates that the individual initiating the call is located
   outside the United States.

   (b) Technical standards—(1) ASCII and Baudot. TTY-based relay service
   shall be capable of communicating with ASCII and Baudot format, at any
   speed generally in use. Other forms of TRS are not subject to this
   requirement.

   (2) Speed of answer. (i) TRS providers shall ensure adequate TRS
   facility staffing to provide callers with efficient access under
   projected calling volumes, so that the probability of a busy response
   due to CA unavailability shall be functionally equivalent to what a
   voice caller would experience in attempting to reach a party through
   the voice telephone network.

   (ii) TRS facilities shall, except during network failure, answer 85% of
   all calls within 10 seconds by any method which results in the caller's
   call immediately being placed, not put in a queue or on hold. The ten
   seconds begins at the time the call is delivered to the TRS facility's
   network. A TRS facility shall ensure that adequate network facilities
   shall be used in conjunction with TRS so that under projected calling
   volume the probability of a busy response due to loop trunk congestion
   shall be functionally equivalent to what a voice caller would
   experience in attempting to reach a party through the voice telephone
   network.

   (A) The call is considered delivered when the TRS facility's equipment
   accepts the call from the local exchange carrier (LEC) and the public
   switched network actually delivers the call to the TRS facility.

   (B) Abandoned calls shall be included in the speed-of-answer
   calculation.

   (C) A TRS provider's compliance with this rule shall be measured on a
   daily basis.

   (D) The system shall be designed to a P.01 standard.

   (E) A LEC shall provide the call attempt rates and the rates of calls
   blocked between the LEC and the TRS facility to relay administrators
   and TRS providers upon request.

   (iii) Speed of answer requirements for VRS providers. VRS providers
   must answer 80% of all VRS calls within 120 seconds, measured on a
   monthly basis. VRS providers must meet the speed of answer requirements
   for VRS providers as measured from the time a VRS call reaches
   facilities operated by the VRS provider to the time when the call is
   answered by a CA—i.e., not when the call is put on hold, placed in a
   queue, or connected to an IVR system. Abandoned calls shall be included
   in the VRS speed of answer calculation.

   (3) Equal access to interexchange carriers. TRS users shall have access
   to their chosen interexchange carrier through the TRS, and to all other
   operator services to the same extent that such access is provided to
   voice users. This requirement is inapplicable to providers of
   Internet-based TRS if they do not assess specific charges for long
   distance calling.

   (4) TRS facilities. (i) TRS shall operate every day, 24 hours a day.
   Relay services that are not mandated by this Commission need not be
   provided every day, 24 hours a day, except VRS.

   (ii) TRS shall have redundancy features functionally equivalent to the
   equipment in normal central offices, including uninterruptible power
   for emergency use.

   (iii) A VRS CA may not handle VRS calls from a location primarily used
   as his or her home unless as part of the voluntary at-home VRS call
   handling pilot program as provided for by paragraph (b)(8) of this
   section.

   (iv) A VRS provider leasing or licensing an automatic call distribution
   (ACD) platform must have a written lease or license agreement. Such
   lease or license agreement may not include any revenue sharing
   agreement or compensation based upon minutes of use. In addition, if
   any such lease is between two eligible VRS providers, the lessee or
   licensee must locate the ACD platform on its own premises and must
   utilize its own employees to manage the ACD platform.

   (5) Technology. No regulation set forth in this subpart is intended to
   discourage or impair the development of improved technology that
   fosters the availability of telecommunications to person with
   disabilities. TRS facilities are permitted to use SS7 technology or any
   other type of similar technology to enhance the functional equivalency
   and quality of TRS. TRS facilities that utilize SS7 technology shall be
   subject to the Calling Party Telephone Number rules set forth at 47 CFR
   64.1600 et seq.

   (6) Caller ID. When a TRS facility is able to transmit any calling
   party identifying information to the public network, the TRS facility
   must pass through, to the called party, at least one of the following:
   the number of the TRS facility, 711, or the 10-digit number of the
   calling party.

   (7) STS 711 Calls. An STS provider shall, at a minimum, employ the same
   means of enabling an STS user to connect to a CA when dialing 711 that
   the provider uses for all other forms of TRS. When a CA directly
   answers an incoming 711 call, the CA shall transfer the STS user to an
   STS CA without requiring the STS user to take any additional steps.
   When an interactive voice response (IVR) system answers an incoming 711
   call, the IVR system shall allow for an STS user to connect directly to
   an STS CA using the same level of prompts as the IVR system uses for
   all other forms of TRS.

   (8) Voluntary at-home VRS call handling pilot program. Any VRS provider
   that holds a conditional or full certification to receive compensation
   from the TRS Fund pursuant to § 64.606 as of March 23, 2017 may
   participate in the voluntary at-home VRS call handling pilot program.
   The pilot program shall be in effect for one year, for service provided
   by participants beginning November 1, 2017, and ending October 31,
   2018.

   (i) Notification of intent to participate. A VRS provider seeking to
   participate in the pilot program shall notify the Commission of its
   intent to participate on or before September 1, 2017, and shall include
   in such notification a detailed plan demonstrating that the VRS
   provider intends to achieve compliance with the mandatory minimum
   standards applicable to VRS and with the safeguards enumerated in this
   paragraph (b)(8). Plans submitted by VRS providers shall specify the
   following:

   (A) A description of the screening process used to select CAs for the
   at-home call handling program;

   (B) A description of specific training to be provided for at-home CAs;

   (C) A description of the protocols and CA expectations developed for
   the at-home call handling program;

   (D) A description of the grounds for dismissing a CA from the at-home
   program and the process for such termination in the event that the CA
   fails to adhere to applicable requirements;

   (E) A description of all steps that will be taken to install a
   workstation in a CA's home, including evaluations that will be
   performed to ensure all workstations are sufficiently secure and
   equipped to prevent eavesdropping and outside interruptions;

   (F) A description of the monitoring technology to be used by the
   provider to ensure that off-site supervision approximates the level of
   supervision at the provider's call center;

   (G) An explanation of how the provider's workstations will connect to
   the provider's network, including how they will be integrated into the
   call center routing, distribution, tracking, and support systems, and
   how the provider will ensure system redundancy in the event of service
   disruptions in at-home workstations;

   (H) A signed certification by an officer of the provider that the
   provider will conduct random and unannounced inspections of at least
   five percent (5%) of all at-home workstations during the pilot program;
   and

   (I) A commitment to comply with all other safeguards enumerated in this
   paragraph (b)(8) and the applicable rules in this chapter governing
   TRS.

   (ii) Authorization for at-home VRS call handling. Upon Commission
   approval of a VRS provider's plan, the provider may conduct at-home VRS
   call handling during the period of the pilot program. The Commission
   may cancel such approval if a VRS provider fails to comply with any of
   the safeguards enumerated in this paragraph (b)(8) or other applicable
   mandatory minimum TRS standards. VRS providers may be subject to
   withholding, forfeitures, and penalties for noncompliant minutes
   handled by at-home workstations, as is the case for non-compliant
   minutes handled by call centers.

   (iii) Limit on minutes handled. In any month of the program, a VRS
   provider may be compensated for minutes served by at-home CA
   workstations up to a maximum of either thirty percent (30%) of a VRS
   provider's total minutes for which compensation is paid in that month
   or thirty percent (30%) of the provider's average monthly minutes for
   the 12 months ending October 31, 2017, whichever is greater.

