10-digit Phone Numbers from Relay Providers

The FCC rules [pdf file] that all relay providers must offer 10-digit phone numbers to their customers. “What the Commission proposes is a complex but doable plan that, at its center, requires participants to build a big central database of people who use TRS accessibility applications. That database will allow participants to enjoy the “functional equivalence” of a ten-digit ID,” writes ARS Technica.
But I’ve had my own 10-digit phone number for a long time. You call that number and it’ll go through a relay service. The relay service contacts me through AOL instant messenger. However, I suspect as the article points out — my phone number only works with one vendor using one method. This ruling allows us to have an universally recognizable phone number.
How does this affect long distance phone calls?
How does this affect how we receive our calls? Home phone? Mobile phone? Computer?
It’s a milestone, but a confusing one. Who wants to read a 79 paged government-created order?


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    • Neil on July 1, 2008 at 8:46 pm
    • Reply

    This is the difference between the TN you have now and what the FCC proposes. The current programs offered by the providers is simply a proxy.
    There is no actual location data tied to the number nor does it allow other people who have videophones to contact you directly.
    This is the big change. The new numbering plan essentially does away with IP addresses, closed networks, etc. in favor of a standardized and open network.

  1. Here’s something I wrote last week on the FCC order. Should help to answer some of your questions.

    • Anonymous on July 2, 2008 at 12:06 am
    • Reply

    10-digit local phone number means more money for phone companies since people making long-distance calls to you will be charged.
    Milestone for phone companies

  2. It’s not long distance because videophones are internet based,
    comparing more closely to VoIPs than to telephones.

    • Meryl on July 2, 2008 at 11:14 am
    • Reply

    But what about those who don’t use video phones?

    • DT on July 2, 2008 at 2:06 pm
    • Reply

    I’m a little confused on the long distance angle, too. Yesterday CSDVRS installed their “latest and greatest” in our home on our VP-200 yesterday and it comes with some really nifty features. The number we were given is an 800 number so my question now is: Will my hearing in-laws who live out of state (we are in CA) be able to call our 800 number gratis?

    • Meryl on July 3, 2008 at 8:00 am
    • Reply

    A reader talked to someone at TDI who said there are no plans to charge long distance fees, but it’s possible (however, very unlikely) that they COULD in the future.

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