FCC wins US court challenge by Sorenson on FCC rate cut.

Three days ago, the US appeals rejected Sorenson Communications Inc’s challenge of a 2013 order by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that cut the amount the company get paid for providing a service to help deaf and hard of hearing people make phone calls. However, the FCC did lose part of the challenge since the FCC’s 2013 order that raised the standards for how fast the service operates was sent back by the judges for the FCC to review again.

According to Reuters:

Like other VRS providers, Sorenson receives payments from the FCC for such calls at a rate set by the agency based on costs incurred by the company in the process.

The FCC lowered its per-minute compensation rates in 2010 and again in 2013, while raising the standard for how fast VRS calls are answered.

Sorenson, which generates revenue almost exclusively from FCC compensation, challenged the 2013 rate-lowering order in court as “arbitrary and capricious.” But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Tuesday rejected the company’s argument.

The FCC will now review “whether its enhanced speed-of-answer requirement increased providers’ costs and, if so, whether faster service was worth an increase in rates”.
Earlier this year, Sorenson, the leading provider of video relay services (VRS) filed for bankruptcy and most recently, they are also having interoperability issues with other VRS companies.
Recently, the VRS community, both customers and businesses, have been calling out Sorenson for not have interoperability within their products that would allow all VRS companies to leave and receive messages on Sorenson products. Thus, a protest was started, late August 2014, within the community by Sheri Farinha called #VRSInteroperabilityNOW. The community has responded in various ways with an employee of Sorenson doing a vlog using Sorenson logo while not be officially affiliated with the company to NAD sending a letter to the FCC protest Sorenson lack of interoperability.
Today, Sorenson, finally announced that videomail will be interoperable.

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