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Message Relay Services

TekSavvy offers two types of message relay services (also known as “MRS”) on TekTalk. Relay services enable people with hearing or speech disabilities to receive telephone calls.

Teletypewriter (TTY) relay services (711)

TTY relay services (also known as 711) are text-to-voice and voice-to-text relay services. In a TTY relay service call, the relay operator communicates with the person who has a hearing or speech disability via TTY (typewritten messages), and with the person without a hearing or speech disability via voice.

TekTalk customers are able to make TTY calls free of charge, 24/7, 365 days a year. Access to TTY requires a TTY device.

TekTalk: configuring your ATA device for TTY

TekSavvy offers ATA devices that can be configured to enable TTY services. Please advise TekSavvy if you require this when you place your order, so that TekSavvy can pre-configure your device before shipping it to you.  If you require this configuration after you have received the device, please reach out to our Support team and we would be glad to set this up with you remotely.

TekSavvy does not support customer-brought ATAs, but we may be able to help you figure out how to configure your ATA for TTY. Please contact Support at 1-877-357-2889.

Placing a 711/TTY Call (TTY to standard telephone)

  1. Using your TTY device, dial 711.
  2. Follow the prompts from the operator to place your call.

Important: If you are a POTS (traditional analog home phone) customer you can still make use of our TTY service! There is one catch though, we are unable to intercept the 711 dialing code through our POTS service. As such, you must dial 1-866-782-9182 to use this service.

Receiving a 711/TTY Call (standard telephone to TTY)

  1. If someone wishes to reach you for a TTY call, they can call (705) 222-3076 or toll-free 1-866-782-9182, and follow the prompts.
  2. The relay operator will need to know the phone number that you to reach in order to complete the call.

Internet Protocol (IP) relay services

IP relay services are text-to-voice and voice-to-text relay services, but run over Internet protocol. In an IP relay service call, the relay operator communicates with the person who has a hearing or speech disability via text and the person without a hearing or speech disability via voice. The person with a disability uses a device connected to the Internet (e.g. computer, laptop, wireless device) or a text messaging application to reach the relay operator.  The person without a disability dials a toll-free number to reach the relay operator.

TekTalk customers can access this service free of charge, 24/7, 365 days a year. Access to IP Relay service requires an Internet connection. 

Set up IP Relay Service

To set up IP Relay service, TekSavvy will need to create a user account for you. You can request this when you place your order, or contact TekSavvy at any time to create an IP Relay account.  In order to set up your IP Relay account, you will need to select a username, and password, and provide the following information:

  • Name
  • Email address
  • 911 address (if you move, you must update your service address registered with TekSavvy – this address will be provided to emergency services in the event that a 9-1-1 call placed via IP Relay is disconnected before your location is confirmed)
  • Emergency contact name
  • Emergency contact number

Placing an IP Relay Call

  1. Log in to the IP Relay Portal with your username and password.
  2. In the lower right corner of the screen, click Chat.
  3. Click on ‘IP Relay’ username.
  4. A box will pop up – type your message into this box, and follow the instructions from the IP Relay Agent.

Receiving an IP Relay Call

  1. If someone wishes to reach you for an IP Relay call, they will need to know your IP Relay username in order to place a voice-to-text call. Voice users can call 1-855-244-5185 to connect with an IP Relay operator.
  2. You must be logged in to the IP Relay portal to receive calls. Log in to the IP Relay Portal with your username and password.

Message Relay Services and 9-1-1 Emergency Calls

Limitations of TekTalk 9-1-1 Calling

The mobility of this service makes it very hard for TekSavvy and 9-1-1 operators to pinpoint the location of a 9-1-1 call. Some traditional telephone providers offer Enhanced 9-1-1 services (E911), which immediately connects a 9-1-1 call to an emergency call centre and automatically provides the 9-1-1 operator with the phone number and address of the caller.

However, TekTalk provides Basic 9-1-1 service, which first connects 9-1-1 calls to a national emergency call centre.  The call taker will ask the caller to identify his or her location to the 9-1-1 operator, and then the call taker will route the call to the emergency response centre serving that area.  In the event that the 9-1-1 is disconnected or the caller cannot speak to confirm their location, the national emergency call centre will route the 9-1-1 call to the emergency response centre service the service address last registered with TekSavvy.  Address registrations and updates may be recorded at http://www.teksavvy.com/en/911address.asp.

9-1-1 calling will not function in the event of a power or broadband outage, or if your broadband service (whether provided by TekSavvy or another service provider) is suspended or disconnected.

Calling 9-1-1 From a TTY Device

When calling for emergency services from a TTY device, you should always dial 911 directly

  1. Using your TTY device, dial 911.
  2. The call taker will chat with you in a TTY chat window.
  3. Advise the operator that this is an emergency, the type of emergency, and the location of your emergency right away.
  4. The operator will contact the proper emergency response centre on your behalf and relay information about the emergency and your location to the response centre.
  5. Do not disconnect, unless the operator asks you to.
  6. If you get disconnected, call back.

If you dial 711 instead of 911, the call taker will be able to transfer your call to a 911 call taker and proceed with the call. However, if your call is disconnected or you are unable to communicate with the 911 call taker before confirming the location of the emergency, the national emergency call centre will not have access to the service address last registered with TekSavvy. We recommend providing your location information immediately.

Calling 9-1-1 Using IP Relay

Access to 9-1-1 via IP Relay has certain limitations relative to Enhanced 9-1-1 service, which is available on most “traditional” telephone services. The IP Relay operator may not know where you are calling from unless you provide accurate location information when asked. 

You should keep your address information current with TekSavvy, as the operator may assume that you are at the 911 address submitted when you requested an IP Relay account in the event that your 9-1-1 call is disconnected before location can be confirmed.

Make sure that you and any users of IP Relay are familiar with the nature and limitations of the 9-1-1 calls placed using the service.

  1. Log in to the IP Relay Portal with your username and password.
  2. While logged into the portal, there are three buttons on the lower-left side of the screen. Click the appropriate button for your emergency.
    • 911 – Police
    • 911 – Fire
    • 911 - Ambulance
  3. Confirm your emergency address location right away.
  4. The IP Relay Agent will confirm your address, contact 9-1-1, and relay your messages to various emergency centres until they are no longer needed, and an appropriate emergency responder has been dispatched to your location.
  5. Do not disconnect, unless the operator asks you to.
  6. If you get disconnected, call back.
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