« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
individual who does not have a hearing impairment or speech
(1) IN GENERAL.-In order to carry out the purposes established under section 1, to make available to all individuals in the United States a rapid, efficient nationwide communication service, and to increase the utility of the telephone system of the Nation, the Commission shall ensure that interstate and intrastate telecommunications relay services are available, to the extent possible and in the most efficient manner, to hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals in the United States.
(2) USE OF GENERAL AUTHORITY AND REMEDIES.For the purposes of administering and enforcing the provisions of this section and the regulations prescribed thereunder, the Commission shall have the same authority, power, and functions with respect to common carriers engaged in intrastate communication as the Commission has in administering and enforcing the provisions of this title with respect to any common carrier engaged in interstate communication. Any violation of this section by any common carrier engaged in intrastate communication shall be subject to the same remedies, penalties, and procedures as are applicable to a violation of this Act by a common carrier engaged in interstate communication.
(c) PROVISION OF SERVICES.—Each common carrier providing telephone voice transmission services shall, not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of this section, provide in compliance with the regulations prescribed under this section, throughout the area in which it offers service, telecommunications relay services, individually, through designees, through a competitively selected vendor, or in concert with other carriers. A common carrier shall be considered to be in compliance with such regulations
(1) with respect to intrastate telecommunications relay services in any State that does not have a certified program under subsection (f) and with respect to interstate telecommunications relay services, if such common carrier (or other entity through which the carrier is providing such relay services) is in compliance with the Commission's regulations under subsection (d); or
(2) with respect to intrastate telecommunications relay services in any State that has a certified program under subsection (f) for such State, if such common carrier (or other entity through which the carrier is providing such relay services) is in compliance with the program certified under subsection (f) for such State. (d) REGULATIONS.
(1) IN GENERAL.- The Commission shall, not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this section, prescribe regulations to implement this section, including regulations that
(A) establish functional requirements, guidelines, and operations procedures for telecommunications relay services;
(B) establish minimum standards that shall be met in carrying out subsection (c);
(C) require that telecommunications relay services operate every day for 24 hours per day;
(D) require that users of telecommunications relay services pay rates no greater than the rates paid for functionally equivalent voice communication services with respect to such factors as the duration of the call, the time of day, and the distance from point of origination to point of termination;
(E) prohibit relay operators from failing to fulfill the obligations of common carriers by refusing calls or limiting the length of calls that use telecommunications relay services;
(F) prohibit relay operators from disclosing the content of any relayed conversation and from keeping records of the content of any such conversation beyond the duration of the call; and
(G) prohibit relay operators from intentionally altering a relayed conversation.
(2) TECHNOLOGY.—The Commission shall ensure that regulations prescribed to implement this section encourage, consistent with section 7(a) of this Act, the use of existing technology and do not discourage or impair the development of improved technology. (3) JURISDICTIONAL SEPARATION OF COSTS.
(A) IN GENERAL.-Consistent with the provisions of section 410 of this Act, the Commission shall prescribe regulations governing the jurisdictional separation of costs for the services provided pursuant to this section.
(B) RECOVERING COSTS. Such regulations shall generally provide that costs caused by interstate telecommunications relay services shall be recovered from all subscribers for every interstate service and costs caused by intrastate telecommunications relay services shall be recovered from the intrastate jurisdiction. In a State that has a certified program under subsection (f), a State commission shall permit a common carrier to recover the costs incurred in providing intrastate telecommunications relay services by a method consistent with the requirements of
this section. (e) ENFORCEMENT.
(1) IN GENERAL.-Subject to subsections (f) and (g), the Commission shall enforce this section.
(2) COMPLAINT.—The Commission shall resolve, by final order, a complaint alleging a violation of this section within 180 days after the date such complaint is filed. (f) CERTIFICATION. —
(1) STATE DOCUMENTATION.—Any State desiring to establish a State program under this section shall submit documentation to the Commission that describes the program of
such State for implementing intrastate telecommunications relay services and the procedures and remedies available for enforcing any requirements imposed by the State program.
(2) REQUIREMENTS FOR CERTIFICATION.—After review of such documentation, the Commission shall certify the State program if the Commission determines that
(A) the program makes available to hearing-impaired and speech-impaired individuals, either directly, through designees, through a competitively selected vendor, or through regulation of intrastate common carriers, intrastate telecommunications relay services in such State in a manner that meets or exceeds the requirements of regulations prescribed by the Commission under subsection (d); and
(B) the program makes available adequate procedures and remedies for enforcing the requirements of the State program.
(3) METHOD OF FUNDING.-Except as provided in subsection (d), the Commission shall not refuse to certify a State program based solely on the method such State will implement for funding intrastate telecommunication relay services.
(4) SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION OF CERTIFICATION.—The Commission may suspend or revoke such certification if, after notice and opportunity for hearing, the Commission determines that such certification is no longer warranted. In a State whose program has been suspended or revoked, the Commission shall take such steps as may be necessary, consistent with this section, to ensure continuity of telecommunications relay services. (g) COMPLAINT.
