User NoticeE911 Instructional Video FCC E911 Report and OrderLocal Number Portability & 10 Digit Numbers Local Number Portability AdvisoryToll-Free Numbers for VRS and IP-Relay
About Local 10-Digit Numbers
Q: What is a local 10-digit number?
A: A local 10-digit number is your own personal telephone number, just like the numbers hearing people have. It is unique and no one else can have the same phone number as you. It starts with three numbers other than 800, 877, 855, 888 or 866.
- A 10-digit number enables you to receive incoming calls from hearing friends, family and business associates directly on your videophone, mobile device or through AIM on your computer or wireless device.
- Deaf friends can also call you directly by using your local 10-digit number.
Q: What is NOT a local 10-digit number?
A: "Proxy" or "alias" VP numbers are not considered real local numbers. Toll-free numbers that start with 800, 855, 888, 877 and 866 may be relay phone numbers, but they are not LOCAL numbers.
Q: What did the FCC decide about local 10-digit numbers?
A: The FCC ruled in 2008 that all relay providers must:
- Adopt a local 10-digit numbering system for video and text relay services
- Create a Default Provider/Preferred Provider registration process
- Create a database for all local 10-digit numbers issued to relay users
- Ensure customers can transfer numbers to other providers (Local Number Portability or "LNP")
- Comply with all E911 emergency call handling requirements
- Ensure users can choose any relay provider for their video or text relay calls
Q: What is required by the FCC?
A: Relay users must register with a relay provider to receive a local 10-digit number and 911 services.
Q: What is functional equivalency?
A: Functional equivalency is the ability for Deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech disabled individuals to communicate using relay with the same ease and convenience as hearing users communicate using telephones. This represents equal opportunities, rights and access to telecommunications, as well as fuller participation in society by Deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech disabled individuals using technologies such as IP-based video and text relay services.
Q: What is an alternate provider?
A: An alternate provider is the video or text relay service provider you choose to make your relay calls through. For example, if you have a videophone from Sorenson, you can still choose to make calls through Purple. In this case, Purple would be your alternate, or preferred provider.
Q: What is a default provider?
A: Your default provider is the relay provider with whom you choose to register with to obtain a 10-digit number, provide 911 services and manage your relay equipment (i.e. videophone).
Q: Can I change my default provider?
A: Yes. You can change your default provider at any time.
Q: Can I continue to use my current videophone if I change default providers?
A: Yes. But you may lose certain features if you do. For more information, please call Purple Customer Care at 877-885-3172.
Q: What is a domain name?
A: A domain name is a simpler way to represent an IP address. For example, instead of dialing around using the Purple IP address, you can simply use purple.tv.
Q: What is an IP address?
A: An IP address is an Internet or network ID number for a computer or device. Relay users set their local 10-digit numbers to ring at their videophone, mobile device, computer or tablet by entering the IP address to their profile. Remember to always keep this address up-to-date.
Toll-Free Numbers for VRS and IP-Relay
Q: What are the FCC's current rules regarding toll-free numbers for VRS and IP-Relay?
A: New FCC rules went into effect on November 22, 2011. Per the new rules, TRS providers can no longer provide toll-free numbers to their customers.
If you have an existing toll-free number with Purple, and you would like to keep it, you have until November 21, 2012 to transfer your toll-free number to a toll-free service provider. These toll-free service providers will charge a fee for their service. Watch the video.
Q: I want a new toll-free number. How do I get one?
A: If you would like a new toll-free number, you will need to contact a toll-free services provider. You can find a list of providers at www.sms800.com
Per FCC rules, Purple can no longer issue toll-free numbers to customers.
Q; I have a toll-free number already, and I want to keep it. What should I do?
A: If you would like to keep your toll-free number, you’ll need to transfer your number to a toll-free services provider.
To find a list of providers, go to www.sms800.com
After you have chosen a provider, tell them you would like to port your toll-free number to their service.
Toll-Free Services Providers charge a fee for their service.
Q: How do I request that my toll-free number be linked to my local ten-digit number?
A: If you would like to link your toll-free number to your Purple local ten-digit number, please contact Purple.
Q: I don’t use my toll-free number. What are my options?
A: If you don’t use you toll-free number and you would like to cancel it, you can contact us and we will cancel it for you. If you take no action, your toll-free number will be automatically canceled by November 21, 2012.
Start telling your friends and family about your local number, and start putting your local number in your contact information.
Benefits of Having a Local 10-Digit Phone Number
Q: Why should I register for a local 10-digit number? What are the benefits?
A: A local 10-digit number makes you more efficient and keeps you safer because of better E911 registration.
More accessible: You are able to receive calls from other Deaf individuals using your 10-digit number. Hearing people will also be able to call your local 10-digit number by using video or IP-Relay services. When dialing someone through video or IP-Relay, your 10-digit number is displayed using "Caller ID," making it more likely for them to answer your call since they can recognize your number.
More Efficient Contact: It is faster and easier for hearing people to call you because they can dial you directly. They won't need to dial an 800 number with an extension, so your number will be easier to use and remember!
