HEADStandards for Hearing Aid-Compatible Handsets

 
CONTENT
Federal Register, Volume 85 Issue 45 (Friday, March 6, 2020)
[Federal Register Volume 85, Number 45 (Friday, March 6, 2020)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 13119-13128]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2020-03149]
[[Page 13119]]
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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
47 CFR Parts 2, 20 and 68
[WT Docket No. 20-3; FCC 20-6; FRS 16479]
Standards for Hearing Aid-Compatible Handsets
AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.
ACTION: Proposed rule.
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SUMMARY: In this document, the Federal Communications Commission
(``Commission'') proposes to adopt a new hearing aid compatibility
technical standard and make related implementation revisions.
DATES: Interested parties may file comments on or before April 6, 2020,
and reply comments on or April 20, 2020.
ADDRESSES: You may submit comments and reply comments on or before the
dates indicated in the DATES section above. Comments may be filed using
the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS). See
Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, 63 FR 24121
(1998). All filings related to this document shall refer to WT Docket
No. 20-3.
 [ssquf] Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically
using the internet by accessing the ECFS: http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/.
 [ssquf] Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file
an original and one copy of each filing.
 Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial
overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service
mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary,
Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
 [ssquf] All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for
the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445
12th Street SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours
are 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together
with rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be
disposed of before entering the building.
 [ssquf] Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9050 Junction Drive,
Annapolis Junction, MD 20701.
 [ssquf] U.S. Postal Service First-Class, Express, and Priority mail
must be addressed to 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.
 People with Disabilities. To request materials in accessible
formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic
files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (TTY).
 For additional information on the rulemaking process, see the
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this document.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information on this
proceeding, contact Eli Johnson, [email protected], of the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau, Competition & Infrastructure Policy
Division, (202) 418-1395. For information on the Paperwork Reduction
Act proposed information collection requirements, contact Cathy
Williams, [email protected].
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Federal
Communications Commission's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), in WT
Docket No. 20-3; FCC 20-6, adopted January 30, 2020, and released on
January 30, 2020. The document is available for download at https://www.fcc.gov/edocs. The complete text of this document is also available
for inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC
Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th Street SW, Room CY-
A257, Washington, DC 20554. To request materials in accessible formats
for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files,
audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the Consumer &
Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432
(TTY).
Synopsis
I. NPRM
 1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, the Commission proposes
to incorporate by reference a new 2019 ANSI Standard (ANSI C63.19-2019,
American National Standard Methods of Measurement of Compatibility
Between Wireless Communication Devices and Hearing Aids, August 19,
2019 (2019 ANSI standard)) into its rules and to make it the exclusive
testing standard for determining hearing aid compatibility after a two-
year transition. The Commission's rules presently incorporate by
reference the 2007 version of this standard (ANSI C63.19-2007, American
National Standard Methods of Measurement of Compatibility Between
Wireless Communication Devices and Hearing Aids, June 8, 2007 (2007
ANSI standard)) and the 2011 version of this standard (ANSI C63.19-
2011, American National Standard Methods of Measurement of
Compatibility Between Wireless Communication Devices and Hearing Aids,
May 27, 2011 (2011 ANSI standard)). In addition, to incorporating by
reference the 2019 ANSI standard, the Commission proposes to extend a
volume control deadline until the start of the exclusive use of the
2019 ANSI Standard. Finally, the Commission proposes to remove
unnecessary or superseded rule provisions and seeks comment on ways to
simplify and update the hearing aid compatibility rules.
A. Codification of the 2019 ANSI Standard
 2. Consistent with past practice, the Commission proposes to
incorporate by reference the 2019 ANSI Standard into its rules as the
exclusive technical standard for evaluating the hearing aid
compatibility of wireless handsets. The Commission has long recognized
that its hearing aid compatibility rules should evolve as revisions to
ANSI standards are developed over time. To this end, the Commission has
encouraged the ANSI Committee to periodically work with relevant
stakeholders to review hearing aid compatibility issues and determine
whether improvements to the standard are warranted. Accordingly, the
Commission proposes to amend its rules to use the 2019 ANSI standard as
the exclusive standard for determining hearing aid compatibility after
the expiration of a two-year transition period. After the expiration of
the transition period, new handsets models would have to be certified
under this standard as hearing aid-compatible in order for
manufacturers and service providers to use these new handsets to meet
their handset deployment requirements.
