Originally published: April 13, 2011
Last updated: April 13, 2011 - 11:23am
The Federal Communications Commission has awarded Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates, LLC, (RLSA) of Harrisburg (PA) a contract to administer the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) Fund, a Fund used to support communication service for persons who have hearing or speech disabilities or who are deaf-blind. Since July 26, 1993, the FCC has required that each common carrier providing voice transmission services also provide TRS throughout their service areas.
The contract specifies the oversight and administrative duties that RLSA will be assuming, which include protecting the integrity of the TRS Fund as well as overseeing the distribution of funds under the FCC's newly established national equipment distribution program for people who are deaf-blind. The latter is required by the new Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act, signed into law on October 8, 2010.
TRS is a telephone transmission service that allows persons who have hearing or speech disabilities or are deaf-blind, to place and receive telephone calls. TRS is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and some of the U.S. territories for local and long distance calls.
There is no cost of TRS to the TRS user. The costs of intrastate TRS are supported either through state telephone rate adjustments, or surcharges on local telephone bills. The costs of interstate TRS are supported by contributions made to the TRS Fund by all telecommunications and VoIP service providers. TRS providers are then compensated for the costs of providing interstate TRS, including TRS provided over the Internet, from the TRS Fund on a minutes-of-use basis.
As Administrator of the TRS Fund, RLSA will oversee the collection and disbursement of funds, which shall include reviewing all monthly submissions from TRS providers seeking compensation to ensure there are no irregularities, discrepancies or violations of the Commission's TRS rules, and that there are no indications of potential fraud. RLSA will also establish and implement internal controls and procedures for the disbursement of funds, subject to Commission approval.
RLSA will withhold payment to TRS providers that fail to demonstrate full compliance with all relevant Commission rules governing the provision of TRS, fail to provide adequate documentation or justification for compensation in response to requests for such documentation by the FCC, or engage in potential waste, fraud, or abuse.
- FCC Established National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
- National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program
- White House Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
- What New Deaf-Blind Equipment Program Should Look Like
- TRS Cost Recovery
- FCC Townhall on Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Programming Accessibility Act in San Diego
- FCC Seeks Public Input on Video Relay Service
- National Broadband Plan Workshop on Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities (see summary)
- FCC Proposes to Update Rules Allowing Accessibility to Advanced Communications to 54 Million Consumers With Disabilities
- Justice Says FCC Video Service For Deaf Defrauded Out Of $60M
- FCC Moves to Protect Video Relay Service
- FCC Seeks Comments on TRS
- Modernize accessibility laws, rules and related subsidy programs
- Emergency Access Advisory Committee Report on TTY Transition
- National Broadband Plan Field Hearing on Disabilities