   (iv) Personnel safeguards. Before permitting CAs to handle VRS calls
   from at-home workstations, VRS providers shall:

   (A) Ensure that each CA handling calls from an at-home workstation has
   the experience, skills, and knowledge necessary to effectively
   interpret from these workstations, including a thorough understanding
   of the TRS mandatory minimum standards and at least three years of
   experience as a call center CA.

   (B) Establish protocols for the handling of calls from at-home
   workstations (to the extent there are additional protocols that differ
   from those applicable to the provider's call centers) and provide
   training to at-home CAs on such protocols, in addition to all
   applicable training that is required of CAs working from call centers.

   (C) Provide each CA working from an at-home workstation equivalent
   support to that provided to CAs working from call centers, as needed to
   effectively handle calls, including, where appropriate, the opportunity
   to team interpret and consult with supervisors, and ensure that
   supervisors are readily available to a CA working from home to resolve
   problems that may arise during a relay call, such as difficulty in
   understanding a VRS user's signs, the need for added support for
   emergency calls, and relieving a CA in the event of the CA's sudden
   illness.

   (D) Establish grounds for dismissing a CA from the at-home VRS call
   handling program (i.e., for noncompliance with the standards and
   safeguards enumerated in this paragraph (b)(8) and the rules governing
   TRS), including a process for such termination in the event that the CA
   fails to adhere to these requirements, and provide such grounds and
   process in writing to each CA participating in the pilot program.

   (E) Obtain from each CA handling calls from an at-home workstation a
   certification in writing of the CA's understanding of and commitment to
   complying with the rules in this chapter governing TRS, including rules
   governing caller confidentiality and fraud prevention, and the CA's
   understanding of the reasons and process for dismissal from the at-home
   VRS call handling program.

   (v) Technical and environmental safeguards. Participating VRS providers
   shall ensure that each home environment used for at-home VRS call
   handling enables the provision of confidential and uninterrupted
   services to the same extent as the provider's call centers and is
   seamlessly integrated into the provider's call routing, distribution,
   tracking, and support systems. VRS providers shall ensure that each
   at-home workstation:

   (A) Resides in a separate, secure location in the CA's home, where
   access is restricted solely to the CA;

   (B) Allows a CA to use all call-handling technology to the same extent
   as other CAs, including the ability to transition a non-emergency call
   to an emergency call, engage in virtual teaming with another CA, and
   allow supervisors to communicate with and oversee calls;

   (C) Is capable of supporting VRS in compliance with the applicable
   mandatory minimum technical and emergency call handling standards to
   the same degree as these are available at call centers, including the
   ability to route VRS calls around individual CA workstations in the
   event the CA experiences a network outage or other service
   interruption;

   (D) Is equipped with an effective means to prevent eavesdropping, such
   as white noise emitters or soundproofing, and to ensure that
   interruptions from noises outside the room do not adversely affect a
   CA's ability to interpret a call accurately and effectively; and

   (E) Is connected to the provider's network over a secure connection to
   ensure caller privacy.

   (vi) Monitoring and oversight obligations. VRS providers shall:

   (A) Inspect and approve each at-home workstation before activating a
   CA's workstation for use;

   (B) Assign a unique call center identification number (ID) to each VRS
   at-home workstation and use this call center ID to identify all minutes
   handled from each such workstation in its call detail records submitted
   monthly to the TRS Fund administrator;

   (C) Equip each at-home workstation with monitoring technology
   sufficient to ensure that off-site supervision approximates the level
   of supervision at the provider's call center, including the ability to
   monitor both ends of a call, i.e., video and audio, to the same extent
   as is possible in a call center, and regularly analyze the records and
   data produced by such monitoring to proactively address possible waste,
   fraud, and abuse;

   (D) Keep all records pertaining to at-home workstations, including the
   data produced by any at-home workstation monitoring technology, except
   for any data that records the content of an interpreted conversation,
   for a minimum of five years; and

   (E) Conduct random and unannounced inspections of at least five percent
   (5%) of all at-home workstations during the pilot program.

   (vii) Commission audits and inspections. At-home workstations and
   workstation records shall be subject to review, audit, and inspection
   by the Commission and the Fund administrator and unannounced on-site
   inspections by the Commission to the same extent as other call centers
   and call center records subject to the rules in this chapter.

   (viii) Monthly reports. Each participating VRS provider shall report
   the following information to the TRS Fund administrator with its
   monthly requests for compensation:

   (A) The call center ID and full street address (number, street, city,
   state, and zip code) for each at-home workstation and the CA ID number
   for each individual handling VRS calls from that workstation; and

   (B) The location and call center IDs of call centers providing
   supervision for at-home workstations, plus the names of persons at such
   call centers responsible for oversight of such workstations.

   (ix) Six-month report. Each participating VRS provider shall submit, no
   later than seven months after the start of its program, a report
   covering the first six months of its program, containing the following
   information:

   (A) A description of the actual screening process used to select CAs
   for the at-home call handling program;

   (B) Copies of training materials provided to at-home CAs;

   (C) Copies of written protocols used for CAs working from home;

   (D) The total number of CAs handling VRS calls from at-home
   workstations over the first six months of the program;

   (E) The number of 911 calls handled by the provider's at-home
   workstations;

   (F) A description and copies of any surveys or evaluations taken of CAs
   concerning their experience using at-home workstations and
   participating in an at-home call handling program;

   (G) The total number of CAs terminated from the program;

   (H) The total number of complaints, if any, submitted to the provider
   regarding its at-home call handling program or calls handled by at-home
   CAs;

   (I) The total number of on-site inspections conducted of at-home
   workstations and the date and location of each inspection;

   (J) A description of the monitoring technology used to monitor CAs
   working at home and an analysis of the experience of supervisors
   overseeing at-home CAs compared to overseeing CAs in a call center;

   (K) Copies of any reports produced by tracking software and a
   description explaining how the provider analyzed the reports for
   anomalies; and

   (L) Detailed documentation of costs incurred in the use of at-home
   workstations, including any costs associated with CA recruitment,
   training, and compensation, engineering and technical set-up (including
   workstation set-up), and administrative and management support
   (including oversight, evaluation, and recording).

   (c) Functional standards—(1) Consumer complaint logs. (i) States and
   interstate providers must maintain a log of consumer complaints
   including all complaints about TRS in the state, whether filed with the
   TRS provider or the State, and must retain the log until the next
   application for certification is granted. The log shall include, at a
   minimum, the date the complaint was filed, the nature of the complaint,
   the date of resolution, and an explanation of the resolution.

   (ii) Beginning July 1, 2002, states and TRS providers shall submit
   summaries of logs indicating the number of complaints received for the
   12-month period ending May 31 to the Commission by July 1 of each year.
   Summaries of logs submitted to the Commission on July 1, 2001 shall
   indicate the number of complaints received from the date of OMB
   approval through May 31, 2001.

   (2) Contact persons. Beginning on June 30, 2000, State TRS Programs,
   interstate TRS providers, and TRS providers that have state contracts
   must submit to the Commission a contact person and/or office for TRS
   consumer information and complaints about a certified State TRS
   Program's provision of intrastate TRS, or, as appropriate, about the
   TRS provider's service. This submission must include, at a minimum, the
   following:

   (i) The name and address of the office that receives complaints,
   grievances, inquiries, and suggestions;

   (ii) Voice and TTY telephone numbers, fax number, e-mail address, and
   web address; and

   (iii) The physical address to which correspondence should be sent.

