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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

Released: May 9, 1997



A group of industry representatives filed two reports evaluating the effectiveness of an "alternative plan" designed to make payphones accessible to Telecommunications Relay Service ("TRS") users as required by the Common Carrier Bureau's Memorandum Opinion and Order, CC Docket No. 90-571 (Aug. 25, 1995). The industry representatives of the TRS Industry Team filed these status reports on August 26, 1996 and on March 12, 1997 which were filed twelve (Wordperfect Version | MS Word Version) and eighteen (Wordperfect Version | MS Word Version) months respectively after the Order. The TRS Industry Team recommends that the Commission make the alternative plan permanent.

The alternative plan requires common carriers and TRS providers to enable TRS users to: (1) make local TRS payphone calls free of charge, and (2) to make toll calls by calling card or prepaid (debit) cards with rates equivalent or less than non-TRS payphone calls using these same methods. In addition, the plan requires common carriers and TRS providers to educate TRS users about alternative payment methods and make calling cards and/or prepaid cards available to TRS users.

The Bureau adopted the alternative plan because it found that complying with the Commission's rule requiring common carriers and TRS providers to offer a TRS coin sent-paid service that is functionally equivalent to the non-TRS coin sent-paid service was not feasible at that time. The Bureau suspended the Commission rule until August 26, 1997 and adopted an alternative plan for two years at which time the Commission would reevaluate the coin sent-paid issue.

Copies of the agreement are available for public inspection in the docket file in the Commission's Public Reference Room, room 220, 2000 M St., NW., Washington, D.C.

Interested parties are invited to submit comments on these status reports and on the alternative plan by June 2, 1997. There will be no reply comment filing period.

For additional information, please contact Andy Firth at *TTY (202) 418-2224, or Helene Schrier Nankin at (202) 418-1466.

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