On 17 October 2012, Ofcom published a review on relay services. All fixed and mobile communications providers are required under General Condition 15 to provide access for customers to a text relay service, designed for hearing-impaired and speech-impaired users. In practice, communications providers have met this obligation by connecting to the text relay platform operated by BT. Prior to the publication of Ofcom’s statement on next-generation text relay services, BT was required by Universal Service Condition 4 to provide text relay services to other communications providers on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. Ofcom revoked Universal Service Condition 4 on 17 October with immediate effect. Ofcom have amended General Condition 15 with the effect that communications providers are obliged to provide next-generation text relay services by 18 April 2014. These obligations are intended to ensure implementation of two-way text and two-way speech with live text, using voice and data connections simultaneously. Ofcom have decided against introducing video-relay obligations at this time.
The full statement, including the amended text of General Condition 15 can be found here: http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/relay-services-review-12/statement/statement.pdf