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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 21, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 64Subpart F → §64.611


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 64—MISCELLANEOUS RULES RELATING TO COMMON CARRIERS
Subpart F—Telecommunications Relay Services and Related Customer Premises Equipment for Persons With Disabilities


§64.611   Internet-based TRS registration.

(a) Default provider registration. Every provider of VRS or IP Relay must, no later than December 31, 2008, provide users with the capability to register with that VRS or IP Relay provider as a “default provider.” Upon a user's registration, the VRS or IP Relay provider shall:

(1) Either:

(i) Facilitate the user's valid number portability request as set forth in 47 CFR 52.34; or, if the user does not wish to port a number,

(ii) Assign that user a geographically appropriate North American Numbering Plan telephone number; and

(2) Route and deliver all of that user's inbound and outbound calls unless the user chooses to place a call with, or receives a call from, an alternate provider.

(3) Certification of eligibility of VRS users. (i) A VRS provider seeking compensation from the TRS Fund for providing VRS to a particular user registered with that provider must first obtain a written certification from the user, attesting that the user is eligible to use VRS.

(ii) The certification required by paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section must include the user's attestation that:

(A) The user has a hearing or speech disability; and

(B) The user understands that the cost of VRS calls is paid for by contributions from other telecommunications users to the TRS Fund.

(iii) The certification required by paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section must be made on a form separate from any other agreement or form, and must include a separate user signature specific to the certification. For the purposes of this rule, an electronic signature, defined by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 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. For the purposes of this rule, an electronic record, defined by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act as a contract or other record created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means, constitutes a record.

(iv) Each VRS provider shall maintain the confidentiality of any registration and certification information obtained by the provider, 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.

(v) VRS providers must, for existing registered Internet-based TRS users, submit the certification required by paragraph (a)(3)(i) of this section to the TRS User Registration Database within 60 days of notice from the Managing Director that the TRS User Registration Database is ready to accept such information.

(vi) When registering a user that is transferring service from another VRS provider, VRS providers shall obtain and submit a properly executed certification if a query of the TRS User Registration Database shows a properly executed certification has not been filed.

(vii) VRS providers shall require their CAs to terminate any call which does not involve an individual eligible to use VRS due to a hearing or speech disability or, pursuant to the provider's policies, the call does not appear to be a legitimate VRS call, and VRS providers may not seek compensation for such calls from the TRS Fund.

(4) TRS User Registration Database Information Requirements for VRS. Each VRS provider shall collect and transmit to the TRS User Registration Database, in a format prescribed by the administrator of the TRS User Registration Database, the following information for each of its new and existing registered internet-based TRS users: Full name; address; ten-digit telephone number assigned in the TRS numbering directory; last four digits of the social security number or Tribal Identification number, if the registered internet-based TRS user is a member of a Tribal nation and does not have a social security number; date of birth; Registered Location; VRS provider name and dates of service initiation and termination; a digital copy of the user's self-certification of eligibility for VRS and the date obtained by the provider; the date on which the user's identification was verified; and (for existing users only) the date on which the registered internet-based TRS user last placed a point-to-point or relay call.

(5) Assignment of iTRS Numbers to Hearing Point-to-Point Video Users. (i) Before assigning an iTRS telephone number to a hearing individual, a VRS provider shall obtain from such individual, the individual's full name, residential address, date of birth, and a written certification, attesting that the individual:

(A) Is proficient in sign language;

(B) Understands that the iTRS number may be used only for the purpose of point-to-point communication over distances with registered VRS users; and

(C) Understands that such iTRS number may not be used to access VRS.

(ii) Before assigning an iTRS telephone number to a hearing individual, a VRS provider also shall obtain the individual's consent to provide the information required by this paragraph (a)(5) to the TRS User Registration Database. Before obtaining such consent, the VRS provider, using clear, easily understood language, shall describe the specific information to be provided, explain that the information is provided to ensure proper administration of the TRS program and inform the individual that failure to provide consent will result in denial of service. VRS providers shall obtain and keep a record of affirmative acknowledgment of such consent by every hearing point-to-point video user to whom an iTRS number is assigned.

(iii) The certification required by paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section must be made on a form separate from any other agreement or form, and must include a separate signature specific to the certification. For the purposes of this rule, an electronic signature, defined by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act, 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. For the purposes of this rule, an electronic record, defined by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act as a contract or other record created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means, constitutes a record.