 3. The Commission anticipates that using the 2019 ANSI standard to
determine whether a handset is hearing aid-compatible for purposes of
its rules will serve the public interest by establishing standards for
new devices and operations over additional frequency bands. The 2019
ANSI standard includes volume control metrics for the first time, and
covers newer technologies and devices operating in the frequency range
of 614 MHz to 6 GHz, as compared to the 2011 ANSI standard's frequency
range of 698 MHz to 6 GHz. New testing methodologies in the 2019 ANSI
standard should also improve the measurement of potential hearing aid
[[Page 13120]]
interference. The new standard no longer uses the M/T category system,
achieves harmonization with hearing aid standards that apply to other
types of equipment, and changes several testing procedures meant to
improve the consumer experience and reduce testing burdens.
 4. If the Commission adopts the 2019 ANSI standard, it proposes to
treat handsets operating over multiple frequency bands or air
interfaces in the same manner as under its current rules. That is, a
handset operating only in the ranges specified in the 2019 ANSI
standard would be required to satisfy that standard for all frequency
bands and air interfaces over which it operates. But if a handset also
operates in frequency ranges not addressed by the 2019 ANSI standard,
it would be considered hearing aid-compatible as long as it satisfies
the 2019 ANSI Standard for those frequencies covered by the standard.
 5. The Commission seeks comment on its proposal to adopt the 2019
ANSI standard. Do commenters agree that the new standard is consistent
with the requirement that handsets ``produce sound levels suitable for
persons with hearing loss (including persons with and without hearing
aids),'' would improve the measurement of potential hearing aid
interference, and would reduce the testing burden? Would adoption of
the standard impose costs on manufacturers or service providers that
are reasonable in light of its benefits?
 6. The Commission recognizes that the 2019 ANSI standard does not
cover frequencies above 6 GHz, as the higher millimeter wave
frequencies were not commonly used in mobile handsets at the time the
standard was being developed. The Commission therefore takes this
opportunity to fulfill its statutory obligation to assess whether to
continue to exempt handsets operating in frequencies above 6 GHz from
the statutory hearing aid compatibility requirements. Section 710 of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, exempts ``telephones used
with public mobile services'' from the hearing aid compatibility
requirements but directs the Commission to assess periodically the
``appropriateness of continuing in effect'' those exemptions. The
Commission has partially revoked the statutory exemption for wireless
handsets operating below 6 GHz, but has not had occasion to assess the
exemption recently for handsets operating above 6 GHz. Accordingly, the
Commission seeks comment generally on whether to continue to exempt
handsets operating with frequencies above 6 GHz from the hearing aid
compatibility requirements. What is the effect, if any, on hearing aid
users from mobile handset operations in the mmW frequencies? What is
the impact on individuals with hearing loss of excluding frequencies
above 6 GHz from the compatibility requirements? As a practical matter,
do higher frequencies pose the same interference concerns as the lower
frequencies for hearing aids? Is compliance with the hearing aid
compatibility standards technologically feasible for devices operating
over 6 GHz? What would be the additional cost of testing in higher
frequencies used by 5G? Would these additional costs limit innovation
for handsets operating in the higher frequencies?
 7. As indicated above, the 2019 ANSI standard revises how hearing
aid compatibility is determined between wireless handsets and hearing
aids and, for the first time, requires handsets to meet a volume
control requirement in order to be considered hearing aid-compatible
under that standard. The new standard specifies testing procedures for
new technologies and devices operating in the frequency range of 614
MHz to 6 GHz and replaces the present numerical M/T rating system with
a simple set of requirements and thresholds. As a result of these
changes, the new standard will improve the experience of hearing aid
users, including those who use cochlear implants, while at the same
time reducing testing burdens. The standard is available for inspection
at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), 445 12th St. SW,
Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, (202)
418-0270. The standard is available for purchase from IEEE Operations
Center, 445 Hoes Lane, Piscataway, NJ 08854-4141, by calling (732) 981-
0060, or going to https://standards.ieee.org/.