   (3) Public access to information. Carriers, through publication in
   their directories, periodic billing inserts, placement of TRS
   instructions in telephone directories, through directory assistance
   services, and incorporation of TTY numbers in telephone directories,
   shall assure that callers in their service areas are aware of the
   availability and use of all forms of TRS. Efforts to educate the public
   about TRS should extend to all segments of the public, including
   individuals who are hard of hearing, speech disabled, and senior
   citizens as well as members of the general population. In addition,
   each common carrier providing telephone voice transmission services
   shall conduct, not later than October 1, 2001, ongoing education and
   outreach programs that publicize the availability of 711 access to TRS
   in a manner reasonably designed to reach the largest number of
   consumers possible.

   (4) Rates. TRS users shall pay rates no greater than the rates paid for
   functionally equivalent voice communication services with respect to
   such factors as the duration of the call, the time of day, and the
   distance from the point of origination to the point of termination.

   (5) Jurisdictional separation of costs—(i) General. Where appropriate,
   costs of providing TRS shall be separated in accordance with the
   jurisdictional separation procedures and standards set forth in the
   Commission's regulations adopted pursuant to section 410 of the
   Communications Act of 1934, as amended.

   (ii) Cost recovery. Costs caused by interstate TRS shall be recovered
   from all subscribers for every interstate service, utilizing a
   shared-funding cost recovery mechanism. Except as noted in this
   paragraph, with respect to VRS, costs caused by intrastate TRS shall be
   recovered from the intrastate jurisdiction. In a state that has a
   certified program under § 64.606, the state agency providing TRS shall,
   through the state's regulatory agency, permit a common carrier to
   recover costs incurred in providing TRS by a method consistent with the
   requirements of this section. Costs caused by the provision of
   interstate and intrastate VRS shall be recovered from all subscribers
   for every interstate service, utilizing a shared-funding cost recovery
   mechanism.

   (iii) Telecommunications Relay Services Fund. Effective July 26, 1993,
   an Interstate Cost Recovery Plan, hereinafter referred to as the TRS
   Fund, shall be administered by an entity selected by the Commission
   (administrator). The initial administrator, for an interim period, will
   be the National Exchange Carrier Association, Inc.

   (A) Contributions. Every carrier providing interstate
   telecommunications services (including interconnected VoIP service
   providers pursuant to § 64.601(b)) and every provider of
   non-interconnected VoIP service shall contribute to the TRS Fund on the
   basis of interstate end-user revenues as described herein.
   Contributions shall be made by all carriers who provide interstate
   services, including, but not limited to, cellular telephone and paging,
   mobile radio, operator services, personal communications service (PCS),
   access (including subscriber line charges), alternative access and
   special access, packet-switched, WATS, 800, 900, message telephone
   service (MTS), private line, telex, telegraph, video, satellite,
   intraLATA, international and resale services.

   (B) Contribution computations. Contributors' contributions to the TRS
   fund shall be the product of their subject revenues for the prior
   calendar year and a contribution factor determined annually by the
   Commission. The contribution factor shall be based on the ratio between
   expected TRS Fund expenses to the contributors' revenues subject to
   contribution. In the event that contributions exceed TRS payments and
   administrative costs, the contribution factor for the following year
   will be adjusted by an appropriate amount, taking into consideration
   projected cost and usage changes. In the event that contributions are
   inadequate, the fund administrator may request authority from the
   Commission to borrow funds commercially, with such debt secured by
   future years' contributions. Each subject contributor that has revenues
   subject to contribution must contribute at least $25 per year.
   Contributors whose annual contributions total less than $1,200 must pay
   the entire contribution at the beginning of the contribution period.
   Contributors whose contributions total $1,200 or more may divide their
   contributions into equal monthly payments. Contributors shall complete
   and submit, and contributions shall be based on, a “Telecommunications
   Reporting Worksheet” (as published by the Commission in the Federal
   Register). The worksheet shall be certified to by an officer of the
   contributor, and subject to verification by the Commission or the
   administrator at the discretion of the Commission. Contributors'
   statements in the worksheet shall be subject to the provisions of
   section 220 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. The fund
   administrator may bill contributors a separate assessment for
   reasonable administrative expenses and interest resulting from improper
   filing or overdue contributions. The Chief of the Consumer and
   Governmental Affairs Bureau may waive, reduce, modify or eliminate
   contributor reporting requirements that prove unnecessary and require
   additional reporting requirements that the Bureau deems necessary to
   the sound and efficient administration of the TRS Fund.

   (C) Registration Requirements for Providers of Non-Interconnected VoIP
   Service—(1)Applicability. A non-interconnected VoIP service provider
   that will provide interstate service that generates interstate end-user
   revenue that is subject to contribution to the Telecommunications Relay
   Service Fund shall file the registration information described in
   paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)(2) of this section in accordance with the
   procedures described in paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(C)(3) and
   (c)(5)(iii)(C)(4) of this section. Any non-interconnected VoIP service
   provider already providing interstate service that generates interstate
   end-user revenue that is subject to contribution to the
   Telecommunications Relay Service Fund on the effective date of these
   rules shall submit the relevant portion of its FCC Form 499-A in
   accordance with paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(C)(2) and (3) of this section.

   (2) Information required for purposes of TRS Fund contributions. A
   non-interconnected VoIP service provider that is subject to the
   registration requirement pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)(1) of
   this section shall provide the following information:

   (i) The provider's business name(s) and primary address;

   (ii) The names and business addresses of the provider's chief executive
   officer, chairman, and president, or, in the event that a provider does
   not have such executives, three similarly senior-level officials of the
   provider;

   (iii) The provider's regulatory contact and/or designated agent;

   (iv) All names that the provider has used in the past; and

   (v) The state(s) in which the provider provides such service.

   (3) Submission of registration. A provider that is subject to the
   registration requirement pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)(1) of
   this section shall submit the information described in paragraph
   (c)(5)(iii)(C)(2) of this section in accordance with the Instructions
   to FCC Form 499-A. FCC Form 499-A must be submitted under oath and
   penalty of perjury.

   (4) Changes in information. A provider must notify the Commission of
   any changes to the information provided pursuant to paragraph
   (c)(5)(iii)(C)(2) of this section within no more than one week of the
   change. Providers may satisfy this requirement by filing the relevant
   portion of FCC Form 499-A in accordance with the Instructions to such
   form.

   (D) Data collection and audits. (1) TRS providers seeking compensation
   from the TRS Fund shall provide the administrator with true and
   adequate data, and other historical, projected and state rate related
   information reasonably requested to determine the TRS Fund revenue
   requirements and payments. TRS providers shall provide the
   administrator with the following: total TRS minutes of use, total
   interstate TRS minutes of use, total TRS investment in general in
   accordance with part 32 of this chapter, and other historical or
   projected information reasonably requested by the administrator for
   purposes of computing payments and revenue requirements. In annual cost
   data filings and supplementary information provided to the
   administrator regarding such cost data, IP CTS providers that contract
   for the supply of services used in the provision of TRS shall include
   information about payments under such contracts, classified according
   to the substantive cost categories specified by the administrator. To
   the extent that a third party's provision of services covers more than
   one cost category, the resubmitted cost reports must provide an
   explanation of how the provider determined or calculated the portion of
   contractual payments attributable to each cost category. To the extent
   that the administrator reasonably deems necessary, providers shall
   submit additional detail on such contractor expenses, including but not
   limited to complete copies of such contracts and related correspondence
   or other records and information relevant to determining the nature of
   the services provided and the allocation of the costs of such services
   to cost categories.

