HLAA Files a Friend of the Court Brief Supporting Equal Access to Captioned Telephones
On August 26, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules regarding the use of Internet-based captioned telephone service (IP CTS) and software applications (apps) that provide captioned phone calls on smart phones. Included in the rules was the requirement that captioned telephones and apps would be available only if they were purchased for a minimum of $75 each. They also ruled that the phones must be set up so that captions would not appear until the consumer turned the captions on.
HLAA has watched captioned telephone services become increasingly successful since their arrival on the scene in 2001. Over the years, it has proven to be the one service that is truly equivalent to the traditional phones many of us grew up with: pick up the phone, dial and talk directly to friends, family, co-workers, even Joe’s Pizza. The FCC, instead of embracing the success of captioned telephone services, appears to be focusing primarily on the cost of providing captioned telephone services.