The complicated story of CapTel was under the spotlight at a hearing in the Commonwealth Parliament.
An estimated 4 thousand people with hearing and speech difficulties throughout Australia will lose their CapTel phone service next year.
A Senates Estimate hearing on 21 October 2019 asked questions of the senior officers at the Department of Communications involved in negotiations with the CapTel license-holder and the soon-to-be-replaced deliverer of the National Relay Service (of which CapTel is a service offering).
A transcript of the questions & answers is available to read and download: CapTel issue — Senate Estimates Hearing extract 21Oct2019
The Commonwealth Government has awarded U.S. company Concentrix Services the contract to deliver the National Relay Service (NRS). As part of the contract, the CapTel handset service will be axed on 1 February 2020 throughout Australia.
What is a CapTel captioned telephone? It works like any other telephone with one important addition: it displays every word the caller says throughout the conversation. CapTel phone users can listen to the caller and can also read the written captions in the CapTel’s display window.