   (2) Call data required from all TRS providers. In addition to the data
   requested by paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)(1) of this section, TRS providers
   seeking compensation from the TRS Fund shall submit the following
   specific data associated with each TRS call for which compensation is
   sought:

   (i) The call record ID sequence;

   (ii) CA ID number;

   (iii) Session start and end times noted at a minimum to the nearest
   second;

   (iv) Conversation start and end times noted at a minimum to the nearest
   second;

   (v) Incoming telephone number and IP address (if call originates with
   an IP-based device) at the time of the call;

   (vi) Outbound telephone number (if call terminates to a telephone) and
   IP address (if call terminates to an IP-based device) at the time of
   call;

   (vii) Total conversation minutes;

   (viii) Total session minutes;

   (ix) The call center (by assigned center ID number) that handled the
   call; and

   (x) The URL address through which the call is initiated.

   (3) Additional call data required from Internet-based Relay Providers.
   In addition to the data required by paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)(2) of this
   section, Internet-based Relay Providers seeking compensation from the
   Fund shall submit speed of answer compliance data.

   (4) Providers submitting call record and speed of answer data in
   compliance with paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(C)(2) and (c)(5)(iii)(C)(3) of
   this section shall:

   (i) Employ an automated record keeping system to capture such data
   required pursuant to paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C)(2) of this section for
   each TRS call for which minutes are submitted to the fund administrator
   for compensation; and

   (ii) Submit such data electronically, in a standardized format. For
   purposes of this subparagraph, an automated record keeping system is a
   system that captures data in a computerized and electronic format that
   does not allow human intervention during the call session for either
   conversation or session time.

   (5) Certification. The chief executive officer (CEO), chief financial
   officer (CFO), or other senior executive of a TRS provider with first
   hand knowledge of the accuracy and completeness of the information
   provided, when submitting a request for compensation from the TRS Fund
   must, with each such request, certify as follows:

   I swear under penalty of perjury that:

   (i) I am ______ (name and title)______, an officer of the above-named
   reporting entity and that I have examined the foregoing reports and
   that all requested information has been provided and all statements of
   fact, as well as all cost and demand data contained in this Relay
   Services Data Request, are true and accurate; and

   (ii) The TRS calls for which compensation is sought were handled in
   compliance with Section 225 of the Communications Act and the
   Commission's rules and orders, and are not the result of impermissible
   financial incentives or payments to generate calls.

   (6) Audits. The Fund administrator and the Commission, including the
   Office of Inspector General, shall have the authority to examine and
   verify TRS provider data as necessary to assure the accuracy and
   integrity of TRS Fund payments. TRS providers must submit to audits
   annually or at times determined appropriate by the Commission, the fund
   administrator, or by an entity approved by the Commission for such
   purpose. A TRS provider that fails to submit to a requested audit, or
   fails to provide documentation necessary for verification upon
   reasonable request, will be subject to an automatic suspension of
   payment until it submits to the requested audit or provides sufficient
   documentation. In the course of an audit or otherwise upon demand, an
   IP CTS provider must make available any relevant documentation,
   including contracts with entities providing services or equipment
   directly related to the provision of IP CTS, to the Commission, the TRS
   Fund administrator, or any person authorized by the Commission or TRS
   Fund administrator to conduct an audit.

   (7) Call data record retention. Internet-based TRS providers shall
   retain the data required to be submitted by this section, and all other
   call detail records, other records that support their claims for
   payment from the TRS Fund, and records used to substantiate the costs
   and expense data submitted in the annual relay service data request
   form, in an electronic format that is easily retrievable, for a minimum
   of five years.

   (E) Payments to TRS providers. (1) TRS Fund payments shall be
   distributed to TRS providers based on formulas approved or modified by
   the Commission. The administrator shall file schedules of payment
   formulas with the Commission. Such formulas shall be designed to
   compensate TRS providers for reasonable costs of providing interstate
   TRS, and shall be subject to Commission approval. Such formulas shall
   be based on total monthly interstate TRS minutes of use. The formulas
   should appropriately compensate interstate providers for the provision
   of TRS, whether intrastate or interstate.

   (2) TRS minutes of use for purposes of interstate cost recovery under
   the TRS Fund are defined as the minutes of use for completed interstate
   TRS calls placed through the TRS center beginning after call set-up and
   concluding after the last message call unit.

   (3) In addition to the data required under paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(C) of
   this section, all TRS providers, including providers who are not
   interexchange carriers, local exchange carriers, or certified state
   relay providers, must submit reports of interstate TRS minutes of use
   to the administrator in order to receive payments.

   (4) The administrator shall establish procedures to verify payment
   claims, and may suspend or delay payments to a TRS provider if the TRS
   provider fails to provide adequate verification of payment upon
   reasonable request, or if directed by the Commission to do so. The TRS
   Fund administrator shall make payments only to eligible TRS providers
   operating pursuant to the mandatory minimum standards as required in
   this section, and after disbursements to the administrator for
   reasonable expenses incurred by it in connection with TRS Fund
   administration. TRS providers receiving payments shall file a form
   prescribed by the administrator. The administrator shall fashion a form
   that is consistent with 47 CFR parts 32 and 36 procedures reasonably
   tailored to meet the needs of TRS providers.

   (5) The Commission shall have authority to audit providers and have
   access to all data, including carrier specific data, collected by the
   fund administrator. The fund administrator shall have authority to
   audit TRS providers reporting data to the administrator.

   (6) The administrator shall not be obligated to pay any request for
   compensation until it has been established as compensable. A request
   shall be established as compensable only after the administrator, in
   consultation with the Commission, or the Commission determines that the
   provider has met its burden to demonstrate that the claim is
   compensable under applicable Commission rules and the procedures
   established by the administrator. Any request for compensation for
   which payment has been suspended or withheld in accordance with
   paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(L) of this section shall not be established as
   compensable until the administrator, in consultation with the
   Commission, or the Commission determines that the request is
   compensable in accordance with paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(L)(4) of this
   section.

   (F) Eligibility for payment from the TRS Fund. (1) TRS providers,
   except Internet-based TRS providers, eligible for receiving payments
   from the TRS Fund must be:

   (i) TRS facilities operated under contract with and/or by certified
   state TRS programs pursuant to § 64.606; or

   (ii) TRS facilities owned or operated under contract with a common
   carrier providing interstate services operated pursuant to this
   section; or

   (iii) Interstate common carriers offering TRS pursuant to this section.

   (2) Internet-based TRS providers eligible for receiving payments from
   the TRS fund must be certified by the Commission pursuant to § 64.606.

   (G) Any eligible TRS provider as defined in paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(F) of
   this section shall notify the administrator of its intent to
   participate in the TRS Fund thirty (30) days prior to submitting
   reports of TRS interstate minutes of use in order to receive payment
   settlements for interstate TRS, and failure to file may exclude the TRS
   provider from eligibility for the year.