B. Transition Period
 8. In its filing, the ANSI Committee urges the Commission to adopt
an ``appropriate'' transition period for implementing the new standard,
but it does not recommend a particular length of time. The Commission
agrees that manufacturers and service providers will likely require
some transition period in order to design, manufacture, and market
equipment that satisfies the 2019 ANSI Standard for hearing aid
compatibility, and the Commission seeks comment on how much time is
reasonably needed. The Commission proposes to phase out the 2011 ANSI
standard over a transition period of two (2) years from the date the
order adopting the 2019 ANSI standard is published in the Federal
Register. The Commission used a two-year transition period before
making the 2007 ANSI standard the exclusive testing standard for
hearing aid compatibility and a two-year transition period before
requiring the 2011 ANSI standard be used for meeting hearing aid
compatibility requirements for newly covered frequency bands and air
interfaces that were not covered by the 2007 ANSI standard. The
Commission proposes a similar two-year transition period to
appropriately balance the design, engineering, and marketing
requirements of manufacturers and service providers with the needs of
consumers with hearing loss.
 9. In assessing its proposed two-year transition period, the
Commission seeks comment on the steps manufacturers must take to
implement the 2019 ANSI standard and their implications for the length
of the transition period. What is the scope and timeline of the design
changes necessary to incorporate the 2019 ANSI standard into future
handsets? Commenters should consider manufacturers' product fabrication
cycles and the practicality of testing multi-band or multi-mode
handsets in the near-term under the 2019 ANSI standard. Are there
multi-band or multi-mode handsets planned for near-term introduction
that meet the hearing aid compatibility criteria for their operations
covered under the 2011 ANSI standard but do not meet those criteria for
newly covered operations or revised testing procedures under the 2019
ANSI standard? What, if any, obstacles do manufacturers anticipate
facing? Given the clear public interest in moving quickly to make
advanced technology available to those with hearing loss, the
Commission urges any commenters proposing a transition of longer than
two years to provide specific information about why more time is
needed.
 10. The Commission further seeks comment on the effect its proposed
transition period likely will have on the Commission's ability to
decide by 2024 whether to require 100% of covered handsets to be
hearing aid-compatible. Does a two-year transition period encourage
manufacturers to increase the number of hearing aid-compatible handsets
they produce or help them eventually achieve 100% hearing aid-
compatibility? Or would the design changes required by the 2019 ANSI
standard negatively affect the ability of device manufacturers to meet
any requirement the Commission may determine to impose that all covered
handsets be hearing aid-compatible by a certain date in the future? Are
there any
[[Page 13121]]
issues related to the pending 100% proceeding that the Commission
should consider with respect to making the 2019 ANSI standard the
exclusive testing standard going forward? Commenters should fully
explain any relationship between the adoption of the 2019 ANSI standard
as the exclusive testing standard and the potential requirement for
100% of handsets to be hearing aid-compatible.
 11. Although the Commission proposes to allow a two-year transition
period before requiring exclusive use of the 2019 ANSI Standard,
including its volume control requirements, it notes that manufacturers
currently have a deadline in less than a year-and-a-half to ensure that
wireless handsets are ``equipped with volume control that produces
sound levels suitable for persons with hearing loss (including persons
with and without hearing aids).'' The Commission proposes to extend
this volume control deadline so that it coincides with the start of the
exclusive use of the 2019 ANSI standard. The Commission seeks comment
on this proposal. Would retaining disparate deadlines for volume
control and exclusive use of the 2019 ANSI standard effectively require
manufacturers to develop new handsets to meet the volume control
deadline and then develop a new batch of handsets to satisfy the 2019
standard? Commenters should be specific about the costs and benefits of
their proposed approach.
 12. Consistent with past transitions to new standards, the
Commission proposes permitting new handset models to be tested for
certification using either the 2011 or 2019 ANSI standards during the
transition period. Consistent with the 1988 Hearing Aid Compatibility
Act and the current rules, the Commission proposes that all existing
hearing aid compatibility certifications issued prior to and within the
transition period, including certifications under the 2011 ANSI
standard as well as any earlier versions of the standard, would remain
valid. As a result, no existing handset models would need to be
retested or recertified as hearing aid-compatible. The Commission seeks
comment on this approach.
 13. The Commission notes that the Commission's existing handset
certification procedures do not permit a handset model to be tested and
certified partly under one version of the ANSI standard and partly
under another. The Commission has taken this approach because each ANSI
standard has its own complete set of testing procedures and mixing
these procedures will result in a meaningless outcome. Consistent with
this long-established certification practice, the Commission proposes
that manufacturers continue to be required to test a new handset model
exclusively under either the 2011 ANSI standard or the 2019 ANSI
standard during the transition period. After the end of the transition
period, the Commission proposes that new handset models be required to
satisfy fully the 2019 ANSI standard, including its volume control
requirements, for all of the frequency bands covered by the standard to
be considered hearing aid-compatible. The Commission seeks comment on
this proposal.
