FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
News media information 202/418-0500
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
June 19, 2002
NEWS MEDIA CONTACT:|
John Winston (202) 418-7450
Washington, D.C. -- Today, the Federal Communications Commission ordered that a hearing be held to determine whether a purported telecommunications relay service (TRS) provider unlawfully collected or attempted to collect over $10 million from the national TRS Fund. The purported TRS provider and its associated companies - - Publix Network Corporation; Customer Attendants, LLC; Revenue Controls Corporation; SignTel, Inc.; and Focus Group, LLC (the Publix Companies) - - are all alleged to have violated the Communications Act and the Commission's rules by requesting reimbursements from the TRS Fund without actually providing TRS to the public, among other things.
The hearing is required to determine whether: 1) the Publix Companies are entitled to any of the TRS Fund monies requested or received from the TRS Fund; 2) the Commission should revoke the common carrier operating authority of the Publix Companies; 3) the Publix Companies and their principal(s) should be ordered to cease and desist from any future provision of interstate common carrier services without the prior consent of the Commission; and 4) a forfeiture is warranted against any or all of the Publix Companies and, if so, the amount of such forfeiture. The date of the hearing is yet to be determined and will be set out in a forthcoming order from the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the case.
TRS provides individuals with hearing or speech disabilities access to telephone services that are functionally equivalent to those provided to individuals without hearing or speech disabilities. Typically, TRS involves the use of a communications assistant serving as a translator between a person with hearing or speech disabilities who is communicating via a text telephone (TTY) and an individual using a standard telephone. The national TRS Fund reimburses TRS providers for the costs of providing interstate TRS. Carriers providing interstate telecommunications service must contribute to the TRS Fund based on interstate end-user telecommunications revenues.
Action by the Commission on June 12, 2002, by Order to Show Cause and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing (FCC-02-173). Chairman Powell; Commissioners Abernathy, Copps, and Martin.
EB Docket No. 02-149
Enforcement Bureau Contacts: John Winston at (202) 418-7450 or David Hunt at 418-1522.