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Wireless HAC Order


To: Consumer Contact List
Karen Peltz Strauss, RERC-TA
Re: Wireless HAC Order
Date: August 15,2003

Yesterday, the FCC released its new rules requiring certain digital wireless telephones to be hearing aid compatible over the next few years. Below is the executive summary contained in the new rules. The actual order is attached. In addition, the urls for the order and accompanying statements are at the end of this message.

(1) adopt certain performance levels set forth in a technical standard established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) as the applicable technical standard for compatibility of digital wireless phones with hearing aids;

(2) require certain digital wireless phone models to provide reduced radio frequency (RF) interference (i.e., meet a "U3" rating under the ANSI standard), and require certain digital wireless phone models to provide telecoil coupling capability (i.e. meet a "U3T" rating under the ANSI standard);

(3) require, within two years, each digital wireless phone manufacturer to make available to carriers and require each carrier providing digital wireless services to make available to consumers at least two handset models for each air interface it offers which provide reduced RF emissions ("U3" rating);

(4) require each Tier I wireless carrier providing digital wireless services to make available to consumers within two years at least two handset models for each air interface it offers which provide reduced RF emissions ("U3" rating) or 25 percent of the total number of phone models it offers, whichever is greater;

(5) require, within three years, each digital wireless phone manufacturer to make available to carriers and require each carrier providing digital wireless services to make available to consumers at least two handset models for each air interface it offers which provide telecoil coupling ("U3T" rating);

(6) adopt a de minimis exception for certain digital wireless phone manufacturers and carriers;

(7) encourage digital wireless phone manufacturers and service providers to offer at least one compliant handset that is a lower-priced model and one that has higher-end features;

(8) require 50 percent of all digital wireless phone models offered by a manufacturer or carrier to be compliant with the reduced RF emissions requirements by February 18, 2008;

(9) require wireless carriers and digital wireless handset manufacturers to report semiannually (every six months) on efforts toward compliance during the first three years, then annually thereafter through the fifth year of implementation;

(10) require manufacturers to label packages containing compliant handsets and to make information available in the package or product manual, and require service providers to make available to consumers the performance ratings of compliant phones;

(11) commit the Commission staff to deliver a report to the Commission shortly after three years from the effective date of this Order to examine the impact of these requirements, and which will form the basis for the Commission to initiate a proceeding soon after the report is issued to evaluate whether to increase or decrease the 2008 requirement to make 50 percent of phone models with reduced RF emissions, whether to adopt implementation benchmarks beyond 2008, and whether to otherwise modify the implementation requirements;

(12) encourage hearing aid manufacturers to label their pre-customization products according to the ANSI standard; and

(13) deny the petition of Myers Johnson, Inc., for revision of section 24.232 as it relates to directional wireless phone antennas.

SECTION 68.4(A) OF THE COMMISSION'S RULES GOVERNING HEARING
AID-COMPATIBLE TELEPHONES. Modified the exemption for wireless phones under the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 (HAC Act) to require
that digital wireless phones be capable of being effectively used with
hearing aids. (Dkt No. 01-309). Action by: the Commission. Adopted:
07/10/2003 by R&O. (FCC No. 03-168). WTB


<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A1.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A2.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A3.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A4.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A5.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A6.doc>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A1.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A2.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A3.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A4.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A5.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A6.pdf>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A1.txt>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A2.txt>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A3.txt>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A4.txt>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A5.txt>
<http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-03-168A6.txt>


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