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July 15, 2005

Sorenson Supports and is in Full Compliance with FCC's New VRS Rulings

From: Sorenson Communications - Jul 15, 2005

Sorenson Communications Supports and is in Full Compliance with FCC's New VRS Rulings

FCC Announces Decisions Regarding Average Speed of Answer, Hours of Operation, and Other Video Relay Regulatory Issues

SALT LAKE CITY (July 15, 2005) - Sorenson Communications(tm), the leading provider of video relay services (VRS) and equipment for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community, today expressed its support of recent rulings from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on several significant VRS regulatory issues, and announced that the company is already in full compliance with all FCC rulings and policies.

The main FCC rulings, announced July 14, 2005, include: 1) "speed of answer" requirements, referring to how quickly an interpreter answers a VRS call; 2) "hours of service" requirements, which refers to the hours of operation for a VRS service; and 3) reimbursement funding for VRS "video mail," the VRS equivalent of voicemail, and Spanish language VRS services.

With regard to speed of answer, the FCC ruled that 80 percent of all VRS calls must be answered by an interpreter within three minutes. The Commission also advised that the speed of answer requirement will be further shortened in the future.

"By setting the speed of answer requirement at three minutes and gradually phasing in shorter wait times, the FCC is recognizing the shortage of qualified interpreters in the marketplace, and wisely balancing the demand for VRS interpreters with that for community interpreters," said Pat Nola, COO of Sorenson Communications.

The FCC also required that vendors offering VRS services to the deaf and hard-of-hearing community must make those services available 24 hours per day, seven days per week. Sorenson Communications has offered 24/7 VRS services since October 2004, and is currently the only VRS provider to do so.

The Commission also announced that it will authorize reimbursement to VRS providers for video mail and Spanish video relay services.

VRS video mail allows deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to receive signed video messages from hearing callers when they are not able to answer their videophones. Using Sorenson Communications' SignMail(tm) video mail, a VRS interpreter translates a voice message from a hearing person, and then records a video interpretation of that message for the deaf or hard-of-hearing individual to view at a later time.

Sorenson Communications, which currently operates an industry-leading 20 Sorenson VRS interpreting centers, has offered SignMail since April 2004, and is currently exploring the option of offering Spanish language video relay services.

"We applaud the FCC for its commitment to ensure that deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals receive the highest possible level of video relay services," said Sorenson Communications CEO James Lee Sorenson. "The Commission's actions will greatly improve the quality of available services and numerous individuals in the deaf and hard-of-hearing community will benefit from these regulatory changes."

For more information on the FCC announcements and to view an American Sign Language (ASL) video summary of the rulings, visit

About Sorenson Communications

Sorenson Communications ( is a provider of industry-leading communication offerings including the Sorenson Video Relay Service (VRS), Sorenson IP Relay (siprelay), and the Sorenson videophones. Sorenson VRS enables deaf and hard-of-hearing callers to conduct video relay conversations through a qualified American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter. Sorenson IP Relay allows users to place text-based relay calls from either a mobile device or a PC to any telephone user. The company's line of Sorenson videophones are the only customized videophones with auto-updating technology, which include the latest video communication features for the deaf and hard-of-hearing community.

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Press Contact

David Parkinson
Sorenson Communications Public Relations

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