   (H) Administrator reporting, monitoring, and filing requirements. The
   administrator shall perform all filing and reporting functions required
   in paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(A) through (c)(5)(iii)(J) of this section.
   TRS payment formulas and revenue requirements shall be filed with the
   Commission on May 1 of each year, to be effective the following July 1.
   The administrator shall report annually to the Commission an
   itemization of monthly administrative costs which shall consist of all
   expenses, receipts, and payments associated with the administration of
   the TRS Fund. The administrator is required to keep the TRS Fund
   separate from all other funds administered by the administrator, shall
   file a cost allocation manual (CAM) and shall provide the Commission
   full access to all data collected pursuant to the administration of the
   TRS Fund. The administrator shall account for the financial
   transactions of the TRS Fund in accordance with generally accepted
   accounting principles for federal agencies and maintain the accounts of
   the TRS Fund in accordance with the United States Government Standard
   General Ledger. When the administrator, or any independent auditor
   hired by the administrator, conducts audits of providers of services
   under the TRS program or contributors to the TRS Fund, such audits
   shall be conducted in accordance with generally accepted government
   auditing standards. In administering the TRS Fund, the administrator
   shall also comply with all relevant and applicable federal financial
   management and reporting statutes. The administrator shall establish a
   non-paid voluntary advisory committee of persons from the hearing and
   speech disability community, TRS users (voice and text telephone),
   interstate service providers, state representatives, and TRS providers,
   which will meet at reasonable intervals (at least semi-annually) in
   order to monitor TRS cost recovery matters. Each group shall select its
   own representative to the committee. The administrator's annual report
   shall include a discussion of the advisory committee deliberations.

   (I) Information filed with the administrator. The Chief Executive
   Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO), or other senior executive
   of a provider submitting minutes to the Fund for compensation must, in
   each instance, certify, under penalty of perjury, that the minutes were
   handled in compliance with section 225 and the Commission's rules and
   orders, and are not the result of impermissible financial incentives or
   payments to generate calls. The CEO, CFO, or other senior executive of
   a provider submitting cost and demand data to the TRS Fund
   administrator shall certify under penalty of perjury that such
   information is true and correct. The administrator shall keep all data
   obtained from contributors and TRS providers confidential and shall not
   disclose such data in company-specific form unless directed to do so by
   the Commission. Subject to any restrictions imposed by the Chief of the
   Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, the TRS Fund administrator
   may share data obtained from carriers with the administrators of the
   universal support mechanisms (see § 54.701 of this chapter), the North
   American Numbering Plan administration cost recovery (see § 52.16 of
   this chapter), and the long-term local number portability cost recovery
   (see § 52.32 of this chapter). The TRS Fund administrator shall keep
   confidential all data obtained from other administrators. The
   administrator shall not use such data except for purposes of
   administering the TRS Fund, calculating the regulatory fees of
   interstate common carriers, and aggregating such fee payments for
   submission to the Commission. The Commission shall have access to all
   data reported to the administrator, and authority to audit TRS
   providers. Contributors may make requests for Commission nondisclosure
   of company-specific revenue information under § 0.459 of this chapter by
   so indicating on the Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet at the time
   that the subject data are submitted. The Commission shall make all
   decisions regarding nondisclosure of company-specific information.

   (J) [Reserved]

   (K) All parties providing services or contributions or receiving
   payments under this section are subject to the enforcement provisions
   specified in the Communications Act, the Americans with Disabilities
   Act, and the Commission's rules.

   (L) Procedures for the suspension/withholding of payment. (1) The Fund
   administrator will continue the current practice of reviewing monthly
   requests for compensation of TRS minutes of use within two months after
   they are filed with the Fund administrator.

   (2) If the Fund administrator in consultation with the Commission, or
   the Commission on its own accord, determines that payments for certain
   minutes should be withheld, a TRS provider will be notified within two
   months from the date for the request for compensation was filed, as to
   why its claim for compensation has been withheld in whole or in part.
   TRS providers then will be given two additional months from the date of
   notification to provide additional justification for payment of such
   minutes of use. Such justification should be sufficiently detailed to
   provide the Fund administrator and the Commission the information
   needed to evaluate whether the minutes of use in dispute are
   compensable. If a TRS provider does not respond, or does not respond
   with sufficiently detailed information within two months after
   notification that payment for minutes of use is being withheld, payment
   for the minutes of use in dispute will be denied permanently.

   (3) If, the TRS provider submits additional justification for payment
   of the minutes of use in dispute within two months after being notified
   that its initial justification was insufficient, the Fund administrator
   or the Commission will review such additional justification
   documentation, and may ask further questions or conduct further
   investigation to evaluate whether to pay the TRS provider for the
   minutes of use in dispute, within eight months after submission of such
   additional justification.

   (4) If the provider meets its burden to establish that the minutes in
   question are compensable under the Commission's rules, the Fund
   administrator will compensate the provider for such minutes of use. Any
   payment by the Commission will not preclude any future action by either
   the Commission or the U.S. Department of Justice to recover past
   payments (regardless of whether the payment was the subject of
   withholding) if it is determined at any time that such payment was for
   minutes billed to the Commission in violation of the Commission's rules
   or any other civil or criminal law.

   (5) If the Commission determines that the provider has not met its
   burden to demonstrate that the minutes of use in dispute are
   compensable under the Commission's rules, payment will be permanently
   denied. The Fund administrator or the Commission will notify the
   provider of this decision within one year of the initial request for
   payment.

   (6) If the VRS provider submits a waiver request asserting exigent
   circumstances affecting one or more call centers that will make it
   highly improbable that the VRS provider will meet the speed-of-answer
   standard for call attempts occurring in a period of time identified by
   beginning and ending dates, the Fund administrator shall not withhold
   TRS Fund payments for a VRS provider's failure to meet the
   speed-of-answer standard during the identified period of time while the
   waiver request is under review by the Commission. In the event that the
   waiver request is denied, the speed-of-answer requirement is not met,
   and payment has been made to the provider from the TRS Fund for the
   identified period of time or a portion thereof, the provider shall
   return such payment to the TRS Fund for any period of time when the
   speed-of-answer requirement was not met.

   (M) Whistleblower protections. Providers shall not take any reprisal in
   the form of a personnel action against any current or former employee
   or contractor who discloses to a designated manager of the provider,
   the Commission, the TRS Fund administrator or to any Federal or state
   law enforcement entity, any information that the reporting person
   reasonably believes evidences known or suspected violations of the
   Communications Act or TRS regulations, or any other activity that the
   reporting person reasonably believes constitutes waste, fraud, or
   abuse, or that otherwise could result in the improper billing of
   minutes of use to the TRS Fund and discloses that information to a
   designated manager of the provider, the Commission, the TRS Fund
   administrator or to any Federal or state law enforcement entity.
   Providers shall provide an accurate and complete description of these
   TRS whistleblower protections, including the right to notify the FCC's
   Office of Inspector General or its Enforcement Bureau, to all employees
   and contractors, in writing. Providers that already disseminate their
   internal business policies to its employees in writing (e.g. in
   employee handbooks, policies and procedures manuals, or bulletin board
   postings—either online or in hard copy) must include an accurate and
   complete description of these TRS whistleblower protections in those
   written materials.

   (N) In addition to the provisions set forth above, VRS providers shall
   be subject to the following provisions:

   (1) Eligibility for reimbursement from the TRS Fund. (i) Only an
   eligible VRS provider, as defined in paragraph (c)(5)(iii)(F) of this
   section, may hold itself out to the general public as providing VRS.

   (ii) VRS service must be offered under the name by which the eligible
   VRS provider offering such service became certified and in a manner
   that clearly identifies that provider of the service. Where a TRS
   provider also utilizes sub-brands to identify its VRS, each sub-brand
   must clearly identify the eligible VRS provider. Providers must route
   all VRS calls through a single URL address used for each name or
   sub-brand used.

   (iii) An eligible VRS provider may not contract with or otherwise
   authorize any third party to provide interpretation services or call
   center functions (including call distribution, call routing, call
   setup, mapping, call features, billing, and registration) on its
   behalf, unless that authorized third party also is an eligible
   provider.

