4. Legal Authority. Section 225(b) of the Act directs the Commission to ensure that relay services are available to persons with hearing and speech disabilities "to the extent possible and in the most efficient manner." 47 U.S.C. 225(b)(1) of the Act. Further, section 225(d) of the Act instructs the Commission to adopt regulations implementing section 225, including regulations "establish[ing] functional requirements, guidelines, and operations procedures for [TRS]," 47 U.S.C. 225(d)(1)(A), as well as mandatory "minimum standards" governing the provision of TRS, 47 U.S.C. 225(d)(1)(B). The Commission found that these provisions authorized the interim rules adopted for IP CTS, and the Commission now concludes that they likewise authorize the final rules adopted in this order.
5. In directing the Commission, "[i]n order to carry out the purposes established under section 151 of the Act," to ensure the availability of TRS "to the extent possible and in the most efficient manner,"
6. In the IP CTS Interim Order, the Commission described various marketing practices by which an IP CTS provider had been offering monetary rewards for the referral of customers who signed up for the installation of the provider's IP CTS equipment. These rewards were being given by the provider to its customers, members of the general public, and to hearing and health care professionals, such as audiologists. The Commission found in the IP CTS Interim Order that such incentive programs, the growth of which appears to have coincided with the sudden and unexpected spike in IP CTS usage, may well have been incenting consumers to use the service whether or not it was actually needed. More specifically, by enabling potential customers and third parties to earn money or any other reward either directly or for their friends or charitable organizations, these incentive programs would, if not prohibited, continue to encourage IP CTS use by individuals who do not need it to obtain functionally equivalent telephone service. The Commission found good cause to justify the immediate adoption of an interim rule prohibiting these referrals for rewards programs and any other form of direct or indirect inducements, to subscribe to or use, or encourage subscription to or use of, IP CTS. The rule is consistent with the types of actions the Commission previously has taken to restrict financial incentives determined to be impermissible, including those made in exchange for signing up for or using TRS. See, e.g., Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities, CC Docket No. 98-67 and CG Docket No. 03-123, Declaratory Ruling, published at 70 FR 9239,
Most Popular Stories
- Slow Week Ahead of December FOMC Meeting
- Hispanics Seek to Grow School Board Members
- GM Bailout Saved 1.2 Million U.S. Jobs, Report Says
- 'Knockout Game': Myth or Menace?
- Questions Remain in Jenni Rivera's Death
- Bitcoin Used to Buy Tesla Car
- Banks Fret as Volcker Vote Approaches
- Paul Walker Fans Pay Respects
- 18 L.A. Sheriff's Deputies Face U.S. Charges
- Yellen Set to Become One of World's Most Powerful Women