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Purple Communications Comments on Competition Reform in Video Relay Industry

Jun 12 2013 12:00AM

Marketwire

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ROCKLIN, CA -- (Marketwired) -- 06/12/13 -- Purple Communications, Inc. today commented in support of the Federal Communications Commission's long-awaited competition reforms to support video relay service ("VRS"), a form of Internet-based telecommunication services for people who are deaf. The 160 page Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, released Monday, takes several concrete measures to support a fair and level playing field, improving service for consumers.

"The FCC's Order represents the culmination of a three-year policy-making process, throughout which the Commission enabled and encouraged fulsome engagement and debate, and we appreciate the efforts of staff to ban certain anticompetitive behavior, and remove certain barriers to competition," said John Goodman, Chief Legal Officer for Purple Communications and head of the company's regulatory efforts. "Purple advocated for many of the positions adopted by the FCC and is pleased with several of the competition reform policies in the Order."

Purple supports the measures taken in the Order to provide for fair and effective competition and enhance accountability, such as technology standards, address book portability, anti-slamming provisions, a centralized user database, mandatory compliance programs, and centralized registration and verification procedures. While Purple differs with the Commission on some of the long term rate reforms, which have the potential to impact provider labor cost structures, future investments in innovation and ultimately service levels to deaf consumers, the Company strongly believes the competition reforms will level the playing field among providers and provide a climate to spur growth in Purple's business.

"The VRS industry has been highly concentrated in the hands of a single provider which enjoys approximately 80% market share and which achieved and maintained that share through anticompetitive practices now rejected by the FCC," said John Ferron, President and CEO of Purple. "Much of this new policy helps correct the competitive framework for the industry and combined with excellent products and high quality service, these new policies will benefit Purple and its customers."

About Purple Communications, Inc.
Purple Communications provides a high-quality video relay service (VRS) available from multiple platforms -- TV, desktop, laptop, tablet and smartphone. VRS is a free service for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers who use sign language to communicate via video conference and a video interpreter (VI). The VI voices/relays the signed conversation in real-time to both deaf and hearing individuals.

Purple's portfolio of solutions spans across telephone captioning services, text relay services, on-site interpreting services and video relay interpreting (VRI) delivering a wide array of options to meet the varied communication needs of businesses and customers, collectively make communicating with both the deaf world and the hearing world accessible to all. For more information, visit www.purple.us

About Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS)
Created by the Americans with Disabilities Act, Telecommunication Relay Service (TRS) is a telephone service that allows persons with hearing or speech disabilities to place and receive telephone calls. There are a variety of types of relay service including video (VRS), text and captioning services. TRS is available in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. territories for local and/or long distance calls at no additional cost to the consumer. The Telecommunications Relay Services program is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and providers of such services are compensated for the costs of providing TRS from either a state or a federal fund. For more information related to TRS, visit www.fcc.gov/guides/telecommunications-relay-service-trs.



Contact:
Ryan Witherell
615.500.2733
rwitherell@seigenthaler.com





Source: Marketwire


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