   (iv) To the extent that an eligible VRS provider contracts with or
   otherwise authorizes a third party to provide any other services or
   functions related to the provision of VRS other than interpretation
   services or call center functions, that third party must not hold
   itself out as a provider of VRS, and must clearly identify the eligible
   VRS provider to the public. To the extent an eligible VRS provider
   contracts with or authorizes a third party to provide any services or
   functions related to marketing or outreach, and such services utilize
   VRS, those VRS minutes are not compensable on a per minute basis from
   the TRS fund.

   (v) All third-party contracts or agreements entered into by an eligible
   provider must be in writing. Copies of such agreements shall be made
   available to the Commission and to the TRS Fund administrator upon
   request.

   (2) Call center reports. VRS providers shall file a written report with
   the Commission and the TRS Fund administrator, on April 1st and October
   1st of each year for each call center that handles VRS calls that the
   provider owns or controls, including centers located outside of the
   United States, that includes:

   (i) The complete street address of the center;

   (ii) The number of individual CAs and CA managers; and

   (iii) The name and contact information (phone number and e-mail
   address) of the manager(s) at the center. VRS providers shall also file
   written notification with the Commission and the TRS Fund administrator
   of any change in a center's location, including the opening, closing,
   or relocation of any center, at least 30 days prior to any such change.

   (3) Compensation of CAs. VRS providers may not compensate, give a
   preferential work schedule or otherwise benefit a CA in any manner that
   is based upon the number of VRS minutes or calls that the CA relays,
   either individually or as part of a group.

   (4) Remote training session calls. VRS calls to a remote training
   session or a comparable activity will not be compensable from the TRS
   Fund when the provider submitting minutes for such a call has been
   involved, in any manner, with such a training session. Such prohibited
   involvement includes training programs or comparable activities in
   which the provider or any affiliate or related party thereto, including
   but not limited to its subcontractors, partners, employees or
   sponsoring organizations or entities, has any role in arranging,
   scheduling, sponsoring, hosting, conducting or promoting such programs
   or activities.

   (6) Complaints—(i) Referral of complaint. If a complaint to the
   Commission alleges a violation of this subpart with respect to
   intrastate TRS within a state and certification of the program of such
   state under § 64.606 is in effect, the Commission shall refer such
   complaint to such state expeditiously.

   (ii) Intrastate complaints shall be resolved by the state within 180
   days after the complaint is first filed with a state entity, regardless
   of whether it is filed with the state relay administrator, a state PUC,
   the relay provider, or with any other state entity.

   (iii) Jurisdiction of Commission. After referring a complaint to a
   state entity under paragraph (c)(6)(i) of this section, or if a
   complaint is filed directly with a state entity, the Commission shall
   exercise jurisdiction over such complaint only if:

   (A) Final action under such state program has not been taken within:

   (1) 180 days after the complaint is filed with such state entity; or

   (2) A shorter period as prescribed by the regulations of such state; or

   (B) The Commission determines that such state program is no longer
   qualified for certification under § 64.606.

   (iv) The Commission shall resolve within 180 days after the complaint
   is filed with the Commission any interstate TRS complaint alleging a
   violation of section 225 of the Act or any complaint involving
   intrastate relay services in states without a certified program. The
   Commission shall resolve intrastate complaints over which it exercises
   jurisdiction under paragraph (c)(6)(iii) of this section within 180
   days.

   (v) Complaint procedures. Complaints against TRS providers for alleged
   violations of this subpart may be either informal or formal.

   (A) Informal complaints—(1) Form. An informal complaint may be
   transmitted to the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau by any
   reasonable means, such as letter, facsimile transmission, telephone
   (voice/TRS/TTY), Internet e-mail, or some other method that would best
   accommodate a complainant's hearing or speech disability.

   (2) Content. An informal complaint shall include the name and address
   of the complainant; the name and address of the TRS provider against
   whom the complaint is made; a statement of facts supporting the
   complainant's allegation that the TRS provided it has violated or is
   violating section 225 of the Act and/or requirements under the
   Commission's rules; the specific relief or satisfaction sought by the
   complainant; and the complainant's preferred format or method of
   response to the complaint by the Commission and the defendant TRS
   provider (such as letter, facsimile transmission, telephone
   (voice/TRS/TTY), Internet e-mail, or some other method that would best
   accommodate the complainant's hearing or speech disability).

   (3) Service; designation of agents. The Commission shall promptly
   forward any complaint meeting the requirements of this subsection to
   the TRS provider named in the complaint. Such TRS provider shall be
   called upon to satisfy or answer the complaint within the time
   specified by the Commission. Every TRS provider shall file with the
   Commission a statement designating an agent or agents whose principal
   responsibility will be to receive all complaints, inquiries, orders,
   decisions, and notices and other pronouncements forwarded by the
   Commission. Such designation shall include a name or department
   designation, business address, telephone number (voice and TTY),
   facsimile number and, if available, internet e-mail address.

   (B) Review and disposition of informal complaints. (1) Where it appears
   from the TRS provider's answer, or from other communications with the
   parties, that an informal complaint has been satisfied, the Commission
   may, in its discretion, consider the matter closed without response to
   the complainant or defendant. In all other cases, the Commission shall
   inform the parties of its review and disposition of a complaint filed
   under this subpart. Where practicable, this information shall be
   transmitted to the complainant and defendant in the manner requested by
   the complainant (e.g., letter, facsmile transmission, telephone
   (voice/TRS/TTY) or Internet e-mail.

   (2) A complainant unsatisfied with the defendant's response to the
   informal complaint and the staff's decision to terminate action on the
   informal complaint may file a formal complaint with the Commission
   pursuant to paragraph (c)(6)(v)(C) of this section.

   (C) Formal complaints. A formal complaint shall be in writing,
   addressed to the Federal Communications Commission, Enforcement Bureau,
   Telecommunications Consumer Division, Washington, DC 20554 and shall
   contain:

   (1) The name and address of the complainant,

   (2) The name and address of the defendant against whom the complaint is
   made,

   (3) A complete statement of the facts, including supporting data, where
   available, showing that such defendant did or omitted to do anything in
   contravention of this subpart, and

   (4) The relief sought.

   (D) Amended complaints. An amended complaint setting forth
   transactions, occurrences or events which have happened since the
   filing of the original complaint and which relate to the original cause
   of action may be filed with the Commission.

   (E) Number of copies. An original and two copies of all pleadings shall
   be filed.

   (F) Service. (1) Except where a complaint is referred to a state
   pursuant to § 64.604(c)(6)(i), or where a complaint is filed directly
   with a state entity, the Commission will serve on the named party a
   copy of any complaint or amended complaint filed with it, together with
   a notice of the filing of the complaint. Such notice shall call upon
   the defendant to satisfy or answer the complaint in writing within the
   time specified in said notice of complaint.

   (2) All subsequent pleadings and briefs shall be served by the filing
   party on all other parties to the proceeding in accordance with the
   requirements of § 1.47 of this chapter. Proof of such service shall also
   be made in accordance with the requirements of said section.

   (G) Answers to complaints and amended complaints. Any party upon whom a
   copy of a complaint or amended complaint is served under this subpart
   shall serve an answer within the time specified by the Commission in
   its notice of complaint. The answer shall advise the parties and the
   Commission fully and completely of the nature of the defense and shall
   respond specifically to all material allegations of the complaint. In
   cases involving allegations of harm, the answer shall indicate what
   action has been taken or is proposed to be taken to stop the occurrence
   of such harm. Collateral or immaterial issues shall be avoided in
   answers and every effort should be made to narrow the issues. Matters
   alleged as affirmative defenses shall be separately stated and
   numbered. Any defendant failing to file and serve an answer within the
   time and in the manner prescribed may be deemed in default.

