Note by Sheri Ann Farinha. 8/26/2014.

Note by Sheri Ann Farinha. 8/26/2014.

#VRSInteroperabilityNOW is all about the ongoing issue of interoperability among VRS providers. While many people know that there is one VRS provider that does not make their video mail interoperable with other providers, FCC has done nothing to penalize them. In one of the older articles explaining Neutral platform, it has become clear that FCC’s only solution is to create a reference platform to help with interoperability among providers.

FCC at this point has decided that they will do both a reference platform and a neutral platform. For those that don’t understand the difference between the two, a reference platform is designed to ensure interoperability for VRS calls and point to point video calls. The reference platform is similar to “android” platform because it will be open source allowing developers to develop “apps.” However, Neutral Platform is often misunderstood because people don’t understand what it is and how FCC intends on using it. (FCC’s Position on Neutral Platform)

According to Sheri, there had been a SIP Forum at the recent National Association for the Deaf Conference this past summer. Interoperability had been brought up and it had ended on a positive note and then after the meeting, rumor has it that the one provider that has yet to make their video mail interoperable has decided that it is not “economically feasible” to do so. This is a form of oppression towards their clients.

Interoperability has been an ongoing problem for a long time now. Jon Ziev had posted a petition on MoveOn Petitions to request interoperability. His petition began like this:

FCC has in the past made sure the cellular phones are interoperable for consumers to be able to reach out anybody in the world. Now that we have video capabilities on our smartphones and computers, the FCC needs to order them to be interoperable with each other. (MoveOn Petition)

While this petition is not specifically focused on software provided only by VRS providers, it addresses a whole new question on why we aren’t able to use all video capability software to contact each other to do video phone or video conversations. Video messages are the way of life now among the community. Everybody needs to remember who is causing these problems and who is causing FCC to drop rates merely because they want to dominate the market. Jeremy Jack had responded to Sheri’s video message on Facebook making it very clear that Convo, Purple, Global, CAAG, and ZVRS are all cooperating with the need for interoperability however Sorenson has not been. When it becomes clear to the community what kind of issues this particular provider is causing, the community needs to understand that it doesn’t matter how much money Sorenson is willing to throw their way, nothing is worth being oppressed.

Both videos have mentioned domestic violence as a possible reason for calling somebody for support or help. Being unable to leave a message can lead to dire consequences. While this is not the only circumstance that can lead to messy results, it is still a very clear reason for interoperability to happen now. Not ten years down the road as technology gets better, right now.

Stop letting Sorenson oppress the community. #VRSInteroperabilityNOW Don’t forget to thank the providers that do support interoperability and people’s right to choose!