(iv) Before commencing service to any hearing point-to-point video user to whom a VRS provider assigns an iTRS number on or after the TRS User Registration Database is operational, a VRS provider shall submit to the TRS User Registration Database the information listed in paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section and the following additional information:

(A) The ten-digit telephone number assigned in the TRS Numbering Directory to the hearing point-to-point user;

(B) The VRS provider's name and the date of service initiation; and

(C) The date on which a ten-digit number was assigned to or removed from a hearing point-to-point user.

(v) For all other hearing point-to-point video users to whom a VRS provider has assigned an iTRS number, the VRS provider shall transmit the information required by paragraph (a)(5)(iv) of this section within 60 days after the TRS User Registration Database is operational.

(vi) Upon the termination of service to any hearing point-to-point video user, a VRS provider shall submit to the TRS User Registration Database the date of termination of service.

(vii) A VRS provider shall maintain the confidentiality of the information about hearing individuals required by this paragraph (a)(5) and may not disclose such information except as required by law or regulation.

(viii) Before commencing service to a hearing point-to-point video user who is transferring point-to-point video service from another VRS provider, a VRS provider shall notify the TRS User Registration Database of such transfer and shall obtain and submit a properly executed certification under paragraph (a)(5)(i) of this section.

(ix) Hearing individuals who are assigned iTRS numbers under this paragraph (a)(5) shall not be deemed registered VRS users. VRS providers shall not be compensated and shall not seek compensation from the TRS Fund for any VRS calls to or from such iTRS numbers.

(6) Enterprise and public videophones—(i) Definition. For purposes of this section, a default VRS provider for an enterprise or public videophone is the VRS provider that assigns a North American Numbering Plan (NANP) telephone number to such videophone or receives a port of such number.

(ii) Enterprise and public videophone certification. (A) Written certification. A default VRS provider for an enterprise or public videophone shall obtain a written certification from the individual responsible for the videophone, attesting that the individual understands the functions of the videophone and that the cost of VRS calls made on the videophone is financed by the federally regulated Interstate TRS Fund, and for enterprise videophones, that the organization, business, or agency will make reasonable efforts to ensure that only persons with a hearing or speech disability are permitted to use the phone for VRS.

(B) Electronic signatures. The certification required by paragraph (a)(6)(ii)(A) of this section must be made on a form separate from any other agreement or form, and must include a separate signature specific to the certification. For the purposes of this paragraph (a)(6)(ii)(B), an electronic signature, defined by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act 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. For the purposes of this paragraph (a)(6)(ii)(B), an electronic record, defined by the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act as a contract or other record created, generated, sent, communicated, received, or stored by electronic means, constitutes a record.

(C) Consent for transmission and confidentiality of enterprise and public videophone registration. A default VRS provider for an enterprise or public videophone must obtain consent from the individual responsible for the videophone to transmit the information required by this section to the TRS User Registration Database. Before obtaining such consent, a VRS provider must describe to such individual, using clear, easily understood language, the specific information being transmitted, that the information is being transmitted to the TRS User Registration Database to ensure proper administration of the TRS program, and that failure to provide consent will result in denial of service to the videophone. A VRS provider must obtain and keep a record of affirmative acknowledgment of such consent for every enterprise and public videophone. A VRS provider shall maintain the confidentiality of any registration and certification information obtained by the provider, 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.

(iii) Enterprise and public videophone registration. A default VRS provider for an enterprise or public videophone shall transmit to the TRS User Registration Database, in a format prescribed by the administrator of the TRS User Registration Database, the following information for each enterprise or public videophone for which it assigns (or receives a port of) a North American Numbering Plan telephone number or for which it is the default VRS provider:

(A) The default VRS provider's name;

(B) The NANP telephone number assigned to the videophone;

(C) The name and physical address of the organization, business, or agency where the enterprise or public videophone is located, and the Registered Location of the phone if that is different from the physical address;

(D) Whether the videophone is a public or enterprise videophone, and for enterprise videophones, the type of location where the videophone is located within the organization, business, agency, or other entity, such as, but not limited to, a reception desk or other work area, a private workspace, a private room in a long-term care facility, or another restricted area;

(E) The date of initiation of service to the videophone by the default VRS provider;

(F) The name of the individual responsible for the videophone, confirmation that the provider has obtained the certification required by paragraph (a)(6)(ii) of this section, and the date the certification was obtained by the provider; and

(G) Whether the device is assigned to a hearing individual who knows sign language.

