Telecommunications Relay Surcharge Explained

This surcharge helps fund communication solutions for hearing- and speech-impaired individuals, including:

  • telecommunications devices and relay service to hearing- and speech-impaired individuals
  • the telecommunications relay center which assists hearing- and speech-impaired individuals in communicating with others
  • federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements

The surcharge does not apply with Remote Call Forwarding service.

The relay service makes sure messages are relayed between a hearing-impaired customer with a Telecommunication Device for the Deaf (TDD) and someone who does not have a TDD. As a side note, the Telecommunications Relay Service is required by Title IV of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and to the extent possible, must be "functionally equivalent" to standard telephone services.

Who put it on the bill?

This surcharge is collected by CenturyLink and paid to the appropriate state authority. The state authorities use the funds collected to provide telecommunications services for those with special needs.

Other ways it may appear on the bill

In some states, this surcharge may appear on the bill combined with other similar surcharges, including:

  • Relay/TAP Surcharge
  • Relay/911/Tele Assist Fee
  • Telecom Relay Service Excise Tax
  • Res Service Protection Fund
  • TASA Telecom Relay Surcharge
  • TDD Surcharge

Also known as:

    • Telecommunications Access System Act (TASA)
    • Hearing and Speech Surcharge