(1) REFERRAL OF COMPLAINT.-If a complaint to the Commission alleges a violation of this section with respect to intrastate telecommunications relay services within a State and certification of the program of such State under subsection (f) is in effect, the Commission shall refer such complaint to such State.
(2) JURISDICTION OF COMMISSION.- After referring a complaint to a State under paragraph (1), the Commission shall exercise jurisdiction over such complaint only if
(A) final action under such State program has not been taken on such complaint by such State
(i) within 180 days after the complaint is filed with such State; or
(ii) within a shorter period as prescribed by the regulations of such State; or
(B) the Commission determines that such State program is no longer qualified for certification under sub
section (f). SEC. 226. (47 U.S.C. 226) TELEPHONE OPERATOR SERVICES. (a) DEFINITIONS.-As used in this section
(1) The term “access code” means a sequence of numbers that, when dialed, connect the caller to the provider of operator services associated with that sequence.
(2) The term “aggregator” means any person that, in the ordinary course of its operations, makes telephones available to the public or to transient users of its premises, for interstate telephone calls using a provider of operator services.
(3) The term “call splashing” means the transfer of a telephone call from one provider of operator services to another such provider in such a manner that the subsequent provider is unable or unwilling to determine the location of the origination of the call and, because of such inability or unwillingness, is prevented from billing the call on the basis of such location.
(4) The term "consumer” means a person initiating any interstate telephone call using operator services.
(5) The term "equal access” has the meaning given that term in Appendix B of the Modification of Final Judgment entered August 24, 1982, in United States v. Western Electric, Civil Action No. 82-0192 (United States District Court, District of Columbia), as amended by the Court in its orders issued prior to the enactment of this section.
(6) The term "equal access code” means an access code that allows the public to obtain an equal access connection to the carrier associated with that code.
(7) The term "operator services” means any interstate telecommunications service initiated from an aggregator location that includes, as a component, any automatic or live assistance to a consumer to arrange for billing or completion, or both, of an interstate telephone call through a method other than
(A) automatic completion with billing to the telephone from which the call originated; or
(B) completion through an access code used by the consumer, with billing to an account previously established with the carrier by the consumer.
(8) The term "presubscribed provider of operator services" means the interstate provider of operator services to which the consumer is connected when the consumer places a call using a provider of operator services without dialing an access code.
(9) The term “provider of operator services” means any common carrier that provides operator services or any other person determined by the Commission to be providing operator services. (b) REQUIREMENTS FOR PROVIDERS OF OPERATOR SERVICES.
(1) IN GENERAL.-Beginning not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this section, each provider of operator services shall, at a minimum
(A) identify itself, audibly and distinctly, to the consumer at the beginning of each telephone call and before the consumer incurs any charge for the call;
(B) permit the consumer to terminate the telephone call at no charge before the call is connected;
(C) disclose immediately to the consumer, upon request and at no charge to the consumer
(i) a quote of its rates or charges for the call;
(ii) the methods by which such rates or charges will be collected; and
(iii) the methods by which complaints concerning such rates, charges, or collection practices will be resolved;
(D) ensure, by contract or tariff, that each aggregator for which such provider is the presubscribed provider of operator services is in compliance with the requirements of subsection (c) and, if applicable, subsection (e) 1);
(E) withhold payment (on a location-by-location basis) of
any compensation, including commissions, aggregators if such provider reasonably believes that the aggregator (i) is blocking access by means of “950” or “800" numbers to interstate common carriers in violation of subsection (c)(1)(B) or (ii) is blocking access to equal access codes in violation of rules the Commission may prescribe under subsection (e)(1);
(F) not bill for unanswered telephone calls in areas where equal access is available;
(G) not knowingly bill for unanswered telephone calls where equal access is not available;
(H) not engage in call splashing, unless the consumer requests to be transferred to another provider of operator services, the consumer is informed prior to incurring any charges that the rates for the call may not reflect the rates from the actual originating location of the call, and the consumer then consents to be transferred; and
(I) except as provided in subparagraph (H), not bill for a call that does not reflect the location of the origination of the call.
(2) ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR FIRST 3 YEARS.-In addition to meeting the requirements of paragraph (1), during the 3-year period beginning on the date that is 90 days after the date of enactment of this section, each presubscribed provider of operator services shall identify itself audibly and distinctly to the consumer, not only as required in paragraph (1)(A), but also for a second time before connecting the call and before the consumer incurs any charge. (c) REQUIREMENTS FOR AGGREGATORS. —
(1) IN GENERAL.-Each aggregator, beginning not later than 90 days after the date of enactment of this section, shall
(A) post on or near the telephone instrument, in plain view of consumers
(i) the name, address, and toll-free telephone number of the provider of operator services;
(ii) a written disclosure that the rates for all operator-assisted calls are available on request, and that consumers have a right to obtain access to the interstate common carrier of their choice and may contact their preferred interstate common carriers for information on accessing that carrier's service using that telephone; and
(iii) the name and address of the enforcement division of the Common Carrier Bureau of the Commis