(iv) Transmission of data to the TRS User Registration Database. Default VRS providers shall transmit the information required by paragraph (a)(6)(iii) of this section for existing enterprise and public videophones within 120 days after notice from the Commission that the TRS User Registration Database is ready to accept such information. For videophones placed in service more than 120 days after such notice, the default VRS provider shall submit the required information and certification before initiating service. VRS calls placed to or from enterprise or public videophones more than 120 days after such notice shall not be compensable if the required registration information was not received by the TRS User Registration Database before placement of the call.

(v) Notice of removal or disconnection of enterprise and public videophones. VRS providers shall notify the TRS Fund administrator within one business day in the event that a registered enterprise or public videophone is removed or permanently disconnected from VRS.

(b) Mandatory registration of new users. As of December 31, 2008, VRS and IP Relay providers must, prior to the initiation of service for an individual that has not previously utilized VRS or IP Relay, register that new user as described in paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Obligations of default providers and former default providers. (1) Default providers must:

(i) Obtain current routing information from their Registered internet-based TRS Users, registered enterprise and public videophones, and hearing point-to-point video users;

(ii) Provision such information to the TRS Numbering Directory; and

(iii) Maintain such information in their internal databases and in the TRS Numbering Directory.

(2) Internet-based TRS providers (and, to the extent necessary, their Numbering Partners) must:

(i) Take such steps as are necessary to cease acquiring routing information from any VRS, IP Relay, or hearing point-to-point video user, or any individual responsible for maintaining an enterprise or public videophone, that ports a NANP telephone number to another VRS or IP Relay provider or otherwise selects a new default provider; and

(ii) Communicate among themselves as necessary to ensure that:

(A) Only the default provider provisions routing information to the central database; and

(B) VRS and IP Relay providers other than the default provider are aware that they must query the TRS Numbering Directory in order to obtain accurate routing information for a particular user of VRS or IP Relay, or for an enterprise or public videophone.

(d) Proxy numbers. After December 31, 2008, a VRS or IP Relay provider:

(1) May not assign or issue a proxy or alias for a NANP telephone number to any user; and

(2) Must cease to use any proxy or alias for a NANP telephone number assigned or issued to any Registered Internet-based TRS User.

(e) Toll free numbers. A VRS or IP Relay provider:

(1) May not assign or issue a toll free number to any VRS or IP Relay user.

(2) That has already assigned or provided a toll free number to a VRS or IP Relay user must, at the VRS or IP Relay user's request, facilitate the transfer of the toll free number to a toll free subscription with a toll free service provider that is under the direct control of the user.

(3) Must within one year after the effective date of this Order remove from the Internet-based TRS Numbering Directory any toll free number that has not been transferred to a subscription with a toll free service provider and for which the user is the subscriber of record.

(f) iTRS access technology. (1) Every VRS or IP Relay provider must ensure that all iTRS access technology they have issued, leased, or otherwise provided to VRS or IP Relay users delivers routing information or other information only to the user's default provider, except as is necessary to complete or receive “dial around” calls on a case-by-case basis.

(2) All iTRS access technology issued, leased, or otherwise provided to VRS or IP Relay users by Internet-based TRS providers must be capable of facilitating the requirements of this section.

(g) User notification. Every VRS or IP Relay provider must include an advisory on its website and in any promotional materials addressing numbering or E911 services for VRS or IP Relay.

(1) At a minimum, the advisory must address the following issues:

(i) The process by which VRS or IP Relay users may obtain ten-digit telephone numbers, including a brief summary of the numbering assignment and administration processes adopted herein;

(ii) The portability of ten-digit telephone numbers assigned to VRS or IP Relay users;

(iii) The process by which persons using VRS or IP Relay may submit, update, and confirm receipt by the provider of their Registered Location information;

(iv) An explanation emphasizing the importance of maintaining accurate, up-to-date Registered Location information with the user's default provider in the event that the individual places an emergency call via an Internet-based relay service;

(v) The process by which a VRS or IP Relay user may acquire a toll free number, or transfer control of a toll free number from a VRS or IP Relay provider to the user;

(vi) The process by which persons holding a toll free number request that the toll free number be linked to their ten-digit telephone number in the TRS Numbering Directory; and

(vii) If the provider assigns iTRS numbers to hearing point-to-point video users, an explanation that hearing point-to-point video users will not be able to place an emergency call.

(2) VRS and IP Relay providers must obtain and keep a record of affirmative acknowledgment by every Registered Internet-based TRS User of having received and understood the advisory described in this subsection.

(h)-(i) [Reserved]

(j)(1) 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, full residential address, and telephone number.

(ii) [Reserved]

(iii) [Reserved]

(iv) 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.

