711 A Number You Need To Know About.

Get ready to add the number 711 to the list containing 411 and 911, because you need to know about 711.

What is 711?  711 will be a nationwide “short” phone number to help the hearing/speech impaired or anyone needing assistance communicating with them.

711 will connect callers with the Telecommunications Relay Services.  The TRS is designed to assist the millions of U.S. residents with hearing or speech disabilities.  By the time you read this, all telecommunications carriers in the United States (including landline, wireless, commercial mobile radio services and payphone providers) will be required by the Federal Communications Commission to provide 711 TRS dialing to consumers. In addition, the FCC has encouraged all PBX (private branch exchange) suppliers to configure their systems for 711 access to TRS. 

So what is TRS?

First it stands for “ the Telecommunications Relay Services”

TRS enables phone conversations between those who can hear and talk with those that cannot.  It’s just that simple.  Why the need for 711 or this service anyway?

Well I can tell you that the service has been around a very long time.  I first used it over 20 years ago when I needed to interview a witness to a car accident by phone.  Only thing was that person was hearing impaired, so I could not “talk” to them.  But I could still communicate.

The TRS simply put a “translator between the two parties.  You tell the “translator” what you want to say.  They type it into a terminal.  The other party reads it, and types their reply.  The translator reads the reply back to you.

Now this service can be accessed from any phone in the United States by dialing 711.

This service is free of charge.

For more information on the service from the FCC go to: http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Common_Carrier/News_Releases/2001/nrcc0138.html 

Should 711 not be working in your area please contact the FCC’s Consumer Center at 1-888-CALL-FCC (voice) or 1-888-TELL-FCC (TTY), or to send e-mail to access@fcc.gov 


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