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FCC Adopts Rules Implementing the Safe Connections Act for Survivors of Domestic Abuse

November 20, 2023
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

At its November 15, 2023, Open Meeting, the FCC adopted a Report and Order implementing the line separation provisions of the Safe Connections Act.

The new rules allow a survivor of domestic abuse to separate a mobile phone line from an account shared with an abuser.

With respect to accessibility, the new rules:

  • Make clear that a covered wireless service provider must offer alternative “remote means” of communication (that is, not in person) that are accessible by individuals with disabilities, and
  • Require that the means through which a covered wireless service provider provides notices to consumers and permits survivors to submit line separation requests must be available in all the languages in which the covered provider currently advertises its services as well as in all formats (e.g., large print, braille, etc.) in which the provider makes its service information available to persons with disabilities.

At a future date, the FCC’s Wireline Competition Bureau will announce compliance dates for the rules adopted in the Report and Order.

Link to the Report and Order and News Release:
FCC Approves Rules to Safeguard Domestic Violence Survivors by Improving Access to Safe and Affordable Connectivity – Action Takes Significant Steps to Enhance Privacy for Survivors and Facilitate Communications Access
Link: fcc.gov/document/fcc-approves-rules-safeguard-domestic-violence-survivors-0

For more information about the Safe Connections Report and Order, contact Melissa Kirkel, Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition Policy Division, at Melissa.Kirkel@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

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