   (H) Replies to answers or amended answers. Within 10 days after service
   of an answer or an amended answer, a complainant may file and serve a
   reply which shall be responsive to matters contained in such answer or
   amended answer and shall not contain new matter. Failure to reply will
   not be deemed an admission of any allegation contained in such answer
   or amended answer.

   (I) Defective pleadings. Any pleading filed in a complaint proceeding
   that is not in substantial conformity with the requirements of the
   applicable rules in this subpart may be dismissed.

   (7) Treatment of TRS customer information. Beginning on July 21, 2000,
   all future contracts between the TRS administrator and the TRS vendor
   shall provide for the transfer of TRS customer profile data from the
   outgoing TRS vendor to the incoming TRS vendor. Such data must be
   disclosed in usable form at least 60 days prior to the provider's last
   day of service provision. Such data may not be used for any purpose
   other than to connect the TRS user with the called parties desired by
   that TRS user. Such information shall not be sold, distributed, shared
   or revealed in any other way by the relay center or its employees,
   unless compelled to do so by lawful order.

   (8) Incentives for use of IP CTS. (i) An IP CTS provider shall not
   offer or provide to any person or entity that registers to use IP CTS
   any form of direct or indirect incentives, financial or otherwise, to
   register for or use IP CTS.

   (ii) An IP CTS provider shall not offer or provide to a hearing health
   professional any direct or indirect incentives, financial or otherwise,
   that are tied to a consumer's decision to register for or use IP CTS.
   Where an IP CTS provider offers or provides IP CTS equipment, directly
   or indirectly, to a hearing health professional, and such professional
   makes or has the opportunity to make a profit on the sale of the
   equipment to consumers, such IP CTS provider shall be deemed to be
   offering or providing a form of incentive tied to a consumer's decision
   to register for or use IP CTS.

   (iii) Joint marketing arrangements between IP CTS providers and hearing
   health professionals shall be prohibited.

   (iv) For the purpose of this paragraph (c)(8), a hearing health
   professional is any medical or non-medical professional who advises
   consumers with regard to hearing disabilities.

   (v) Any IP CTS provider that does not comply with this paragraph (c)(8)
   shall be ineligible for compensation for such IP CTS from the TRS Fund.

   (9) IP CTS registration and certification requirements. (i) IP CTS
   providers must first obtain the following registration information from
   each consumer prior to requesting compensation from the TRS Fund for
   service provided to the consumer. The consumer's full name, date of
   birth, last four digits of the consumer's social security number,
   address and telephone number.

   (ii) Self-certification prior to August 28, 2014. IP CTS providers, in
   order to be eligible to receive compensation from the TRS Fund for
   providing IP CTS, also must first obtain a written certification from
   the consumer, and if obtained prior to August 28, 2014, such written
   certification shall attest that the consumer needs IP CTS to
   communicate in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability
   of a hearing individual to communicate using voice communication
   services. The certification must include the consumer's certification
   that:

   (A) The consumer has a hearing loss that necessitates IP CTS to
   communicate in a manner that is functionally equivalent to
   communication by conventional voice telephone users;

   (B) The consumer understands that the captioning service is provided by
   a live communications assistant; and

   (C) The consumer understands that the cost of IP CTS is funded by the
   TRS Fund.

   (iii) Self-certification on or after August 28, 2014. IP CTS providers
   must also first obtain from each consumer prior to requesting
   compensation from the TRS Fund for the consumer, a written
   certification from the consumer, and if obtained on or after August 28,
   2014, such certification shall state that:

   (A) The consumer has a hearing loss that necessitates use of captioned
   telephone service;

   (B) The consumer understands that the captioning on captioned telephone
   service is provided by a live communications assistant who listens to
   the other party on the line and provides the text on the captioned
   phone;

   (C) The consumer understands that the cost of captioning each Internet
   protocol captioned telephone call is funded through a federal program;
   and

   (D) The consumer will not permit, to the best of the consumer's
   ability, persons who have not registered to use Internet protocol
   captioned telephone service to make captioned telephone calls on the
   consumer's registered IP captioned telephone service or device.

   (iv) The certification required by paragraphs (c)(9)(ii) and (iii) of
   this section must be made on a form separate from any other agreement
   or form, and must include a separate consumer signature specific to the
   certification. Beginning on August 28, 2014, such certification shall
   be made under penalty of perjury. For purposes of this rule, an
   electronic signature, defined by the Electronic Signatures in Global
   and National Commerce Act, 15 U.S.C. 7001 et seq., as an electronic
   sound, symbol, or process, attached to or logically associated with a
   contract or other record and executed or adopted by a person with the
   intent to sign the record, has the same legal effect as a written
   signature.

   (v) Third-party certification prior to August 28, 2014. Where IP CTS
   equipment is or has been obtained by a consumer from an IP CTS
   provider, directly or indirectly, at no charge or for less than $75 and
   the consumer was registered in accordance with the requirements of
   paragraph (c)(9) of this section prior to August 28, 2014, the IP CTS
   provider must also obtain from each consumer prior to requesting
   compensation from the TRS Fund for the consumer, written certification
   provided and signed by an independent third-party professional, except
   as provided in paragraph (c)(9)(xi) of this section.

   (vi) To comply with paragraph (c)(9)(v) of this section, the
   independent professional providing certification must:

   (A) Be qualified to evaluate an individual's hearing loss in accordance
   with applicable professional standards, and may include, but are not
   limited to, community-based social service providers, hearing related
   professionals, vocational rehabilitation counselors, occupational
   therapists, social workers, educators, audiologists, speech
   pathologists, hearing instrument specialists, and doctors, nurses and
   other medical or health professionals;

   (B) Provide his or her name, title, and contact information, including
   address, telephone number, and email address; and

   (C) Certify in writing that the IP CTS user is an individual with
   hearing loss who needs IP CTS to communicate in a manner that is
   functionally equivalent to telephone service experienced by individuals
   without hearing disabilities.

   (vii) Third-party certification on or after August 28, 2014. Where IP
   CTS equipment is or has been obtained by a consumer from an IP CTS
   provider, directly or indirectly, at no charge or for less than $75,
   the consumer (in cases where the equipment was obtained directly from
   the IP CTS provider) has not subsequently paid $75 to the IP CTS
   provider for the equipment prior to the date the consumer is registered
   to use IP CTS, and the consumer is registered in accordance with the
   requirements of paragraph (c)(9) of this section on or after August 28,
   2014, the IP CTS provider must also, prior to requesting compensation
   from the TRS Fund for service to the consumer, obtain from each
   consumer written certification provided and signed by an independent
   third-party professional, except as provided in paragraph (c)(9)(xi) of
   this section.

   (viii) To comply with paragraph (c)(9)(vii) of this section, the
   independent third-party professional providing certification must:

   (A) Be qualified to evaluate an individual's hearing loss in accordance
   with applicable professional standards, and must be either a physician,
   audiologist, or other hearing related professional. Such professional
   shall not have been referred to the IP CTS user, either directly or
   indirectly, by any provider of TRS or any officer, director, partner,
   employee, agent, subcontractor, or sponsoring organization or entity
   (collectively “affiliate”) of any TRS provider. Nor shall the third
   party professional making such certification have any business, family
   or social relationship with the TRS provider or any affiliate of the
   TRS provider from which the consumer is receiving or will receive
   service.

   (B) Provide his or her name, title, and contact information, including
   address, telephone number, and email address.

