FCC Adopts VRS, TRS Compensation Rates

The VRS rates are "based on the proposals of the fund administrator."
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set compensation rates for video relay services (VRS) and for telecommunications relay services (TRS) through June 30, 2012, and those rates remain the same as the 2011 compensation rates.

In a Federal Register notice—Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals With Hearing and Speech Disabilities; Structure and Practices of the Video Relay Service Program—posted July 25, the FCC set the compensation rates for VRS and TRS services provided to blind, deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals, and paid for by the federal Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service (ITRS).

According to the notice, the FCC “adopts per-minute compensation rates to be paid from the [ITRS] fund for the 2011-2012 fund year” for all forms of TRS except for VRS. The VRS rates are “based on the proposals of the fund administrator,” Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates, LLC, a firm that provides administrative and regulatory services to government agencies including administering state and federal universal services funds.

“For VRS, the commission adopts, until further notice, the current interim rates that were adopted for the 2010-11 Fund year. The VRS rates adopted herein will be in effect on an interim basis until the Commission completes its examination of VRS rates and compensation as part of the 2010 VRS NOI proceeding,” the notice says. As of July 1, 2011, the rates for VRS and TRS are:

  • For VRS, the rates shall continue to be $6.2390 for Tier I; $6.2335 for Tier II; and $5.0668 for Tier III.
  • For TRS, the compensation rates are “per-minute,” and those rates are $1.8611 for interstate traditional TRS; $2.9921 for Speech-to-Speech (STS) service; $1.7630 for captioned telephone service (CTS) and Internet-Protocol (IP) CTS; and $1.2920 for IP Relay.

In addition, based on the VRS and TRS rates and a proposal for additional funding made by Rolka Loube Saltzer Associates, the FCC adopts “a carrier contribution” of 0.01058, and a funding allocation of $740.3 million through June 30, 2012.