National Relay Service (NRS) users are being blocked from making calls with internet relay because their ISPs are treated as ‘foreign’. Others are waiting 15-30 minutes to be connected.
The deterioration in the NRS service in recent weeks is truly shocking.
There is serious concern for the safety of deaf people if emergency calls need to be made.
On 30 November, Deafness Forum requested an emergency intervention by the Minister for Communications: we explained that lives were potentially at risk. In addition to everyday dangers, disastrous bushfires were sweeping eastern states. The NRS is a lifeline for people in danger. There has been no response from the minister or his Department of Communications.
Minister Fletcher published a letter blaming the troubles besieging the NRS on the CEO of the company that until recently had the contract to deliver it (the NRS contract has since been awarded to an American outfit). It’s the latest episode in a public spat that offers no solutions to people who rely on the NRS.