More than 63% of the world’s population uses the internet every day. It’s the go-to tool for everything from banking and shopping to filling prescriptions and connecting with friends and family. It’s also used by most captioning services and phones. But you can get a captioned telephone without having home internet access.
A captioned telephone uses the internet and Internet Protocol Captioned Telephone Service (IP CTS) instead of the traditional phone network to provide call captioning over the phone. IP CTS is a type of telecommunications relay service (TRS). But you don’t need home internet service to use call captioning.
Before we dig into having call captioning with no home internet service, let’s review what call captioning is and when you want it.
What Is Call Captioning?
Call captioning transcribes one or both sides of a phone conversation into easy-to-read captions. The transcription is virtually real-time and uses a live captioning agent and/or automated speech recognition (ASR) or another voice recognition technology.
If you have a captioning app on a smartphone, you see captions on your phone’s screen. You can also use a captioning service at home with a specially designed captioning phone with a built-in screen .
You can get call captioning service and a home phone with a captioning screen at no cost if you have hearing loss and need the service to effectively use the phone.
Captioned calls over IP CTS are a critical tool if you’re hard-of-hearing. Its dependence on the internet can be a challenge, but newer phones and cellular data can help keep you connected.
Not Everyone Has Internet Access
For people on a fixed income or living in a rural area, access to internet service with at least 25 Mbps download and 3 Mbps upload speeds continues to improve, but still falls behind access for other groups. In its last Annual Broadband Report, the FCC reports that 14.5 million Americans lack reliable high-speed internet access.
Pew Research Center reported in 2021 that 43% of households with incomes below $30,000 annually lacked home broadband service.
In another 2021 survey, the Pew Research Center found that 7% of the general U.S. adult population don’t use the internet, but of the population over 65, 25% don’t use it.
Even for people who have internet service, outages can knock out service for minutes, hours, or days. And Wi-Fi requires a power connection. So, if the power goes out, so does your internet.
You don’t want to be in a situation where you need to make a call, especially during an emergency, and find that you can’t.
Why a Closed Caption Phone without Internet Is Important
If you have hearing loss, call captioning empowers you to effectively use the phone. It’s a convenience and even a lifesaver. When the internet isn’t available, a power outage takes Wi-Fi out, your cell phone runs out of charge, or you don’t have either internet or a smart phone, a captioned phone or mobile phone with a captioning app keeps you connected.
How to Get Captioned Telephone Service without Internet Access
Select call captioning phones can give you closed caption phone access without an internet connection. Some use an analog-only connection, and some include a built-in access point, giving the phone the ability to create its own internet connection without the need for home internet service.
You can also get caption telephone service on your mobile phone. All you need is a captioning app and a smartphone with Wi-Fi or a cellular mobile data connection.
Note that Wi-Fi connections depend on having internet service, especially at home. Some merchants, public libraries, and government offices do offer free public Wi-Fi access.
Almost all cell phones offer a mobile data connection. Just be aware that you might have a limited data plan that caps the amount you can use each month. If you go over your cap, you may pay extra. Ask your mobile phone provider for details about your plan or how to get a plan with unlimited data.
A mobile data connection also uses the internet over a cellular connection. If you’re in “dead zone,” you won’t be able to make a call. But 95% of the world’s population now has mobile broadband access. Chances are, you won’t hit dead zones too often.
Whether your use a mobile phone or a landline home phone, you don’t need home internet service to make captioned calls.
Here’s How to Get a Closed Caption Phone without Internet
Whether you have Internet service or not, you can get a closed caption phone at no charge to you, a family member, or friend.
If the phone user has hearing loss that makes captions a necessity, they qualify for service and a phone from CaptionCall by Sorenson, the Olelo by Sorenson mobile captioning app, or similar products from other providers. As long as they qualify, there’s no cost for either service or the caption phone.
Call Captions without Internet with CaptionCall by Sorenson
If you, your family member, or friend live in a rural area, on a fixed income, or don’t have internet service, a CaptionCall 78T captioning phone includes technology to create its own internet access point (that only the CaptionCall device can use) so you can connect without home internet service.
Captioned Calls without Internet on Your Cell Phone with Olelo by Sorenson
You, your family member, or friend can also get captioned calls on a cell phone anywhere you have Wi-Fi or a mobile data connection. Olelo by Sorenson is a call captioning app available for phones with Android or IOS operating systems.
Call 1-800-359-3186 or visit the web page to learn more about Olelo by Sorenson or download the app.
CaptionCall and Olelo by Sorenson are available in the United States ONLY. FEDERAL LAW PROHIBITS ANYONE BUT REGISTERED USERS WITH HEARING LOSS FROM USING INTERNET PROTOCOL (IP) CAPTIONED TELEPHONES WITH THE CAPTIONS TURNED ON. IP captioned telephone service may use a live operator. The operator generates captions of what the other party to the call says. These captions are then sent to your phone. There is a cost for each minute of captions generated, paid from a federally administered fund. No costs are passed along to individuals who qualify for the service. The CaptionCall phone and Olelo app remain the property of Sorenson in order to provide ongoing support, service, and upgrades. Patent information: www.Sorenson.com/Legal.