Click here for Adobe Acrobat version
Click here for Microsoft Word version
Click here for Order/Consent Decree


This document was converted from Microsoft Word.

Content from the original version of the document such as
headers, footers, footnotes, endnotes, graphics, and page numbers
will not show up in this text version.

All text attributes such as bold, italic, underlining, etc. from the
original document will not show up in this text version.

Features of the original document layout such as
columns, tables, line and letter spacing, pagination, and margins
will not be preserved in the text version.

If you need the complete document, download the
Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat version.



   May 28, 2013 Mark Wigfield, 202-418-0253

   E-mail: [1]

                              BILLING OF TRS FUND

    Latest in a Series of TRS Enforcement Actions Over The Past Three Years
   Totaling More Than $55 Million in Reimbursements and Voluntary Payments to
                                 U.S. Treasury

   Washington, D.C. - For the second time this month, the FCC has reached a
   multi-million dollar settlement to resolve a probe into possible improper
   use of a federal fund that supports telecommunications services for people
   with disabilities. Sorenson Communications, Inc., an Internet-based
   Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS) provider, has agreed to pay $15.75
   million to settle an investigation by the FCC's Enforcement Bureau into
   whether the company billed the TRS Fund for calls made by unregistered,
   unverified, or ineligible individuals, and for calls that were made by or
   on behalf of the provider itself. FCC registration and verification
   requirements are designed to protect the integrity and of the TRS Fund,
   which compensates TRS providers for reasonable costs of providing
   interstate TRS calls involving persons with disabilities, and is funded
   from a fee paid for by subscribers of interstate telecommunications

   The settlement follows closely on another announced on May 7 in which AT&T
   Inc. agreed to pay $18.25 million to settle an investigation into whether
   it improperly billed the TRS fund. The FCC reached its largest-ever
   settlement of a TRS investigation in 2010, resulting in the payment of
   nearly $20 million by Purple Communications Inc. to settle a probe into
   whether the company overbilled the fund.

   "The TRS Fund exists to ensure that modern communications technologies are
   available to millions of Americans with disabilities," Acting FCC
   Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said. "This critical service helps to connect
   them with job opportunities, family, friends and -- if needed -- emergency
   personnel. With today's settlement, the FCC has recouped more than $55
   million in reimbursements to the TRS Fund and voluntary contributions to
   the U.S Treasury."

   Enforcement Bureau Chief Michele Ellison added, "The Bureau must and will
   continue to ensure that providers only receive their fair share of TRS
   funds. Consumers with disabilities deserve no less."

   As part of the settlement, Sorenson must implement a robust compliance
   plan, requiring detailed operating procedures, comprehensive training of
   its employees, and immediate reporting of possible violations. Of the
   $15.75 million, just over $4.2 million will be reimbursed to the TRS Fund,
   and the remaining approximately $11.5 million will be paid to the U.S.
   Treasury as a voluntary contribution.

   TRS enables an individual who is deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who
   has a speech disability, to engage in telephone communications with one or
   more individuals. With traditional TRS, a user "calls" a provider through
   a text-based device (for example, a text telephone or TTY) and is
   connected to a communications assistant (CA) who, in turn, makes a voice
   telephone call to the person the TRS user wishes to call. The CA then
   speaks to the called party what the relay user has typed, and types back
   to the calling party what the called party says. The service provided by
   Sorenson is Internet-based, in which calls between the relay provider and
   the person with a hearing or speech disability are made via the Internet
   and an IP-enabled device, rather than the traditional telephone network.

   Congress created the TRS program in Title IV of the Americans with
   Disabilities Act of 1990, codified at Section 225 of the Communications
   Act of 1934, as amended. Under that act, the Commission must ensure that
   the provision of TRS is functionally equivalent to voice telephone
   service. The Commission's TRS regulations set forth mandatory minimum
   standards that TRS providers must follow to meet this functional
   equivalency mandate.

   The Order and Consent Decree are available at


       News about the Federal Communications Commission can also be found

                  on the Commission's web site [3]


   Federal Communications Commission

   445 12^th Street, S.W.

   Washington, D. C. 20554

   This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the
   full text of a Commission order constitutes official action.

   See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

                                        News Media Information 202 / 418-0500


                                                          TTY: 1-888-835-5322


   Visible links