Caption This? Modernizing Wireless Phone Text Compatibility

While the rest of the world is either going LIVE on Instagram or Facebook all at once, the Federal Communications Commission held its last meeting under the Obama Administration led by Chairman, Tom Wheeler with a favorable motion to support real-time text providing reliable telephone communications for Americans who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who have a speech disability.  Before his January 20th departure, Chairman Wheeler thank the staff for their hard work, and dedication to increase digital age accessibility, affordable broadband regulations while helping more people stay connected.

All in Favor

With the favorable majority vote, and request for editorial, phone companies will now have to replace telephone text support.  It\’s out with the old TTY, and in with the new support for real-time text aiding Americans who are deaf and hard of hearing, deaf -blind, or who have a speech disability.  Commissioner Rosenworcel says at the meeting \”the future belongs to the connected, and the FCC extends that connection to more people.\”  The real-time text would allow natural conversation, communicate quick and efficient, use in the event of emergencies and the purchase of specialized equipment isn\’t needed.  Now let\’s review this plan which AT & T petition asking the FCC to initiate a rule-making that would authorize the industry wide substitution of real-time text to meet accessibility requirements.  Maybe Sprint will acknowledge the petition but implement a petition of its own since they have proposed to bring 50,000 jobs to America under the new Trump Administration.


Although special equipment isn\’t needed, will the wireless phone carrier adds a special tax onto the customers bill for this real-time text service?  Will the customer need to increase their data plans for real-time text?  Furthermore, these are questions for the Trump Administration to tackle.  Chairman Wheeler expressed his gratitude for being in his position and looks forward to his resignation by 12:01 p.m. on January 20th.

Much uncertainty roamed the room of the Commission meeting, moreover rest assuredly, take a deep breath, the work will be appreciated is the belief one of the Commissioners has.  Despite Chairman Wheeler applauding one of his staff for their ability to deliver internet protocol, or counsel on delivery and determine what it should look like, he doesn\’t know who should deliver protocol or counsel closed captioning for online streaming companies, although many Americans consume alternative news from their wireless mobile devices.

The Uncertainty

TheDCVoice: At the present the FCC does not have jurisdiction over video programming that has not been shown on tv, will the FCC extend its jurisdiction to digital online media with regulations on closed captioning?

FCC Chairman Wheeler: that\’s a question I\’d think you\’d have to ask the next administration

Perhaps this is a question for the new Administration as the Chairman stated, or a case for the DC Circuit court, caption that?  Moreover, who will be accountable for the accuracy of the closed captioning once implemented for real-time text communication?

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