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Multiple Issues

Issues
Date:  November 28, 2006


1. FCC Extends Comment Period on Captioning Exemptions

On November 7, 2006, the FCC released 494 petitions for exemptions from its closed captioning rules to the public, directing public comment to be filed within 20 days.  On November 21, 2006, the FCC extended the time for the public to comment on these requests to 120 days.  In addition, the November 21st notice waives the requirement for commenters who file their comments electronically on the FCC's electronic comment filing system (ECFS) to go through the burden and expense of serving each petitioner.  Finally, the FCC has determined that the petitions will be handled under its "permit-but-disclose" rules, which allow communications with the Commission about the petitions, so long as these ex parte communications are disclosed to the public (this can be done with an electronic letter to ECFS).  A link to the November 21st Public Notice is listed below.

 

Released:  11/21/2006.  EXTENSION OF COMMENT PERIOD ON PETITIONS FOR EXEMPTION FROM COMMISSION'S CLOSED CAPTIONING RULES; EX PARTE TREATMENT OF FILINGS IN DOCKET. (DA No.  06-2329). (Dkt No 06-181).  CGB
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2329A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2329A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2329A1.txt>


2. FCC Seeks Comment for Wireless Bureau HAC Report

On August 13, 2003, the FCC adopted various requirements for digital wireless handsets to be hearing aid compatible (HAC).  At that time, the FCC required manufacturers and wireless carriers to periodically report to the FCC on their levels of compliance.  In addition, the Commission promised that 3 years after the Order became effective, its staff would prepare a report examining 3 things:  (1) the impact that the rules have had in achieving HAC compatibility with digital wireless phones; (2) the development of new technologies that could achieve greater or more efficient wireless telecommunications access for hearing aid users; and (3) the Order's impact on cochlear implant and middle ear implant users and their ability to use digital wireless phones.   On November 8, 2006, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a Public Notice (attached) seeking public comment on these issues, to enable the bureau to prepare the report to the full Commission. The FCC will use the report to determine whether to take the following 3 actions:  (1) increase or decrease the 2008 requirement for 50% of phone models to comply with a U3 rating; (2) adopt additional HAC implementation benchmarks after 2008; and (3) modify other HAC requirements.   Comments are due December 15, 2006 and replies are due January 5, 2007.

 

Released:  11/08/2006.  WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUREAU SEEKS COMMENT ON TOPICS TO BE ADDRESSED IN HEARING AID COMPATIBILITY REPORT. (DA No.  06-2285). (Dkt No 06-203). Comments Due:  12/15/2006.
Reply Comments Due:  01/05/2007.  WTB. Contact:  Christina Clearwater
or PeterTrachtenberg at (202) 418-1310
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2285A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2285A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2285A1.txt>

 

3.  FCC to Review TRS and HAC Rules as Part of Regulatory Flexibility Review

Under the Regulatory Flexibility Act, the FCC must review rules that were adopted in 1996 to determine whether they should continue without change, be amended or be rescinded in order to minimize any significant economic impact they may have on a substantial number of small entities.  Both telecommunications relay service and hearing aid compatibility rules are contained in the long list of rules scheduled for this review, which will take place during the next 12 months.  The FCC says that in reviewing each rule, it will consider the following factors:

 

(a) the continued need for the rule;

(b) the nature of complaints or comments received concerning the rule from the public;

(c) the complexity of the rule;

(d) the extent to which the rule overlaps, duplicates, or conflicts with other Federal rules and, to the extent feasible, with State and local governmental rules; and

(e) the length of time since the rule has been evaluated or the degree to which technology, economic conditions, or other factors have changed in the area affected by the rule.

 

The comment period for this has not yet been established (see link to Public Notice below).

 

Released:  11/22/2006.  FCC SEEKS COMMENT REGARDING POSSIBLE REVISION OR ELIMINATION OF RULES UNDER THE REGULATORY FLEXIBILITY ACT, 5 U.S.C. 610. (DA No.  06-1863). (Dkt No 06-208)  Comment Period Closes: 60 Days After Date of Publication in the Federal Register.  OCBO
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1863A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1863A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-1863A1.txt>

 

4.  FCC Clarifies that ASL-Spanish VRS Must be Provided 24-7

On February 6, 2006, Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) filed a petition seeking clarification as to whether VRS providers that offer ASL-Spanish VRS must provide these services 24 hours, 7 days a week.  On October 19, 2006, CSD withdrew this petition.  On November 28, 2006, the FCC released a Public Notice dismissing the CSD petition, but ruling that when ASL-Spanish VRS is offered, it must be offered 24/7.  The Public Notice is attached.

 

Released:  11/28/2006.  DISMISSAL OF PETITION FOR CLARIFICATION CONCERNING PROVISION OF AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL) TO SPANISH VIDEO RELAY SERVICE (VRS). (DA No.  06-2386). (Dkt No 03-123).  CGB.
Contact: Gregory Hlibok at (866) 410-5787 x16757, TTY: (202) 418-0431, e-mail:
Gregory.Hlibok@fcc.gov
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2386A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2386A1.pdf>

 

5.  FCC holds Summit on E-9-1-1 Disability issues

On November 15, 2006, the FCC held a summit to identify technologies and solutions for people with hearing and speech disabilities to access E9-1-1 services directly (via multiple text and video modes) and indirectly, through Internet-based text and video relay services.  The agenda for this previously held event is attached.

 

6. NANC Next Meeting to Address IP/VRS Numbering  

The next meeting of the North American Numbering Council will take place on November 30, 2006.   At that meeting, the Industry Numbering Committee will give an update on activities related to achieving a uniform numbering system for IP-based relay services.

 

Released:  11/03/2006.  FCC ANNOUNCES THE APPOINTMENT OF A NEW DESIGNATED FEDERAL OFFICER  AND THE NEXT MEETING OF THE NORTH AMERICAN NUMBERING COUNCIL. (DA No.  06-2275). (Dkt No 92-237).  WCB. Contact: Deborah Blue  at (202) 418-1466, email: Deborah.Blue@fcc.gov,
TTY: (202) 418-0484
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2275A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2275A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2275A1.txt>

 

7. FCC Enters Consent Decree with FOX on Emergency Access

On November 17, 2006, FOX entered into a consent decree with the FCC in which it promised to make a contribution of $17,000 and to revise its policies with respect to the provision of visual access to its televised emergency programming.  A link to the consent decree is below.

 

 FOX TELEVISION STATIONS, INC.   Adopted Consent Decree entered into between the Enforcement Bureau and Fox Television Stations, Inc. regarding making emergency information accessible to persons with hearing disabilities. Action by:  Chief, Enforcement Bureau. Adopted:11/17/2006 by ORDER. (DA No. 06-2052).  EB
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2052A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2052A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-06-2052A1.txt>

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