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November 28, 2013

Ofcom to approve BT’s text relay service

Text relay service will help customers with hearing and speech disability to communicate via telephone.

By CBR Staff Writer

UK communications regulator Ofcom looks set to approve BT’s proposal of launching enhanced text relay services, which will help customers with hearing and speech disability to communicate via telephone.

Under the service, the company will use a relay assistant to convert speech to text and vice versa during the conversation that would help disabled people to communicate with others using the telephone.

The authority has announced to launch the text relay services to customers by 18 April 2014 and has also asked the service providers to make a series of improvements by the date.

The improvements are expected to allow the users to have better conversations as well as different devices for the service including the smartphones and tablets.

Ofcom Consumer Group director Claudio Pollack said the announcement represents another key milestone in the work to deliver an improved telephone experience for hearing and speech impaired consumers.

"As technology moves on, Ofcom is committed to ensuring disabled users can access reliable, up-to-date text relay services which help them communicate more easily," Pollack added.

Ofcom has asked the service provider to ensure that the complaints are well handled and do not exceed one per 1,000 calls, see that an average of 90% of standard text relay calls are answered within 15 seconds and 95% of emergency calls are answered within five seconds.

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