Video relay FAQs

pic of Video relay user making a call using a smartphone

See general information about video relay.

See tips for video relay calls.

Does it cost to use video relay?

For Auslan callers using Skype, calls are free. However, you will be connecting to the internet and thus using broadband data. How you are charged for this data will depend on the plan you have with your internet service provider. In most cases data is part of a monthly cap. Video calls use quite a lot of data (around 22 megabytes per minute), so check your plan.

For voice callers the cost is the standard cost for the caller of a 1300 phone call.

Can I make an emergency call through video relay?

Yes, you make a video relay call as usual and ask for Triple Zero (000). But note that there won’t be any queue priority for these calls so we would encourage NRS users to ring 106 on a TTY, or ask for Triple Zero (000) through internet relay in any emergency rather than use video relay.

How skilled are the interpreters who are relaying the video relay calls?

The relay officers who relay video relay calls are trained Auslan interpreters and accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters (NAATI) – the body responsible for setting and monitoring the standards for the translating and interpreting profession in Australia.

During operating hours there is always an interpreter on duty who has a minimum paraprofessional level Auslan accreditation.

What are the hours of video relay?

Video relay is available from 7am to 6pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time) on business days. Business days are Monday to Friday excluding all national public holidays. See video relay times in different parts of Australia.

Why are the hours for video relay calls restricted when you can make a call at any time for other types of NRS call?

A major constraint on the hours of the service is the availability of video relay officers. Unlike the relay officers for the other call options, these relay officers need to have very specific and specialised skills accredited by an independent body.

Can you make a video relay call through the NRS app?

Yes you can! Find out more about the NRS app.

Is the role of the relay officer different in video relay than in other types of relay call?

The relay officer has the same role as in other NRS calls. They will be on the line for the whole call relaying each side of the conversation to the other party. The main difference though is that the relay officer will be in visual contact with the primary NRS user, interpreting from Auslan into English for the other party, and vice versa for the deaf caller.

Will I need to register to use video relay?

No. You can make a video relay call simply by going to Skype and adding the NRS contact names. Similarly, any hearing person can make calls to you by dialling 1300 149 715 and asking for your Skype name.

Why do I have to add so many NRS contacts?

We have found that video relay works best with Skype when the caller can make direct contact with the relay officer. Each contact name (nrs.videorelay01, nrs.videorelay02 etc) represents an individual relay workstation so that you can see which one is available to take a call and make direct contact with them.

There is also a specific call-back contact (nrs.videorelay call-back) which will note your contact name and ensure that the next available relay officer calls you back.

What are the interpreters called?

The interpreters are called relay officers, as are all NRS staff relaying calls between NRS primary users and voice callers.

Why do I see the relay officer clearly but he can’t see me?

First, try adjusting your camera angle and position. If that doesn’t work the problem might be that your internet download speed is faster than the upload speed. So if you don’t have a lot of bandwidth you might be able to see the relay officer clearly but the relay officer receives poor quality video of you and can't connect to you.

What bandwidth or internet quality do I need for video relay?

You need to have a good-quality broadband connection – either ADSL2+ or high-speed cable broadband. This means you need download and upload speeds of at least 1.5 megabits per second.

The main issue is often the upload speed. Download speeds (where you see the relay officer) are normally fine, but poor upload speeds mean that the relay officer sometimes can’t see you. You can check the speed of your bandwidth on a number of different websites. A couple of good ones are www.speedtest.net and www.ozspeedtest.com.

Note that broadband speeds can also vary depending on a range of environmental and technical factors such as connection type, distance from the exchange (in the case of ADSL) and the number of people using the same connection.

What else do I need for video relay?

If you have a PC you will need:

  • a processor faster than 1GHz
  • at least 256 Megabytes of RAM
  • at least 200 Megabytes of free disk space.

If you have a Mac you will need:

  • a processor faster than 1GHz
  • at least 1 Gigabyte of RAM.

You will also need a high-definition (HD) webcam (1280 x 720 pixel resolution at up to 30 frames a second).

Make an internet relay call Make a captioned relay call

24-hour relay call numbers

  • TTY/voice calls

    133 677

  • Speak & Listen

    1300 555 727

  • SMS relay

    0423 677 767

Make other relay calls
– all the numbers you need