FCC Regulations

What CapTel Users Need to Know – August 2014

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees and governs the funding for all Internet-based Captioned Telephone Service (IP-CTS), including Internet-based CapTel service.

As of August 2014, changes in the FCC requirements will go into effect that directly impact people who use Internet-based CapTel telephones. A summary of some of the changing requirements is listed below. For full information about FCC Regulations and IP-CTS service, Learn More

NOTE: These requirements only apply to CapTel models that are Internet-based, including:

  • CapTel 800i
  • CapTel 840i
  • CapTel 880i
  • CapTel 2400i

If your CapTel model is not listed above, the FCC regulations below do not apply to your phone.

Among the recent changes to FCC requirements:

Certification Form required for users who paid less than $75
FCC regulations now require that anyone who received an Internet-based Captioned Telephone prior to March 7, 2013, at a cost below $75 must provide a Certification of hearing loss in order to continue receiving CapTel service. The Certification should be signed by an audiologist, doctor, or other hearing-related professional, and then returned to CapTel. If the user is unable to complete the Certification, users have the option to pay the difference between their original purchase price and the $75 minimum price set by the FCC at the time.

Deadline: Certification must be received by February 24, 2015, to avoid discontinuation of captioning service.

Download Certification Form

View the FCC Requirement

Registration required for ALL Internet-based CapTel phones
All users of Internet-based Captioned Telephones are now required by the FCC to register their phone. This includes users who have had their Internet-based CapTel for some time already.

The FCC registration deadline for current CapTel users is February 24, 2015. If the phone is not registered by the deadline, captions may be discontinued until the phone is registered.

Register your CapTel Phone

View the FCC Requirement

CAPTIONS button may now default to “ON”.

Since March 2013, FCC rules required that CapTel users press the CAPTIONS button to turn captions on before every call. Beginning soon, the CAPTIONS button can come on automatically for each call, letting users receive captions without having to worry about turning the button on / off. This change simplifies the dialing process for users who rely on captions for every call. Learn More

New Handset Label Required

FCC requires that your CapTel phone include a label to remind users that only the person registered to the CapTel phone may use it when the CAPTIONS button is turned ON. Other people may still use your phone as long as the CAPTIONS button is turned OFF. For many CapTel users, the label is already affixed on the handset. Some users received the new label in the mail, along with instructions for affixing it to their phone. Learn More


What does the FCC have to do with Captioned Telephones?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) oversees and governs the funding for all IP-based Captioned Telephone Services, including for Internet-based CapTel service. CapTel continually and proactively works with the FCC to ensure full compliance with all related FCC rules.

Why does the FCC have these requirements?

Among other things, the FCC works to protect the Captioning Service from being accidently misused by people who do not need captioning support. Some of the recent requirements have been instituted by the FCC in an effort to preserve the Captioning Service funding for those who truly need it.

FCC Public Notices

Below are links to just a few of the FCC public notices that are pertinent to Internet-based Captioned Telephone Service (IP-CTS). These links are provided as a service to our CapTel users only.

FCC Public Notice:

Notice of Effective Date of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service User Registration and Certification Rules
DA 14-1265
Released: September 2, 2014

FCC Public Notice:

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Reaffirms Application of Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) Rule on User Registration and Certification
DA 14-1127
Released: August 1, 2014

FCC Public Notice:

Personal Information Required for Consumers to Register for Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service and Applicable Confidentiality Safeguards
DA 13-2300
Released: December 2, 2013

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