   (C) Certify in writing, under penalty of perjury, that the IP CTS user
   is an individual with hearing loss that necessitates use of captioned
   telephone service and that the third party professional understands
   that the captioning on captioned telephone service is provided by a
   live communications assistant and is funded through a federal program.

   (ix) In instances where the consumer has obtained IP CTS equipment from
   a local, state, or federal governmental program, the consumer may
   present documentation to the IP CTS provider demonstrating that the
   equipment was obtained through one of these programs, in lieu of
   providing an independent, third-party certification under paragraphs
   (c)(9)(v) and (vii) of this section.

   (x) Each IP CTS provider shall maintain records of any registration and
   certification information for a period of at least five years after the
   consumer ceases to obtain service from the provider and shall maintain
   the confidentiality of such registration and certification information,
   and may not disclose such registration and certification information or
   the content of such registration and certification information except
   as required by law or regulation.

   (xi) IP CTS providers must obtain registration information and
   certification of hearing loss from all IP CTS users who began receiving
   service prior to March 7, 2013, within 180 days following August 28,
   2014. Notwithstanding any other provision of paragraph (c)(9) of this
   section, IP CTS providers shall be compensated for compensable minutes
   of use generated prior to February 24, 2015 by any such users, but
   shall not receive compensation for minutes of IP CTS use generated on
   or after February 24, 2015 by any IP CTS user who has not been
   registered.

   (10) IP CTS settings. Each IP CTS provider shall ensure that, for each
   IP CTS device it distributes, directly or indirectly:

   (i) The device includes a button, key, icon, or other comparable
   feature that is easily operable and requires only one step for the
   consumer to turn on captioning; and

   (ii) On or after December 8, 2018, any volume control or other
   amplification feature can be adjusted separately and independently of
   the caption feature.

   (11)(i)[Reserved]

   (ii) No person shall use IP CTS equipment or software with the
   captioning on, unless:

   (A) Such person is registered to use IP CTS pursuant to paragraph
   (c)(9) of this section; or

   (B) Such person was an existing IP CTS user as of March 7, 2013, and
   either paragraph (c)(9)(xi) of this section is not yet in effect or the
   registration deadline in paragraph (c)(9)(xi) of this section has not
   yet passed.

   (iii) IP CTS providers shall ensure that any newly distributed IP CTS
   equipment has a label on its face in a conspicuous location with the
   following language in a clearly legible font: “FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS
   ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING THIS DEVICE
   WITH THE CAPTIONS ON.” For IP CTS equipment already distributed to
   consumers by any IP CTS provider as of July 11, 2014, such provider
   shall, no later than August 11, 2014, distribute to consumers equipment
   labels with the same language as mandated by this paragraph for newly
   distributed equipment, along with clear and specific instructions
   directing the consumer to attach such labels to the face of their IP
   CTS equipment in a conspicuous location. For software applications on
   mobile phones, laptops, tablets, computers or other similar devices, IP
   CTS providers shall ensure that, each time the consumer logs into the
   application, the notification language required by this paragraph
   appears in a conspicuous location on the device screen immediately
   after log-in.

   (iv) IP CTS providers shall maintain, with each consumer's registration
   records, records describing any IP CTS equipment provided, directly or
   indirectly, to such consumer, stating the amount paid for such
   equipment, and stating whether the label required by paragraph
   (c)(11)(iii) of this section was affixed to such equipment prior to its
   provision to the consumer. For consumers to whom IP CTS equipment was
   provided directly or indirectly prior to the effective date of this
   paragraph (c)(11), such records shall state whether and when the label
   required by paragraph (c)(11)(iii) of this section was distributed to
   such consumer. Such records shall be maintained for a minimum period of
   five years after the consumer ceases to obtain service from the
   provider.

   (v) IP CTS providers shall ensure that their informational materials
   and websites used to market, advertise, educate, or otherwise inform
   consumers and professionals about IP CTS include the following language
   in a prominent location in a clearly legible font: “FEDERAL LAW
   PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING
   INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED
   ON. IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The
   operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says.
   These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each
   minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund.”
   For IP CTS provider websites, the language shall be included on the
   website's home page, each page that provides consumer information about
   IP CTS, and each page that provides information on how to order IP CTS
   or IP CTS equipment. IP CTS providers that do not make any use of live
   CAs to generate captions may shorten the notice to leave out the
   second, third, and fourth sentences.

   (12) Discrimination and preferences. A VRS provider shall not:

   (i) Directly or indirectly, by any means or device, engage in any
   unjust or unreasonable discrimination related to practices, facilities,
   or services for or in connection with like relay service,

   (ii) Engage in or give any undue or unreasonable preference or
   advantage to any particular person, class of persons, or locality, or

   (ii) Subject any particular person, class of persons, or locality to
   any undue or unreasonable prejudice or disadvantage.

   (13) Unauthorized and unnecessary use of VRS or IP CTS. (i) A VRS or IP
   CTS provider shall not engage in any practice that the provider knows
   or has reason to know will cause or encourage:

   (A) False or unverified claims for TRS Fund compensation;

   (B) Unauthorized use of VRS or IP CTS;

   (C) The making of VRS or IP CTS calls that would not otherwise be made;
   or

   (D) The use of VRS or IP CTS by persons who do not need the service in
   order to communicate in a functionally equivalent manner.

   (ii) A VRS or IP CTS provider shall not seek payment from the TRS Fund
   for any minutes of service it knows or has reason to know are resulting
   from the practices listed in paragraph (c)(13)(i) of this section or
   from the use of IP CTS by an individual who does not need captions to
   communicate in a functionally equivalent manner.

   (iii) Any VRS or IP CTS provider that becomes aware of any practices
   listed in paragraphs (c)(13)(i) or (ii) of this section being or having
   been committed by any person shall, as soon as practicable, report such
   practices to the Commission or the TRS Fund administrator.

   (iv) An IP CTS provider may complete and request compensation for IP
   CTS calls to or from unregistered users at a temporary, public IP CTS
   device set up in an emergency shelter. The IP CTS provider shall notify
   the TRS Fund administrator of the dates of activation and termination
   for such device.

   (14) TRS calls requiring the use of multiple CAs. The following types
   of calls that require multiple CAs for their handling are compensable
   from the TRS Fund:

   (i) VCO-to-VCO calls between multiple captioned telephone relay service
   users, multiple IP CTS users, or captioned telephone relay service
   users and IP CTS users;

   (ii) Calls between captioned telephone relay service or IP CTS users
   and TTY service users; and

   (iii) Calls between captioned telephone relay service or IP CTS users
   and VRS users.

   (d) Other standards. The applicable requirements of § § 64.605, 64.611,
   64.615, 64.617, 64.621, 64.631, 64.632, 64.5105, 64.5107, 64.5108,
   64.5109, and 64.5110 of this part are to be considered mandatory
   minimum standards.

   [ 65 FR 38436 , June 21, 2000]

   Editorial Note: For Federal Register citations affecting § 64.604, see
   the List of CFR Sections Affected, which appears in the Finding Aids
   section of the printed volume and at www.fdsys.gov.

   Effective Date Note: At  83 FR 30087 , June 27, 2018, § 64.604 was amended
   by revising paragraphs (c)(5)(iii)(D)(1) and (6), adding paragraph
   (c)(11)(v), and revising paragraph (c)(13)(iii) and (iv). These
   paragraphs contain information collection and recordkeeping
   requirements and will not become effective until approval has been
   given by the Office of Management and Budget.

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