As technology advances, both nationally and in Maine, phone companies are switching to digital services. Telephones and phone services are increasingly designed to be used over the internet. In this new reality, people who use non-internet phones, like captioned phones and TTYs, may find their devices increasingly prone to not working properly.
In the near future, phone service to TTYs and analog captioned landline phones will be phased out entirely. This means equipment will cease to work or make calls. If you use one of these devices, you can plan ahead and switch to updated equipment.
What types of phone devices are affected?
- Captioned phone model CapTel 840 or CapTel 840 plus in analog mode
- TTYs, Hearing Carry Over (VCO) phones, Voice Carry Over (HCO) phones
If you have one of the above-mentioned devices, you will need to update to internet-based equipment in order to continue making calls.
When will these devices stop working?
At this time, there is no service end date set for people in Maine. Proactively, Maine’s Telecommunications Relay Council is asking analog device users to look into switching now, as these devices are increasingly prone to problems on digital-based phone service. Once a final sunset date is set, these devices will stop working altogether.
Can anyone help me with this?
Yes! Disability Rights Maine’s Deaf Services program is available to assist you. Whether you previously received your equipment from our program or from another resource, we are here to help. Contact us if you have questions or would like to learn more about your options.
DRM’s equipment specialists can help in determining which updated phone equipment can best meet your needs. Our Telecommunication Equipment Program (TEP) may also be able to provide updated phone equipment at no-cost or low-cost, depending on your income: https://drme.org/deaf-services/tep
Please call or email us to learn more. We look forward to connecting with you.
Questions? Reach out to:
Lisa Penney, TEP Advocate LPenney@DRME.org or
Debra Bare-Rogers, TRS Advocate DRogers@DRME.org
- Telecommunications Equipment Program (TEP) https://drme.org/deaf-services/tep
- TEP application https://drme.org/assets/brochures/TEP-05.12.2020.pdf
- Need to upgrade internet? Affordable Connectivity Program https://www.fcc.gov/acp
Not sure which device you have? Take a look!
VCO HCO TTY phone
TTY VCO phone