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In this document, the Commission adopts further measures to improve the structure, efficiency, and quality of the video relay service (VRS) program, reducing the inefficiencies in the program, as well as reducing the risk of waste, fraud, and abuse, and ensuring that the program makes full use of advances in commercially-available technology. These measures involve a fundamental restructuring of the program to support innovation and competition, drive down ratepayer and provider costs, eliminate incentives for waste that have burdened the Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS) Fund in the past, and further protect consumers. The Commission adopts several measures in order to: ensure that VRS users can easily select their provider of choice by promoting the development of interoperability and portability standards; enable consumers to use off-the-shelf devices and deploying a VRS application to work with these devices; create a centralized TRS User Registration Database to ensure VRS user eligibility; encourage competition and innovation in VRS call handling services; spur research and development on VRS services by entering into a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Science Foundation; and pilot a National Outreach Program to educate the general public about relay services. In this document, the Commission also adopts new VRS compensation rates that move these rates toward actual costs over the next four years which will better approximate the actual, reasonable costs of providing VRS, and will reduce the costs of operating the program. The Commission takes these steps to ensure the integrity of the TRS Fund while providing stability and certainty to providers.


Federal Communications Commission. Structure and practices of the video relay service program; telecommunications relay services and speech-to-speech services for individuals with hearing and speech disabilities. Final rule. Federal register. 2013 Jul 5;78(129):40581-617

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PMID: 23833810

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