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Editorial #100: FCC: FNPRM (11-184) Analysis #1-Per User Compensation

One of the proposed rules has to do with compensation–how the FCC will pay the VRS providers for doing the service. Currently, the FCC pays the providers a per-minute rate for doing the service; the longer a person uses VRS, the more the provider gets.

In the proposed rules, the FCC is proposing that the providers would be paid on a per-user basis. This means the FCC is proposing to pay a flat fee for a person using the service per month. If a person uses VRS for 5 minutes a month, or 200 minutes a month, the provider will get the same amount no matter how many minutes the user uses. Will this cause behavioral changes on the part of the provider? Will the provider worry about the small users and ignore the big users? How do we define an ‘User”? What if a husband and a wife uses the same videophone in the home? Do they count as 1 or 2 users? What about a company that employs deaf and hard of hearing people? Will the company be defined as one user or each employee defined as an user? What about a deaf child in a hearing household? The list of questions goes on and on.

Dr. Z is especially concerned as to whether they have an impact on the quality of service. If the per user compensation methodology results in less revenue for the VRS provider, will it cause them to be less innovative? Will they eliminate features we have come to benefit?

Here’s the link to the proposed rules.

Here’s the link to comment to the FCC on those proposed rules.

Dr. Z cares about your communication access.

Disclaimer: Dr. Z is currently the Vice-President of Business Development and Outreach at CSDVRS, LLC.

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