C. Meeting Deployment Benchmarks
 14. Subject to a de minimis exception, handset manufacturers and
service providers must offer minimum numbers of hearing aid-compatible
handset models for each covered air interface over which its handsets
operate. Depending on the type and size of an entity and the point in
time, manufacturers and providers will need to ensure that either 66%
or 85% of their handset models are hearing aid-compatible. Under the
2011 ANSI standard, this means that a handset must be rated M3 or
higher and T3 or higher for any given air interface. With respect to
the 2019 ANSI standard, for the handset to be hearing aid-compatible
over a covered air interface, the handset must meet the requirements
for both acoustic and inductive coupling modes for that air interface,
including the volume control requirements.
 15. If the Commission adopts the 2019 ANSI standard going forward,
it proposes to allow manufacturers and service providers to meet the
requirement to offer minimum numbers of hearing aid-compatible handsets
by counting the models certified under the 2019 ANSI standard and
handset models already certified under earlier versions of the standard
(i.e., the 2007 and 2011 versions of the standard) as long as those
models are still being offered for sale. As more and more handset
models become certified under the 2019 ANSI standard, the Commission
expects that handset models certified under older versions of the ANSI
standard will cease being offered for sale and will be replaced with
new models certified under the 2019 ANSI standard. Manufacturers and
national wireless providers are already required to ensure that 66% of
the handsets they offer are hearing aid-compatible, and the Commission
expects handsets meeting the 2019 ANSI standard to be common within a
few years after the end of the transition period. The Commission also
notes that, while manufacturers would not be required to certify their
new handset models under the 2019 ANSI standard during the transition
period in order to meet their minimum deployment benchmarks, they may
find using the 2019 standard advantageous from a marketing perspective.
The Commission seeks comment on this proposal. What are the costs and
benefits to device manufacturers, service providers, and consumers with
hearing loss of allowing handsets certified under previous ANSI
standards to count toward the minimum number of hearing aid-compatible
handsets that must be offered? Are there reasons to impose new
requirements on manufacturers and service providers to offer minimum
numbers of handsets certified to comply with the 2019 ANSI standard?
D. Labeling Requirements
 16. The Commission proposes to update and modernize its hearing aid
compatibility labeling requirements in order to eliminate outdated
provisions and to streamline and clarify these requirements. The 1988
Hearing Aid Compatibility Act provides that the Commission ``shall
establish . . . requirements for the labeling of packaging materials .
. . to provide adequate information to consumers on the compatibility
between telephones and hearing aids.'' This Congressional directive
requires us to ensure that consumers have sufficient information to
make an informed decision when selecting hearing aid-compatible
handsets. Given this directive, the Commission proposes to simplify its
current hearing aid compatibility labeling requirements so that
consumers will have the easily understandable information they need in
order to understand and evaluate the hearing aid compatibility of a
particular handset. In making this proposal, the Commission is mindful
that its labeling requirements must not only cover new handset models
certified under the 2019 ANSI standard but also cover handset models
that are still being offered for sale and that have been certified as
hearing aid-compatible under older versions of the ANSI standard.
 17. The Commission's current labeling requirements are composed of
four parts. The first requires manufacturers and service providers to
ensure that a label on the exterior packaging of a wireless handset
indicates the M- and T-rating of the handset model under the 2011 ANSI
Standard. Under the 2019 ANSI Standard, however, this information would
no longer be relevant because the new standard does not use a rating
[[Page 13122]]
system. The second part requires manufacturers and service providers to
display information on the handset's volume control capabilities. The
third part establishes labeling requirements related to handsets that
are considered hearing aid-compatible with respect to some, but not all
of their frequency bands and air interfaces. The fourth part imposes
disclosure requirements relating to handsets that allow users to reduce
the maximum power for GSM operation in the 1900 MHz band. This power
down exception was eliminated when the Commission adopted the 2011 ANSI
standard as the exclusive testing standard.
 18. With the objectives of modernizing and streamlining its rules,
the Commission proposes to reorganize its existing hearing aid
compatibility labeling requirements by requiring the following:
 (1) For all handset models certified to be hearing aid-
compatible, manufacturers and service providers shall disclose to
consumers through clear and effective means (e.g., inclusion of
packaging materials, user manuals, call-out cards or other physical
media):
 (i) That the handset is hearing aid-compatible (including
placing this information on the handset's packaging label);
 (ii) The air interfaces on the handset that are not hearing aid-
compatible, if applicable, or have been determined to be hearing
aid-compatible under special testing circumstances;
 (iii) The ANSI standard that was used to determine the hearing
aid compatibility of the handset model's air interfaces; and
 (iv) If using the 2011 ANSI standard or earlier, the lowest
hearing aid compatibility rating assigned to any of the air
interfaces.
