Latest VRS News

FCC Adopts a New Numbering System and Mandates E911 Services

Latest FCC Issue: 10-Digit Numbers

The FCC’s decision to adopt a numbering system for VRS users is making it possible for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing individuals to be reached through one ‘functionally equivalent’ or ‘real’ number like the hearing community has today.

10-Digit Numbers FCC regulations include the following:

  • VRS providers are required to begin providing 10-digit numbers by
    November 12, 2009
  • The FCC has selected Neustar as the number database administrator
  • 10-digit numbers must be portable

10-Digit Numbers -- Here are some important considerations to note:

  • Use one phone number on forms
  • This number connects when dialed on a standard telephone or cell phone
  • There are no fees for long distance calls placed from a videophone (same as now)
  • You will have the same area code and prefix as your neighbors
  • Hearing individuals may pay long distance fees when calling you. Those persons calling from another state and those persons calling from outside your area code may pay long distance fees.
  • You may possibly receive telemarketing calls
  • Allow time to give out your new number to your current contacts
  • If you move, you may have to receive a new 10-digit number that matches your new area

10-Digit Numbers -- Here are the begining implementations by VRS providers:

    10-digit numbers to be provided through purchased videophone device in 2009
  • GoAmerica/HOVRS
    "Purple" numbers
  • Sorenson Communications
    'Real Numbers' include both local 10-digit numbers and 'DirectVP' numbers (toll-free)
  • Other VRS provider activities forthcoming

Latest FCC Issue: Emergency 911 (E911)

Beginning December three1, 2008, all VRS providers are required to offer “enhanced” 911
( E911) VRS services.

VRS Providers Must:

  • Obtain the location of their VRS users
  • Provide an easy way for their VRS users to update their location information
  • Accept and prioritize all in-coming 911 calls
  • Route all emergency calls to the appropriate emergency personnel
  • During a 911 call, relay the call-back number and registered location of the caller, the name of the VRS provider, and the identification number of the VRS provider’s interpreter to the local emergency personnel

VRS Users Must:

  • Keep your information current with your VRS provider(s)
  • Name
  • Address
  • Contact information

What You Can Do Now:

  • Select your default VRS provider and give them your current address and contact information in order to receive future E911 services
  • Spread the word about the VRSCA and encourage your friends to learn more
  • Check the website regularly for updated information

See the Latest FCC VLOG about 10-Digit Numbers and E911.  Read More »

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