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Notice

Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals With Hearing and Speech Disabilities

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

Published Document

This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Notice.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Commission seeks comment on a petition for clarification filed by Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) requesting the Commission to clarify that the providers of American Sign Language (ASL)-to-Spanish Video Relay Service (VRS) are not required to offer the service 24 hours a day and 7 days a week to be eligible for compensation from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund (Fund).

DATES:

Comments are due on or before April 7, 2006. Reply comments are due on or before April 24, 2006.

ADDRESSES:

You may submit comments identified by CG Docket No. 03-123, by any of the following methods:

  • Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Federal Communications Commission's Web site: http://www.fcc.gov/​cgb/​ecfs/​. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.
  • Mail: Parties who choose to file by paper should also submit their comment on diskette. These diskettes should be submitted, along with three paper copies to Dana Jackson, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau, Disability Rights Office, 445 12th Street, SW., Room 3-C418, Washington, DC 20554. Such a submission should be on a 3.5 inch diskette formatted in an IBM compatible format using Word 97 or compatible software. The diskette should be accompanied by a cover letter and should be submitted in “read only” mode. The diskette should be clearly labeled with the commenter's name, proceeding (including the lead docket number in this case (CG Docket No. 03-123)), type of pleading (comment or reply comment), date of submission, and the name of the electronic file on the diskette. The label should also include the following phrase “Disk Copy—Not an Original.” Each diskette should contain only one party's pleadings, preferably in a single electronic file. In addition, commenters must send diskette copies to the Commission's contractor at Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554.
  • People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone (202) 418-0539 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.

For detailed instructions for submitting comments and additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Dana Jackson, (202) 418-2247 (voice), (202) 418-7989 (TTY), or e-mail Dana.Jackson@fcc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

On July 19, 2005, the Commission released Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, Order on Reconsideration, FCC 03-139, CC Docket No. 98-67 and CG Docket No. 03-123, which published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2005 (70 FR 51642), reversing its conclusion that translation from ASL into Spanish is not a TRS eligible for compensation from the Fund. Also, on July 19, 2005, the Commission released Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, Report and Order, FCC 05-140, CC Docket No. 98-67 and CG Docket No. 03-123, which published in the Federal Register on August 31, 2005 (70 FR 51649), establishing a mandatory speed of answer requirement for VRS, requiring VRS to be offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is a summary of the Commission's public notice DA 06-387, released February 22, 2006. Pursuant to §§ 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission rules, 47 CFR 1.415 and 1.419, interested parties may file comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document. Comments may be filed using: (1) The Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies. See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121, May 1, 1998.

  • Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/​cgb/​ecfs/​ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. Filers should follow the instructions provided on the Web site for submitting comments.
  • For ECFS filers, if multiple docket or rulemaking numbers appear in the caption of this proceeding, filers must transmit one electronic copy of the comments for each docket or rulemaking number referenced in the caption. In completing the transmittal screen, filers should include their full name, U.S. Postal Service mailing address, and the applicable docket or rulemaking number. Parties may also submit an electronic comment by Internet e-mail. To get filing instructions, filers should send an e-mail to ecfs@fcc.gov, and include the following words in the body of the message, “get form.” A sample form and directions will be sent in response. All comments received are viewable by the general public at any time through the Web site.
  • Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number. Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
  • The Commission's contractor will receive hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary at 236 Massachusetts Avenue, NE., Suite 110, Washington, DC 20002. The filing hours at this location are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. All Start Printed Page 11645hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building.
  • Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
  • U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail should be addressed to 445 12th Street, SW., Washington DC 20554.

Pursuant to § 1.1206 of the Commission s rules, 47 CFR 1.1206, this proceeding will be conducted as a permit-but-disclose proceeding in which ex parte communications are subject to disclosure.

The full text of document DA 06-387 and copies of any subsequently filed documents relating to this matter will be available for public inspection and copying during regular business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. This document and copies of subsequently filed documents in this matter may also be purchased from the Commission's contractor at Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. Customers may contact the Commission's contractor at their Web site http://www.bcpiweb.com or by calling 1-800-378-3160. A copy of the Petition for Rulemaking may also be found by searching ECFS at http://www.fcc.gov/​cgb/​ecfs (insert CG Docket No. 03-123 into the proceeding block).

To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice) or (202) 418-0432 (TTY). Document DA 06-387 can also be downloaded in Word and Portable Document Format (PDF) at http://www.fcc.gov/​cgb.dro.

Synopsis

On July 19, 2005, the Commission concluded that non-shared language Spanish translation VRS—i.e., relay service in which the communication assistant (CA) translates what is signed in ASL into spoken Spanish, and vice versa—is a form of TRS compensable from the Fund. Also, on July 19, 2005, the Commission concluded that, effective January 1, 2006, providers seeking compensation from the Fund for offering VRS must offer the service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The public notice seeks comment on whether ASL-to-Spanish VRS, if provided, must be offered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to be eligible for compensation from the Fund.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Jay Keithley,

Deputy Bureau Chief, Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau.

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[FR Doc. 06-2085 Filed 3-7-06; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P