FCC Record, Volume 26, No. 19, Pages 14991 to 15893, October 24 - November 10, 2011 Page: 15,003
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Federal Communications Commission
the hearing aid compatibility regime, and by aligning the Commission's rules with the most current
measurement practices, this proposed rule change would help ensure that consumers with hearing loss are
able to access wireless communications services through a wide selection of handsets without
experiencing disabling interference or other technical obstacles.
4. Under the rules that we propose, beginning on the date that final rules become effective, a
manufacturer would be permitted to submit handsets for certification using either ANSI C63. 19-2007
("the 2007 ANSI Standard")9 or the 2011 ANSI Standard. A multi-band and/or multi-mode handset
model launched earlier than 12 months after Federal Register publication of new rules codifying the 201 1
ANSI Standard would be considered hearing aid-compatible for operations covered under the current
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
propose to continue applying 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. The Second Further Notice seeks comment on this
proposal. The purpose of this proposed rule change 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 new rules are adopted.
5. The Second Further Notice also seeks comment on how to phase in the 2011 ANSI
Standard over a defined period of time. We seek comment on whether a two-year period for applying the
hearing aid-compatible handset deployment benchmarks"' to newly covered air interfaces would
appropriately balance the design, engineering, and marketing requirements of manufacturers and service
providers with the needs of consumers with hearing loss for compatible handsets over the newest network
technologies. We also seek comment on whether non-Tier I" service providers should be given
additional time to meet deployment benchmarks in order to account for the difficulties they face in timely
obtaining new handset models. The purpose of this proposed 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 communications.
6. Finally, the Second Further Notice seeks comment on a proposal not to prescribe specific
disclosure language to be used for handsets that meet hearing aid compatibility criteria over previously
covered air interfaces but have been tested and found not to meet such criteria over Wi-Fi (Wireless
Fidelity) or other air interfaces that are outside the 2007 ANSI Standard. Rather, we would rely on a
general requirement to disclose the hearing aid compatibility status of such handsets. We seek comment
on this tentative conclusion and invite alternative proposals. This proposed rule change would be 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.
8 Accredited Standards Committee ('63 " tleclromagnetic CompatibillIly, Americtm .Vrntnonal Standa l Methods o/
Measurement o/ Compnatibhilit' het'een Wtire/ce Conunllnic tions Deic .'s and IILearing lids, ANSI C63.19-2007
(June 8, 2007) ("2007 ANSI Standard")-
'See 47 C.F.R. 4 20. 19(b).
tt"'See 47 C.F.R. 20.19(c), (d).
STier I carriers arc Commercial Mobile Radio Ser\'ice (CMRS) providers with nationwide footprints. See Revision
of the Commission's Rules to Ensure Compatibility w, ith Enhanced 911 Emergcncy Calling Systems: Phase 11
Compliance )eadlines for Non-Nationwide Carriers, CC I)ocket No. 94- 102, Order to Star'. 17 F'C Red 14841,
14843 7 (2002). In contrast, Tier 11 carriers are non-nationwlde mid-sized CMRS providers, specifically providers
with greater than 50)0.000 subscribers as of the end of 2)01, while Tier Ill carriers are non-nationwide small CMRS
providers with no more than 500,000 subscribers as of the end of 2001. See id. at 14846-48 [ l 19-24.
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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/m1/27/: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.