WASHINGTON — The FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau today granted conditional certification to InnoCaption to provide fully automatic Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) for deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans using Automatic Speech Recognition (ASR). InnoCaption will allow its users to select fully automatic telephone captions as an alternative to the provision of captions by communications assistants (CAs).

IP CTS is a form of telecommunications relay service (TRS) that permits an individual who can speak but who has difficulty hearing over the telephone to use a telephone and an Internet access device to simultaneously listen to the other party and read captions of what the other party is saying.

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InnoCaption plans to offer fully automatic IP CTS as an optional ASR Calling Feature on the company’s InnoCaption+ mobile application. Within the app, users can choose between three “Caption Modes”: CA Only, which routes calls to a CA unless the user affirmatively selects ASR for a specific call; CA Priority, which routes calls to a CA as the default mode but temporarily routes calls to ASR in the event of an unexpected call surge; and ASR Only, which routes all calls to ASR (except for 911 calls, which are routed to a CA). Regardless of which Caption Mode they select, users will be able to switch between ASR and CA service during a single call, giving consumers the ability to select the captioning mode that they find most suitable for a particular call.

In June 2018, the Commission determined that ASR is a permissible means of delivering captioned telephone service. This is the third conditional certification the Commission has granted for fully automatic IP CTS.

In granting conditional certification, the FCC has provisionally determined that InnoCaption’s hybrid offering of fully automatic captioning in combination with CA-assisted service will meet or exceed the Commission’s minimum standards. InnoCaption is thereby permitted to receive Telecommunications Relay Service Fund compensation for providing the service.

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