In July 2000, the Federal Communications Commission required all telecommunications carriers nationwide to implement three-digit, 711, dialing for access to all Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS). This dialing arrangement supplements existing systems in Iowa that require 10 digit numbers in order to initiate relay calls. The FCC noted that its rule will eliminate the difficulties that individuals have with finding or remembering various relay numbers as they travel from state to state. Both voice and TTY users are able to initiate a call from any telephone, anywhere in the United States, without having to remember and dial a 10-digit number.
By reducing the number of digits needed for accessing relay services, nationwide implementation of 711 access to TRS makes relay access convenient, fast, and uncomplicated. As a result, it improves access to TRS, and encourages and facilitates communication between individuals who are hearing, deaf, hard of hearing, or have difficulty speaking to voice users. In addition to providing easier communication for millions of Americans with hearing or speech difficulties, the FCC expects the rules to spur greater demand for quality relay service by text and voice users. The greater demand may encourage the market entry of new TRS competitors, thereby increasing innovation, lowering prices, and enhancing the quality of relay services.
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