What’s The TRS-URD and Why Do You Care?

March 19, 2021
What’s The TRS-URD and Why Do You Care?

Keep your ClearCaptions service active and available. The TRS-URD makes it possible.

TRS-URD? What does it mean? What does it do? Where is it from? Why do you care?!

So many questions and all of which deserve an answer. Come with us to learn about the Telecommunications Relay Service User Registration Database (TRS-URD) and why you do care (even if you didn’t realize it).

First, what makes call captioning service available?

Like most services we enjoy today, be they for entertainment, information sharing, or anything in between (streaming services, video chat, social media, and more), there are typically “terms and conditions” we must read and accept before we can begin to enjoy the benefits.

ClearCaptions is a service that provides call captioning to you when you have hearing loss that otherwise makes it impossible to use the telephone (whether at home or on your mobile device).

While we regularly present our Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy to you, we also need you to provide additional consent to validate your account information with the Federal Communications Commission (the “FCC”). It’s the FCC that authorizes us to provide call captioning to qualified users at no cost to them. See that? The FCC mandates the service is provided only to verified users within the United States…and that’s where the TRS-URD comes into play and why it’s actually important to you.

Please read on…

So, what is the TRS-URD?

Telecommunications Relay Service is the “TRS” part. Simply put, TRS encompasses many different technologies and methods that help people with different needs to communicate. This can include text-to-voice technology, voice carryover, speech-to-speech and others. Within those services, of course, is the Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service that ClearCaptions providesLearn even more on our previous blog about the TRS Fund.

Now, the “URD” part is the User Registration Database, a safeguard established by the FCC. The URD is very important because it’s a cross-checking method to verify that 1) the user is a real person and, 2) that the user lives within the United States. This is why we collect your legal name, address, and other personal information when you sign up for a ClearCaptions account.

OK—that seems like a lot to take in but, in a nutshell, it explains what the TRS-URD is and what it does to give you the call captioning service you need.  If you want to learn even more about TRS-URD, visit clearcaptions.com/trs-urd.

Let’s continue…

What does “consent” mean and why is everyone doing it?

It’s true! Every ClearCaptions customer provides consent that allows ClearCaptions to transmit account information to the FCC’s TRS-URD to validate and protect the TRS fund from fraud and misuse. You’re in good company because, as a part of the ClearCaptions family of users, you’ll know that you can enjoy ongoing, worry-free service.

But know this: your privacy and the security of your private information is of utmost importance to us. While we’re eager to provide call captioning service to you, we do it in a way that complies with FCC rules and regulations, so the service remains available every day that you need it.

One very important point: we will never sell your information to third parties. The need for your consent to share and validate your information with the TRS-URD is proof that you’ll always be in control of your personal data.

Yes, you could elect not to provide consent and, if so, we would not be able to offer our service to you. Even so, that upholds our commitment to safeguard your information.

With your consent, however, we can provide call captioning service to you right away. The choice is yours, always.

OK—so how do I give my consent?

Thank you for staying with us through this explanation. If you’re a new customer, this was likely completed when you installed your phone. If you’ve been enjoying ClearCaptions service for some time, we’ll be reaching out to update your account and collect consent. Keep a lookout for outreach from our team in the form of email, phone or mail.

So now you know what the TRS-URD is, what it does, and why its important to you and millions of others who can benefit from call captioning.

If you have questions about ClearCaptions service, for home and mobile call use, contact us online or call 1-866-246-7850.

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FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. IP Captioned Telephone Service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund.