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HAC wireless ruling; Katrina programming; VRS vs VRI; 2-line CapTel; Video Mail; Spanish VRS


To: Consumer Contact List
From: Karen Peltz Strauss
Re: Hearing aid compatibility wireless ruling; Katrina emergency television programming; VRS versus VRI; NECA proposed allocation factor for inbound 2-line CapTel; Video Mail and ASL-Spanish VRS
Date: September 12, 2005

1. Wireless Hearing Aid Compatibility - The FCC's wireless HAC rules required all wireless handset manufacturers and carriers to make available to the public 2 HAC wireless handsets per interface (GSM, CDMA, etc.). Tier I wireless carriers were directed to offer 4 HAC wireless digital phones or 25% of the total number of digital wireless handset models offered by those carriers by that same deadline. However, concerns about the technical feasibility of providing phones operating in the 850 MHz frequency bands prompted petitions to the FCC by Cingular Wireless and T-Mobile to temporarily waive this mandate for these phones only. In addition, the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS), which has been administering an industry forum on implementing the wireless HAC requirements, recommended that the FCC's mandates base compliance of GSM phones that operate in both the 850 and 1900 MHZ frequencies by only considering their operation in the 1900 MHz band. The FCC adopted ATIS's recommendation. This means that until August 1, 2006, the HAC compliance rating of dual -mode GSM handsets will only be based on their operation in the 1900 MHz frequency. In addition, the FCC imposed various reporting requirements for the companies, as well as a mandate for a 30-day trial period/return policy for consumers.

Links to the FCC's Public Notice and Order are noted below.

FCC PROVIDES TEMPORARY RELIEF FROM HEARING AID COMPATIBILITY REQUIREMENTS FOR WIRELESS CARRIERS OFFERING DUAL-BAND GSM HANDSETS.
News Release. (Dkt No 01-309). News Media Contact: Chelsea Fallon at (202) 418-7991 WTB. Contact Angela Giancarlo at (202) 418-0680; email: Angela.Giancarlo@fcc.gov
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-260920A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-260920A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-260920A1.txt>

SECTION 68.4(A) OF THE COMMISSION'S RULES GOVERNING HEARING AID-COMPATIBLE TELEPHONES; CINGULAR WIRELESS LLC PETITION FOR WAIVER OF SECTION 20.19(C)(3)(I)(A) OF THE COMMISSION'S RULES. FCC provides temporary relief from hearing aid compatibility requirements for Wireless carriers offering dual-band GSM handsets. Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 09/07/2005 by MO&O. (FCC No. 05-166).. (Dkt No. 01-309). Action by: the Commission. Adopted: 09/07/2005 by MO&O. (FCC No. 05-166). WTB
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-166A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-166A2.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-166A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-166A2.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-166A1.txt>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-05-166A2.

2. Reminder to Make Emergency Programming about the Hurricane Aftermath Accessible - The FCC has issued a reminder to television stations to make the information they air regarding Katrina rescue and assistance efforts accessible to people without sight or hearing.

Released: 09/09/2005. REMINDER TO VIDEO PROGRAMMING DISTRIBUTORS OF NEED TO MAKE EMERGENCY INFORMATION REGARDING HURRICANE KATRINA EVACUATION AND RELIEF EFFORTS ACCESSIBLE TO PERSONS WITH HEARING OR VISION DISABILITIES. (DA No. 05-2438). CGB. Contact: Amelia Brown at (202) 418-2799,
email: Amelia.Brown@fcc.gov, TTY: (202) 418-0537
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-2438A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-2438A1.txt>

3. VRS versus VRI - The FCC has released a public notice alerting the public of the differences between VRS, which is a telephone service, and VRI, which is an-person interpreting service. The latter is not reimbursable by the Interstate TRS Fund. This notice was prompted by electronic notices that suggested that individuals could use VRS as a substitute for in-person interpreting services. The Public Notice is attached.

Released: 09/07/2005. REMINDER THAT VIDEO RELAY SERVICE (VRS) PROVIDES ACCESS TO THE TELEPHONE SYSTEM ONLY AND CANNOT BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR "IN-PERSON" INTERPRETING SERVICES OR VIDEO REMOTE INTERPRETING (VRI). (DA No. 05-2417). CGB. Contact: Thomas Chandler at (202) 418-1475; TTY: (202)418-0597 or thomas.chandler@fcc.gov
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-2417A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-2417A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-2417A1.txt>

4. NECA Allocation Factor - NECA has proposed allocating the costs for inbound 2-line captioned telephone calls as follows: 11% - federal; 89% - state. Comments are due September 22, 2005 and replies are due October 7, 2005. The URL is listed below.

Released: 08/24/2005. NATIONAL EXCHANGE CARRIER ASSOCIATION (NECA) SUBMITS PROPOSED ALLOCATION FACTOR FOR INBOUND TWO-LINE CAPTIONED TELEPHONE CALLS FOR COMPENSATION FROM THE INTERSTATE TELECOMMUNICATIONS RELAY SERVICES (TRS) FUND FOR JULY 2005 THROUGH JUNE 2006. (DA No. 05-2346). (Dkt No 03-123). CGB. Contact: Dana Jackson at (202) 418-2247,TTY: (202) 418-7898 , email: Dana.Jackson@fcc.gov
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-2346A1.doc
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-2346A1.pdf
http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-05-2346A1.txt

5. VRS Video Mail and ASL-Spanish VRS - The FCC's Orders authorizing the provision of video mail (when a hearing person leaves a message for a VRS user who does not answer the call) and ASL-Spanish VRS (VRS communications between ASL users and people who speak Spanish) will take effect on September 30, 2005.


This page last updated:September 12, 2005

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