The Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) has released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that eliminates the equal access and multiple billing options requirements for Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) for individuals with speech and/or hearing disabilities by updating the definition of TRS, in accordance with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. In making these changes, the Commission argues, that with the recent evolution of technology, the previous requirements are practically obsolete in assisting individuals with speech and/or hearing disabilities gain access to adequate telecommunications services. The FCC also proposes to cease Federal Register publication requirements of state requests for TRS program certification and instead solely publish the state requests in the Commission’s EDOC system and on the FCC website.

Interested parties may file comments 21 days after its date of publication of the order in the Federal Register (it has yet to be published), and may file reply comments 35 days after Federal Register publication.