FCC Waives Text-to-988 Translation Requirement

On May 11, 2022, the Wireline Competition Bureau released an Order granting a request by CTIA for waiver of the text-to-988 requirements in section 52.201(a) of the FCC’s rules to allow covered text providers to route covered 988 text messages to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (“Lifeline”) without translation to the Lifeline’s current toll free access number.  Section 52.201(a) requires covered text providers to route a covered 988 text message to the toll free access number for the Lifeline, 1-800-273-8255, beginning July 16, 2022.  In the Order, the Bureau concluded there was good cause to allow covered text providers to centrally route text messages to the Lifeline using short code protocol without translation to the current toll free access number because it will ensure a more positive consumer experience for those seeking assistance from the Lifeline, it promotes the FCC’s policy to allow providers flexibility in developing the technical requirements to achieve texting to 988, and it will enable quick implementation of text-to-988.

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