Safer 911 accessibility: To receive 911 services, you MUST include your physical address when you set-up your 10-digit number.
Convenience: A local 10-digit number can be used with any device and can be transferred to any relay provider.
Working with Local 10-Digit Phone Numbers
Q: How does a hearing person call a local 10-digit number?
A: When you give your local 10-digit number to a hearing person, they can call your number by dialing it on any telephone. A relay operator answers the call and connects it directly to you through video or text relay services. If you're a VRS user, you'll receive your call on your PC, Mac, netbook, mobile device or tablet. If you’re a text relay user, your call will come through on your computer via AOL Instant Messaging Service (AIM) or through the web or a mobile app.
Q: How does a "Deaf-to-Deaf" video call work with local 10-digit numbers?
A: When using a videophone device, software or mobile application, a Deaf person can dial another Deaf person's local 10-digit number and connect directly. Sometimes called a VP, Point-to-Point or P2P call, this call would have been made using IP addresses before local 10-digit numbers were available.
Q: What is caller ID?
A: Caller ID is a feature that allows your local 10-digit number to be viewed by the person you're calling. Also, when you receive incoming calls, caller ID allows you to see the number of the person who is calling you. This feature is available through many devices that can make or receive video or text relay calls. This feature, also known as Automatic Number Identification (ANI), is an important requirement of E911 emergency call handling and dispatching services.
Q: How do I stop telemarketers from calling my local 10-digit number?
A: If you wish to stop solicitation or telemarketing calls, you can register your 10-digit number on the National Do Not Call Registry. Go to http://donotcall.gov to register your number.
Q: What is E911?
A: E911 is a service the FCC requires that all relay providers offer. By offering 911, relay providers make it easier for you to dial 911 using video or text relay services to receive emergency assistance. You can read more about E911 here.
Q: Can I dial 911 using my video or text relay service?
A: Yes, but we recommend you call 911 using your TTY (if available) for emergency calls to avoid possible life-threatening delays. If you need to contact 911 using relay, your relay provider will route your emergency call over the wireline E911 network to the nearest public safety answering point (PSAP) based on your registered address.
When using relay for your emergency calls, be sure to give your name, location and any important information clearly so the operator can quickly contact your local emergency response center. Watch the above videos for more information.
Warning concerning the use of VRS or IP-Relay for 911calls: TTY calls are still the best means for emergency personnel to quickly identify a person's location. In an emergency, dial 911 using a landline telephone or a TTY to ensure immediate attention and identification of your location. At present, VRS and IP-Relay cannot guarantee an immediate answer to your call nor transmit your location information directly to emergency responders.
Q: How do I call 911 using video or text relay?
A: Simply dial 911 from the relay device you're using (i.e. your Purple VRS software and/or apps, videophone, relay site on your computer or the relay application on your device with an Internet connection). Our operators will still verify your location even if you have a registered location on file. Be sure to clearly describe your emergency and any other identifying information at the beginning of the call. If you use your videophone to call 911, be sure to dial vrs911.tv only when you have an emergency.
Q: Why must I provide you with a physical location address for E911 service?
A: To make sure emergency personnel (police, fire, ambulance) know where to go if you have an emergency.
Q: Is a P.O. Box an acceptable address for E911 service?
A: No. The address you provide is the physical address where you want emergency personnel to go in an emergency. Emergency services cannot be dispatched to a post office box address. Here are examples of acceptable and unacceptable address formats:
123 West 1st Street
Anytown, Anystate 99999
P.O. Box 1234
Anytown, Anystate 99999
Q: Must I notify my relay provider if I move or change my current address?
A: Yes, you must remember to update your E911 address information. You should do this so that if you are in need of help, emergency services personnel are dispatched to the correct address. It is your responsibility to ensure that this information is up-to-date.
You can update your E911 address information by signing into your account on either http://purple.us or http://i711.com. If you are an IP-Relay customer, sign into "My Profiles" at http://ip-relay.com.
Q: What would happen if I was disconnected from the operator during a 911 call?
A: The operator would immediately attempt to call you back using your 10-digit phone number.
Q: What information should I provide when I call 911?
A: Be sure to tell the VI the following information:
- Your current street address (where are you?)
- Your name
- The emergency
- Any additional information that will help emergency personnel
Q: How do I dial 911 through Purple VRS?
A: Most videophones, software applications and other devices that you can make and receive VRS calls from should allow you to dial the numbers "911" to reach emergency help. If not, use the dns address of your provider for emergency calls (for example, for Purple VRS, use vrs911.tv).
About Local Number Portability
Q: What is Local Number Portability?
A: When you receive your local 10-digit phone number, it becomes yours to keep and use regardless of your relay provider. If you decide you want this number to be handled through a different relay provider after originally signing-up for your number, you can transfer your number to the VRS provider of your choice. The ability to do this is called "Local Number Portability" or "LNP" or "PORTING."
Q: Can I transfer my home phone number or my wireless number to my relay provider and use that as my local 10-digit number?
A: Yes. The FCC requires that any 10-digit number is allowed to be transferred. For questions about transferring your 10-digit phone number, please call Purple Customer Care at 877-885-3172.
