TDI asks everyone in the DC metro area to attend this historic open Commission meeting this Thursday!

TDI has a special favor to ask of its DC metro area members, friends, and supporters.  We would appreciate if you can take the time this Thursday morning, December 15, 2016 to attend an open meeting of the Federal Communications Commission.  It starts at 10:30AM, but please arrive there at least before 10:00AM. to allow time for security clearance, and to get good seats in the room.  Let us come in droves and give the Commission our full support for their upcoming action on Real Time Text Technology.  Thank you!

On this Thursday, December 15, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission has an open meeting, and one of its actions will be on Real Time Text Technology, a reality in the making for at least eight years!

In this meeting, the Commission plans to consider a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to help achieve the transition from TTY technology to a reliable and interoperable means of providing real-time text (RTT) communication over wireless Internet protocol-enabled networks and services.  RTT allows text to be sent immediately as it is being created, enabling communications to flow back and forth in the same manner as voice communications.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler wrote a recent article, titled “Head-Start for the Holidays.”  His article goes as follows:

“With many people taking time off for the Thanksgiving holiday, we are announcing the scheduled agenda for the Commission’s December open meeting a few days early.

The first item up for consideration will be a proposed Order to enable a universal and integrated text solution for people with disabilities who rely on text communications to make telephone calls. For half a century, people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech-disabled and deaf-blind have been using TTYs to communicate by text over the phone. Obviously, our communications have changed dramatically over the past 50 years, and TTY technology is now outdated and not functionally equivalent to telephone services used by voice telephone users. That’s why the Commission is working to accelerate the use of real-time text as a replacement.

Real-time text allows text to be sent immediately as it is being created, enabling communications to flow back and forth in the same manner as voice communications. It also permits people with hearing and speech disabilities to use off-the-shelf devices.  Rather than pay for special equipment that may be hard to find and not as effective, they will, for the first time, be able to use the same phones as everyone else. The proposed Order would replace our rules requiring TTY support with rules defining the obligations of these wireless entities to support real-time text over IP-based services.”

The meeting takes place in the Commission Meeting Room, 445 12th Street, SW, Washington, DC.  The meeting is open to the public and will be streamed live on the Internet with open captioning.

Reasonable Accommodations:  Open captioning and on-site sign language interpreting services will be provided for this event.  Other reasonable accommodations for people with disabilities are available upon request, such as tactile interpreting services.  Requests for such accommodations should be submitted via e‐mail to [email protected] or by calling the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 810-0444 (videophone), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).  Such requests should include a detailed description of the accommodation needed.  In addition, please include a way the FCC can contact you if it needs more information.  Please allow as much advance notice as possible; last‐minute requests will be accepted, but may be impossible to fill.