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What is the Analog to Digital Transition, and how does it affect me?

December, 15 2023

The telephone industry is in the process of replacing traditional telephone service (copper telephone lines/analog) with internet-based service (fiber lines/digital) – this is what’s called the Analog to Digital Transition. The benefits of the transition include increased speed, longer lifespan of the technology and greater security. 

How the Analog to Digital Transition May Affect Telecommunications Relay Services 

When telephone lines are upgraded to digital, relay services and the use of relay devices can be affected. If you experience garbling, loss of text or gaps in your communication while using your assistive equipment – such as a TTY, VCO (Voice Carry Over) phone, HCO (Hearing Carry Over) phone or CapTel 840 phone – it may be a result of the upgrade. 

How do I know if I have analog or digital lines? 

If you are not sure if changes have been made to your telephone lines and you are experiencing issues with your connection to Relay, contact your telephone service provider to inquire about possible changes in your area. 

What solutions can keep me connected to Relay? 

With the transition from analog to digital lines, you may need to consider acquiring internet service. This may necessitate that you update your Relay equipment to a device that is compatible with a digital (internet) line. 

If you are experiencing issues using your TTY or HCO phone, possible solutions include: 

  • Real-Time Text (RTT)/TTY accessibility on a mobile device 

If you are experiencing issues using a VCO phone or a CapTel® 840 phone, possible solutions include: 

  • CapTel® 840i 
  • CapTel® 2400i 
  • Hamilton Mobile™ CapTel® app 
  • Hamilton Web™ CapTel® 

FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. Advanced speech recognition software is used to process calls, and, in certain circumstances, a live communications assistant may be included on the call. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund. To learn more, visit Third-party charges may apply: the Hamilton CapTel phone requires high-speed internet access (Wi-Fi capable) and in some cases, may require telephone service. When using Hamilton CapTel on a smartphone or tablet and not on Wi-Fi, a data plan is required. Hamilton CapTel may be used to make 911 calls but may not function the same as traditional 911 services. For more information about the benefits and limitations of Hamilton CapTel and Emergency 911 calling, visit Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The Bluetooth® word mark and logos are registered trademarks owned by Bluetooth SIG, Inc. and any use of such marks is under license. CapTel is a registered trademark of Ultratec, Inc.

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