Q: How do I port my number to Purple or IP-Relay?
A: You will need to contact Purple Customer Care at 877-885-3172 and request that your number be number transferred. Transferring your number will require that you complete Letter of Agency (LOA) paperwork. The LOA paperwork will give Purple permission to transfer your number away from your current relay provider.
Q: Do I need to sign any papers in order to transfer my local 10-digit number?
A: Yes, you will be asked to authorize the transfer by submitting a Letter of Authorization (LOA) to your new provider.
The LOA is required by the FCC and informs Purple that you have proactively decided to transfer your phone number. In most cases this can be done electronically.
Q: How long does it take to transfer my number?
A: Typically, a transfer is completed within five business days; however, if the Letter of Agency (LOA) paperwork is filled out incorrectly, the request to transfer will be denied by your current relay provider and you will have to complete the LOA paperwork again.
Q: Can I transfer my local 10-digit number from one relay provider to another relay provider?
A: Yes. You can always transfer your local 10-digit number to the relay provider of your choice.
About Purple Phone Numbers, My IP-Relay Number and i711 Call Me Numbers
Q: What is a Purple phone number?
A: A Purple phone number is a local 10-digit phone number that enables users to make and receive calls more easily from your Purple VRS software and apps, as well as your videophone. Purple developed Purple phone numbers for relay customers.
Q: Why choose a Purple phone number over other providers' local 10-digit numbers?
A: When you select a Purple phone number, callers will be routed to a Purple video interpreter that will handle your call, ensuring you of a quick, professional, easy call experience, as well as Purple advantage features such as PurpleMail™ and Personal Voice Greeting.
Q: Do local numbers work differently on video relay and text relay?
VRS Users: When a hearing person calls your local 10-digit number, the call goes to a video interpreter who will connect you through your Purple VRS software or apps, or videophone. When you dial another video relay user, they receive your call through your Purple VRS software or apps, or videophone.
Text Relay Users: When a hearing person calls your local 10-digit phone number, the call is routed to our IP-Relay call center where a Call Assistant connects you to the caller through the web, AIM or a mobile application.
Q: What if someone dials my local 10-digit number but I'm not available to take the call?
A: If you are not available to take the call, our video interpreter or operator will take a message and send that message to your email address or PurpleMail account. These messages will be in video or text form, depending on the service being used.
Q: What is the cost of obtaining a number?
A: There is no cost for relay users to obtain a local 10-digit phone number from Purple.
Q: Is the person calling me charged a fee?
A: Depending on where the hearing caller is calling from and the 10-digit phone number you select, there may be a long-distance toll charge. This is functionally equivalent to other phone calls that hearing people make.
Q: What if I don't want a hearing caller to incur long-distance charges by calling my 10-digit number?
A: Most hearing callers are aware that they have to pay for long-distance calls. There are also many phone users with price plans that often include long-distance calls at no additional charge.
Using Purple 10-Digit Numbers, IP-Relay Numbers and i711 Call Me Numbers
Q: How do I get my own personal 10-digit phone number?
A: Click here or call a Purple Customer Care Representative at 877-885-3172.
Q: Can I have more than one local 10-digit phone number?
A: Yes. In some cases you will need to have more than one 10-digit phone number. For example, if you use both video and text relay, you will need to have one 10-digit phone number for each service.
Additionally, you may want to have a phone number for home and one for work.
Alternate Provider - The video or text relay provider through whom you'd like to make your relay calls. For example, if you have a videophone from Sorenson, you can still choose to make calls using Purple. In this case, Purple would be your alternate or preferred provider.
Default Provider - The video or text relay service provider with whom you choose to register with to obtain a 10-digit phone number, provide 911 service and manage your relay equipment (i.e. videophone).
Dial Around - Choosing an alternate provider to handle your relay calls. For example, if you wanted to choose Purple to handle your calls from a Sorenson videophone, you would enter purple.tv on your videophone device.
Domain Name - A simpler way to represent an IP address. For example, instead of dialing around using the Purple IP address, you can simply use the purple.tv domain name. Domain names are used on the web to identify specific web pages.
Functional Equivalency - The ability for Deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-disabled users to communicate using relay with the same ease and convenience hearing users communicate using telephones. This represents equal opportunity, equal rights, equal access to telecommunications services and fuller participation in society by Deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-disabled people using technologies such as IP-based video and text relay services.
i711 Call Me Number - A 10-digit number used to receive text relay calls from hearing individuals.
Local Number Portability (LNP) - The ability to transfer a local 10-digit phone number to and from relay providers.
My IP-Relay Number - A 10-digit number used to receive text relay calls from hearing individuals.
Preferred Provider - Same as alternate provider (see above).
Port In - Another VRS company customer transferring a local 10-digit number to Purple, IP-Relay or i711.
Port Out - A Purple, IP-Relay or i711 customer transferring a local 10-digit number to another VRS provider other than Purple.
Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) - The agencies responsible for answering 911 calls for emergency assistance from police, fire and ambulance services.
Purple Phone Number - A local 10-digit phone number provided by Purple and used to make or receive video relay calls through Purple VRS software or apps, or videophone.