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FCC Wants to Revamp Business Data Services Rules; Tom Wheeler Comments

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FCCSealThe Federal Communications Commission plans to develop new regulatory frameworks for business data services and real-time text messaging services for citizens with disabilities at its meeting in April.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said Friday he has circulated a draft Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to his fellow commissioners in a move to replace old BDS rules.

“I’ve circulated a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to replace our rules requiring [teletypewriter] support with rules defining the obligations of these entities to support real-time text over IP-based wireless services,” Wheeler said.

Wheeler describes RTT as a better alternative to TTY technology as the technology works to transmit text to the recipient as it is being composed.

“For the past 50 years, people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech disabled and deaf-blind have been using TTYs to communicate by text over the phone,” he said.

“But TTY technology was developed for use on the legacy public switched telephone network,” added Wheeler.

The notice is also meant to solicit ideas from industry on how to determine the presence of competition in the BDS market across specific geographies.

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