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For Immediate Release: February 22, 2011
 

ATIS
1200 G Street, NW
Suite 500
Washington, DC 20005

Contact: Lauren Layman
Phone: 202-434-8850
E-mail: llayman@atis.org
www.atis.org

News Release


ACTA Recommends FCC Increase Efforts to Enforce Part 68 Hearing Aid Compatibility Requirements

February 22, 2011, Washington, DC — The Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments (ACTA) has recommended that the FCC tighten its enforcement of Part 68 non-compliance. Specifically, it urges the FCC to clarify that VoIP phones must meet the hearing aid compatibility and volume control rules in Part 68 of the FCC regulations and that these products be listed in the ACTA database of approved terminal equipment. ACTA is jointly sponsored by ATIS and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA).

“There can be no doubt that the requirements set forth in Part 68 have served the public interest by making telecommunications accessible to the hearing impaired,” said Jim Haynes, Principal, Compliance Engineering Services and Chairman of ACTA. “Ensuring that hearing impaired consumers have access to the telecommunications products they need moving forward depends on active FCC enforcement of Part 68 compliance.”

Concern over this issue comes in response to documented consumer reports that telephones are being sold in retail stores in the U.S. that are not labeled in accordance with ACTA specifications. This means there is no guarantee that those products have been tested to meet Part 68 requirements. Hearing aid compatibility can only be determined by thorough testing and the public can only be assured of compliance through the terminal equipment approval process defined in Part 68. Approved products are listed in the ACTA database.

Further, ACTA also recommends that the FCC consider the impact that failures to comply with Part 68 rules could have on the survivability of communications networks in general, including broadband networks. Compliance with Part 68 rules also helps ensure that advanced communication services including VoIP phones are not only hearing aid compatible, but also meet volume control requirements accepted for today’s networks.

Click here to find the comments that ATIS as Secretariat to ACTA has submitted to the FCC.

About ACTA
The Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments is an open organization established to: (1) adopt technical criteria and to act as the clearing-house, publishing technical criteria for terminal equipment developed by ANSI-accredited standards development organizations; and (2) establish and maintain a registration database of equipment approved as compliant with the technical criteria. The ACTA fulfills its mission through an open and consensus-based process and with active participation from key stakeholders, including service providers, manufacturers, testing laboratories and other interested parties. More information about ACTA can be found on the ACTA website.

About ATIS
ATIS is the leading technical planning and standards development organization committed to the rapid development of global, market-driven standards for the information, entertainment and communications industry. More than 200 companies actively formulate standards in ATIS’ 17 Committees, covering issues including: IPTV, Cloud Services, Energy Efficiency, IP-Based and Wireless Technologies, Quality of Service, Billing and Operational Support, Emergency Services, Architectural Platforms and Emerging Networks. In addition, numerous Incubators, Focus and Exploratory Groups address evolving industry priorities including Smart Grid, Machine-to-Machine, Networked Car, IP Downloadable Security, Policy Management and Network Optimization.

ATIS is the North American Organizational Partner for the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a member and major U.S. contributor to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio and Telecommunications’ Sectors, and a member of the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL). For more information, please visit www.atis.org.