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National Relay Service. Australia’s National Relay Service. legislatively mandated with two contracts to the Australian Government call centre outreach program provided for deaf, hearing-impaired and speech-impaired Australians funded by compulsory levy on larger carriers

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australia s national relay service
2Australia’s National Relay Service
  • legislatively mandated with two contracts to the Australian Government
    • call centre
    • outreach program
  • provided for deaf, hearing-impaired and speech-impaired Australians
  • funded by compulsory levy on larger carriers
  • cost to users is generally the same as a local call
  • available 24 hours a day, every day
  • dedicated emergency number for TTYs—106
why is there a national relay service
3Why is there a National Relay Service?
  • access for all
  • people who are deaf or have a hearing or speech impairment may have difficulty in using standard telephone services
  • can often use text-based methods of communication
  • the NRS provides a bridge between users of voice and text-based communications
key statistics
4Key statistics
  • almost 3.25 million call minutes in 2008-09
    • decrease of 1.5% on previous year
    • calls increased 5.7% in prior year (2007-08)
  • approx 8,000 unique users
  • 359 genuine emergency calls through dedicated 106 number
  • cost of $16.6 million in 2008-09
  • still well-used despite rise of alternatives (SMS, chat, internet)
the acma s role
5The ACMA’s role
  • The ACMA
    • manages the contracts with the NRS providers
    • collects the NRS levy from telecommunications carriers and pays the contractors
    • reports annually to the Minister on the providers’ performance
the contractors
6The contractors
  • the Relay Service provider is Australian Communication Exchange (ACE)
  • the Outreach provider is WestWood Spice (WWS)
  • contracts require high level of planning, performance and reporting by contractors
relay call centre
7Relay call centre
  • calls are routed through a call centre
    • not an ordinary call centre
    • trained Relay Officers read TTY input and voice to listening user
  • paid on the basis of call minutes delivered
    • contracted rate per minute
    • costs of capital improvements included(e.g. new IT systems, internet relay)
outreach
8Outreach
  • provides information, support and training to increase awareness of the NRS, including:
    • helpdesk & complaint management
    • advertising and promotion of the service to:
      • potential users
      • professional organisations
      • organisations that receive calls (e.g. government, corporate)
    • presentations to interested groups
    • training for users
      • Teletypewriter (TTY)
      • Internet relay
funding and costs
9Funding and costs
  • total cost in 2008-09 was $16.6 million
  • cost is shared among larger telecoms carriers
    • according to their total share of telecommunications revenue
  • cost of user equipment not paid by NRS
    • carriers provide TTYs to customers at same cost as rental of regular telephone
performance standards
10Performance standards
  • performance standards for both contracts
  • Relay
    • call abandonment rate—must be less than 2% per quarter or penalties apply
    • text emergency call blockage—no more than 0.5% of calls receive a busy signal in a day
    • text emergency call answer time—at least 99% answered within 10 seconds
  • Outreach
    • awareness of internet relay, rate of complaints, growth in new callers
internet relay
11Internet relay
  • launched in September 2007
    • allows use of internet to call out to a regular telephone number
    • can use computer or some mobile handsets
    • currently cannot receive calls—being considered for future
types of calls
12Types of calls
  • Type and read
    • for users who type their side of the conversation instead of speaking
    • they can type their message to the relay officer
    • the relay officer then speaks the written words and listens to what the recipient of the call says in reply and types it back for the user to read
types of calls1
14Types of calls
  • Speak and read (voice carry over)
    • for users who cannot hear, but prefer to use their voice to speak their side of the conversation, instead of typing it
    • they can speak directly to the person they have called via the Relay Service
    • the relay officer then listens to what the recipient of the call says in reply and types it back for the user to read
types of calls2
16Types of calls
  • Type and listen (hearing carry over)
    • for users who have difficulty speaking or communicating but can hear
    • the user types their side of the conversation and the relay officer reads it aloud to the person they have called
    • the user can then listen directly to the other person's reply
types of calls3
18Types of calls
  • Speak and listen (speech to speech relay)
    • for users who may have trouble in having their speech understood over the telephone
    • the relay officer, who is experienced in listening to people with speech impairments, will re-speak all or part of the conversation as required
emergency calls
20Emergency calls
  • text Emergency Service
  • text users dial 106 in an emergency situation to be connected to fire, police or ambulance
  • has priority into the NRS ahead of other calls
thank you

Thank you

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