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Editorial #8-FCC Clarifies Rule to Transition Away from Use of 800 Numbers for Point to Point and Dial Around Calls

FCC Clarifies Rule to Transition Away from the Use of 800 Numbers for Point to Point and Dial Around Calls
An Op-Ed Editorial from Dr. Z

On August 11, 2009, the FCC issued a Public Notice on clarifying the use of 800 numbers in a TRS/VRS setting. While the notice is a bit hard to digest–it basically discourages the use of 800 numbers for point to point calls and asks that we transition away from the use of 800 numbers. At the same time, they are saying this action makes this functionally equivalent. I happen not to agree. We live in a world full of 800 numbers and geographically appropriate numbers. Thousands of 800 numbers have been issued to deaf and hard of hearing TRS/VRS users. Business owners have printed business cards and accompanying literature listing their 800 numbers. And for return calls, 800 number callbacks will be routed to the default provider, presenting a lack of choice and does not make the service interoperable. We need to ask the FCC to allow freer use of 800 numbers like hearing people have. They issued this in the form of a “clarification”, not a rulemaking process where people have the right to express their thoughts and allow the FCC to review and consider all opinions before making an order. A “clarification” in this context amounts to some decision without a process taking place. This is rather unusual. The link to this “clarification” is as follows: (link to FCC document). If you do not think this is appropriate, you should file your thoughts and comments with the FCC using this link and mention Proceeding 03-123/DA09-1787.

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