FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 19, Pages 14991 to 15893, October 24 - November 10, 2011 Page: 14,995
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Federal Communications Commission DA 11-1707
obtained certification as hearing aid-compatible for operations not covered under the 2007 ANSI
Standard.2 As under the existing rules,24 we propose to continue requiring that a handset model meet
ANSI 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 for (1) multi-band and/or multi-mode handset
models launched later than 12 months after Federal Register publication of rules adopting the 2011 ANSI
Standard and (2) handset models that only include operations covered under the 2007 ANSI Standard.
We further note that the Commission's procedures do not permit a handset model to be tested and
certified partly under one revision and partly under another Therefore, if the proposed rule is adopted,
during the 12-month transition period, a manufacturer that chooses to test the hearing aid compatibility of
those operations within a handset that are only covered by the 201 1 ANSI Standard and not covered under
the 2007 ANSI Standard' would have to test all of the operations in the handset using the 2011 ANSI
Standard.7 We seek comment on these proposals.
8. Under the existing rules, the Commission's benchmarks for manufacturers and service
providers to deploy hearing aid-compatible handsets apply to operations over those frequency bands that
are covered under the 2007 ANSI Standard." Upon adoption of the proposed rules, a transition period
would commence to apply these benchmarks to operations covered under the 2011 ANSI Standard. In the
20/0 Further Notice, the Commission sought comment on a two-year transition period for applying
hearing aid compatibility benchmarks and other requirements to wireless handsets that tall outside the
subset of CMRS that is currently covered by Section 20.19(a).9 We seek comment on whether a similar
transition period would appropriately balance the design, engineering, and marketing requirements of
manufacturers and service providers with the needs of consumers with hearing loss in the context of this
rulemaking. Would a shorter transition period, but no less than 12 months for manufacturers and Tier I
carriers and 15 months for other service providers,"' better serve the public interest in expediting the
availability of hearing aid-compatible phones while affording manufacturers sufficient time to test,
produce, and ship such handsets? Alternatively, is a period longer than two years necessary? Consistent
with the Commission's current rules and the minimum periods permitted under our delegated authority,
should non-Tier I service providers be given an additional three months to meet deployment benchmarks
to account for the difficulties they face in timely obtaining new handset models? Or, based on experience
23 See 2010 Second Report and Order, 25 FCC Red at 11180 1 33.
24 See 47 C.F.R. 20.19(b).
25 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology Clarify Use of Revised
Wireless Phone Hearing Aid Compatibility Standard. Public Notice. 21 FCC Rcd 6384. 6385 (2006) ("Applicants
for certification may rely on only one version of the ANSI C63.19 standard, 2001, 2005 or 2006. and must identify
which version they are using for compatibility testing and for rating wireless phones, consistent with 47 C.F.R.
2.947(b)."); Amendment of the Commission's Rules Governing Hearing Aid-Compatible Mobile Handsets, WT
Docket No. 07-250, Firt Report and Order, 23 FCC Red 3406, 3439 1 82 (2008) ("[A] party can use either the
2006 or 2007 standard ftbr new certifications through 2009. but must use a single version for all certification tests
and criteria for both the M and T ratings with respect to a given device.").
This would allow the manufacturer to avoid having to disclose that these operations w ere not tested. See para. 9,
7 Similarly, after the end of' the transition period, any new handset containing operations that are not covered under
the 2007 ANSI Standard would cftectively have to be tested using the 2011 ANSI Standard.
's See 47 C.:.R. 20.19(c), (d).
1" See 2010 Further oti e. 25 FCC Red at II 200 1 93.
S47 C.F.R. 20t). 19(k)(1) (codifying minimum tlmeframes permitted under delegated authority).
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United States. Federal Communications Commission. FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 19, Pages 14991 to 15893, October 24 - November 10, 2011, book, November 2011; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc133013/m1/19/: accessed February 22, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.