FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 5, Pages 3728 to 4696, April 9 - April 27, 2012 Page: 3,750
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certification using either ANSI C63.19-2007 ("the 2007 ANSI Standard")' or the 2011 ANSI Standard. A
multi-band and/or multi-mode handset model launched earlier than 12 months after Federal Register
publication of these rules codifying the 2011 ANSI Standard may be considered hearing aid-compatible if
its operations that are covered under the current 2007 ANSI Standard meet the requirements for hearing
aid compatibility, as determined under the 2007 ANSI Standard. For multi-band and/or multi-mode
handset models launched after this period, as well as for handset models that only include operations
covered under the 2007 ANSI Standard, we will continue to apply the current principle that a handset
model must meet ANSI C63.19 technical standards over all frequency bands and air interfaces over which
it operates in order to be considered hearing aid-compatible over any air interface.8 The purpose of the
transitional rule for models launched within 12 months after Federal Register publication is to limit the
compliance burdens on businesses, both large and small, with respect to handset models that are already
deployed or in development at the time these final rules become effective.
5. The Third Report and Order also adopts rules to phase in over a defined period of time
expanded handset deployment requirements that result from adopting the 2011 ANSI Standard. We adopt
a two-year period for applying the hearing aid-compatible handset deployment benchmarks9 to handset
operations over newly covered air interfaces and frequency bands. We also afford non-Tier I service
providers three months additional time to meet these deployment benchmarks in order to account for the
difficulties they face in timely obtaining new handset models. The purpose of this rule change is to create
a time frame for implementation that would be the most efficient and least burdensome for businesses,
both large and small, while ensuring that consumers with hearing loss have timely access to wireless
6. Finally, the Third Report and Order adopts a requirement that manufacturers and service
providers disclose the hearing aid compatibility status of handsets that meet hearing aid compatibility
criteria over previously covered frequency bands or air interfaces but have been tested and found not to
meet such criteria over frequency bands or air interfaces that are outside the 2007 ANSI Standard. The
Third Report and Order declines to require specific language for this disclosure. This rule change is a
minimally intrusive means of ensuring that consumers with hearing loss have the information they need to
choose a handset that will operate compatibly with their hearing aid or cochlear implant.
B. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the IRFA
7. There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the rules and policies proposed
in the IRFA.
C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Proposed
Rules Would Apply
8. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, where feasible, an estimate of,
7 Accredited Standards Committee C63'- Electromagnetic Compatibility, American National Standard Method of
Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communications Devices and Hearing Aids, ANSI C63.19-2007
(June 8, 2007) ("2007 ANSI Standard").
B See 47 C.F.R. 20.19(b).
9 See 47 C.F.R. 20.19(c), (d).
to Tier I carriers are Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers with nationwide footprints. See Revision
of the Commission's Rules to Ensure Compatibility with Enhanced 911 Emergency Calling Systems; Phase 11
Compliance Deadlines for Non-Nationwide Carriers, CC Docket No. 94-102, Order to Stay, 17 FCC Red 14841,
14843 7 (2002). In contrast, Tier II carriers are non-nationwide mid-sized CMRS providers, specifically providers
with greater than 500,000 subscribers as of the end of 2001, while Tier III carriers are non-nationwide small CMRS
providers with no more than 500,000 subscribers as of the end of2001. See id at 14846-48 19-24.
Federal Communications Commission
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 27, No. 5, Pages 3728 to 4696, April 9 - April 27, 2012, book, April 2012; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc102307/m1/39/: accessed August 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.