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IP Captioned Telephone Service

IP Captioned Telephone Service

The FCC has just approved cost reimbursement for IP Captioned Telephone Service. This is a HUGE decision for people in the hearing loss community, and we heartily applaud all the folks who worked so hard to make this happen!

For additional information, please check out our coverage of landline CapTel service.

December 2006 – FCC Approves IP Captioned Telephone

December 2006 – FCC Approves IP Captioned Telephone Service

December 2006 – FCC Statement on IP Captioned Telephone Service

January 2007 – Here’s a great primer on how to use IP Captioned Telephone

February 2007 – Here’s the FCC Consumer Fact Sheet on IP Captioned Telephone Service

September 2007 – Here’s our coverage of the Captioned Telephone Workshop Presented by the CapTel folks at the 2007 TDI Conference

March 2008 – Hamilton Relay Launches Innovative Web Captioned Telephone (CapTel(r)) for On-line Captioned Telephone Calls

March 2008 – Sprint Announces WebCapTel

March 2008 – WebCapTel Update

October 2008 – Sprint Launches WebCapTel(r) On the Go

October 2008 – Hamilton Introduces Single-Phone, Mobile CapTel(r) Solution

February 2009 – PhoneCaption Provides Free Telephone Captioning Services

March 2009 – Americans with Disabilities Act paved the way for CapTel and Web CapTel

April 2009 – Ultratec Announces New IP-Based Captioned Telephone

April 2009 – Hamilton CapTel introduced the CapTel 800i captioned telephone

April 2009 – Sprint Announces Upcoming Availability of Next Generation of CapTel Phones


FCC Approves IP Captioned Telephone

By Cheryl Heppner



December 2006

Editor: Here’s some wonderful news from the FCC! They have approved coverage of IP captioned telephone service from the Internet TRS Fund. This means that captioned telephone service will be available over the Internet!

Here’s Cheryl’s report hot off the presses!


The Federal Communications Commission voted today that Internet Protocol (IP) captioned telephone service is a form of telecommunications relay service (TRS) that can be compensated from the Internet TRS Fund.

Lise Hamlin represented NVRC at the meeting. which was delayed from its planned 9:30 am start to 1 pm this afternoon. She said that the comments made by the FCC Commissioners were very positive. They should soon be available at www.fcc.gov.

As we said in an email news article on December 14, 2006, this is very exciting news for millions of people. The captioned telephone enables individuals with hearing loss to be able to hear a telephone conversation and simultaneously see it with captions.

With captioned telephone, you can call a friend by dialing the friend’s telephone number. Your captioned telephone connects with a captioning service. As you converse, your friend’s response will show up on the CapTel’s screen as captions. The captions come from a captionist who hears only your friend’s side of the conversation.

Learn more about this service at www.captionedtelephone.com


FCC Approves IP Captioned Telephone Service

On December 20, 2006, the FCC approved captioned telephone service over the Internet for reimbursement from the Internet TRS Fund. This is a VERY important development for people with hearing loss, because it means that captioned telephone service will eventually become much more readily available than it is today!

This approval means that the Federal government will pay for captioned telephone service in which captioning information is sent over the Internet. The technical details of the program are not yet clear, and implementations may vary with various vendors. (I believe that one of the results of this decision will be the entry into the market of multiple vendors. This can only be good for the consumer, because it will foster improved service and reduced cost.)

The ideal implementation would allow any user with a standard telephone and an Internet-connected computer to have access to captioned telephone service. Implementing this system for outgoing calls seems relatively straight-forward; implementing it for incoming calls will be more of a challenge.

Ultratec, the company that currently provides the analog CapTel service, is planning a limited consumer trial for early next year. We’ll be interested to hear user reports on this service. We’ll also be keeping our eyes peeled for announcements of alternative IP captioned television services from competing vendors. I believe this is a huge market that will attract a lot of attention very quickly!

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