(v) 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.

(vi) The certification required by paragraphs (j)(1)(iv) and (v) 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.

(vii) 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 (j)(1) 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 (j)(1)(xi) of this section.

(viii) To comply with paragraph (j)(1)(vii) 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.

(ix) 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 (j)(1) 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 (j)(1)(xi) of this section.

(x) To comply with paragraph (j)(1)(ix) 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.

(xi) 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 (j)(1)(vii) and (ix) of this section.

(xii) 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.

(xiii) [Reserved]

(2) TRS User Registration Database Information for IP CTS. (i) Each IP CTS Provider shall collect and transmit to the TRS User Registration Database, in a format prescribed by the administrator of the TRS User Registration Database, the following information for each of its new and existing registered IP CTS users:

(A) Full name;

(B) Full residential address;

(C) Telephone number;

(D) A unique identifier such as the electronic serial number (ESN) of the user's IP CTS device, the user's log-in identification, or the user's email address;

(E) The last four digits of the user's social security number or Tribal Identification number (or alternative documentation, if such documentation is permitted by and has been collected pursuant to Misuse of internet Protocol (IP) Captioned Telephone Service; Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, Order, 30 FCC Rcd 1093 (CGB 2015));

(F) Date of birth;

(G) Registered Location (if applicable);

(H) IP CTS provider name;

(I) Date of service initiation and (when applicable) termination;

(J) A digital copy of the user's self-certification of eligibility for IP CTS and the date obtained by the provider; and

(K) For existing users onlythe date on which the IP CTS user last placed an IP CTS call.

(ii) Each IP CTS provider shall obtain, from each new and existing registered IP CTS user, consent to transmit the registered IP CTS user's information to the TRS User Registration Database. Prior to obtaining such consent, the IP CTS provider shall describe to the registered IP CTS user, using clear, easily understood language, the specific information obtained by the IP CTS provider from the user that is to be transmitted, and inform the user that the information is being transmitted to the TRS User Registration Database to ensure proper administration of the TRS program, and that failure to provide consent will result in the registered IP CTS user being denied service. IP CTS providers shall keep a record of affirmative acknowledgment of such consent by every registered IP CTS user.

(iii) Registration of Emergency Shelter Devices. An IP CTS provider may seek and receive TRS Fund compensation for the provision of captioning service to users of a temporary, public IP CTS device set up in an emergency shelter, provided that, before commencing service to such a device, the IP CTS provider collects, maintains in its registration records, and submits to the TRS User Registration Database all information reasonably requested by the administrator, including the telephone number and location of the device. IP CTS providers shall remove the device's registration information from the Database when service for such a device is terminated.

(iv) By the date of initiation of service to an IP CTS user or device, or one year after notice from the Commission that the TRS User Registration Database is ready to accept such information, whichever is later, IP CTS providers shall submit to the TRS User Registration Database the registration information required by paragraph (j)(2)(i) or (iii) of this section. Calls from or to registered IP CTS users or devices whose registration information has not been populated in the TRS User Registration Database by the applicable date shall not be compensable, and an IP CTS provider shall not seek TRS Fund compensation for such calls.

(v) When registering a user who is transferring service from another IP CTS provider, IP CTS providers shall obtain and submit a digital copy of a user's self-certification of eligibility if a query of the TRS User Registration Database shows a properly executed certification has not been filed.

(3) An IP CTS provider shall not seek TRS Fund compensation for providing captioning service to any individual or device if the registration information for such individual or device has been removed from the TRS User Registration Database, or if the provider obtains information that the individual or device is not eligible to receive IP CTS.

(k) Compliance date. Paragraph (j)(2) of this section contains new or modified information-collection and recordkeeping requirements adopted in FCC 19-11. Compliance with these information-collection and recordkeeping requirements will not be required until after approval by the Office of Management and Budget. The Commission will publish a document in the Federal Register announcing that compliance date and revising this paragraph accordingly.

[73 FR 41295, July 18, 2008, as amended at 76 FR 59557, Sept. 27, 2011; 78 FR 40608, July 5, 2013; 82 FR 17763, Apr. 13, 2017; 82 FR 39683, Aug. 22, 2017; 84 FR 8461, Mar. 8, 2019; 84 FR 26371, June 6, 2019]

Effective Date Note: At 84 FR 26371, June 6, 2019, §64.611 was amended by adding paragraph (a)(6) and revising paragraphs (c)(1)(i), (c)(2)(i), and (c)(2)(ii)(B). 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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