 (2) Any handset model certified to be hearing aid-compatible but
with one or more air interfaces that are not hearing aid-compatible
must include the following language:
 This phone has been tested and certified for use with hearing
aids for some of the wireless technologies that it uses. However,
there may be some newer wireless technologies used in this phone
that have not been tested yet for use with hearing aids. It is
important to try the different features of this phone thoroughly and
in different locations, using your hearing aid or cochlear implant,
to determine if you hear any interfering noise. Consult your service
provider or the manufacturer of this phone for information on
hearing aid compatibility. If you have questions about return or
exchange policies, consult your service provider or phone retailer.
 (3) For those handset models that have been certified as having
met the 2019 ANSI standard's volume control requirement,
manufacturers and service providers must clearly display information
indicating the handset's amplification capabilities, including
numerical metrics or ratings for handset volume control, on the
packaging material of the handset and must also provide an
explanation of those capabilities in the handset's user manual or as
an insert in the packaging material for the handset. The volume
control metrics or ratings displayed shall be the lowest metrics or
ratings assigned to the handset for any air interface or frequency
band.
 19. The Commission proposes to modify its current volume control
labeling requirement to delete the pending volume control compliance
date and the cross reference currently contained in the rule, and to
make implementation of the rule easier for manufacturers and service
providers to follow. Given that its current labeling requirement was
adopted prior to the volume control technical standard being released
as part of the 2019 ANSI Standard, the Commission believes that these
changes will provide clarity and aid compliance. The Commission seeks
comment on whether its revised volume control labeling requirement will
provide consumers with sufficient information to make an informed
decision about a handset's volume control capabilities. If more
information is required, the Commission seeks comment on what
additional information is needed, why, and where that information
should be displayed (e.g., label, package insert, or user manual).
 20. More generally the Commission seeks comment on whether its
proposed revised labeling and disclosure requirements are
straightforward and conspicuous enough for consumers to understand the
hearing aid compatibility of a particular handset model. Does its
proposal take into consideration the information that a consumer needs
to know to make an informed decision both with respect to handset
models certified under the 2019 ANSI standard and those that are still
being offered for sale that have been certified under older versions of
the standard? Is there any additional information that consumers should
be informed of when considering hearing aid-compatible handsets?
Consistent with the existing labeling rule, the Commission's proposal
requires manufacturers and service providers to disclose on a handset's
packaging label if the handset is hearing aid-compatible and additional
information on the handset's packaging label if the handset meets the
volume control requirement. Further, consistent with the existing
labeling requirement, the Commission's proposal requires manufacturers
and service providers to disclose other hearing aid compatibility
information through clear and effective means such as packaging labels,
user manuals and instructions, call-out cards or other appropriate
media. Are these methods of disclosure sufficient to meet consumer
needs? What, if any, additional information should be required and
where should this information be displayed? The Commission also seeks
comment on whether it should continue to require service providers to
make handsets available for in-store testing by consumers and whether a
transition period is needed before its proposed new labeling
requirements become effective.
E. Other Rule Changes
 21. Section 20.19. The Commission seeks comment on whether to
revise certain other provisions in section 20.19 to streamline and
update its hearing aid compatibility requirements.
 21. With the rapid pace of handset development and the number of
new handsets that come to market each year, the Commission proposes to
delete the ``refresh'' and ``differing levels of functionality''
requirements contained in the Commission's hearing aid compatibility
rules. These requirements require manufacturers and service providers
to ``refresh'' and offer a range of hearing aid-compatible handset
models that include a mix of new and existing models. The Commission
seeks comment about whether these requirements remain necessary as more
and more handsets are required to be hearing aid-compatible. The
Commission's current handset deployment benchmarks require 66% of
offered handset models to be hearing aid-compatible and these
benchmarks increase to 85% in the near future. Given that these
benchmarks require a significant majority of handsets to be hearing
aid-compatible, are the ``refresh'' and ``differing levels of
functionality'' requirements still necessary to ensure consumers have a
wide variety of hearing aid-compatible handsets from which to choose?
Have the Commission's changes to the handset deployment benchmarks
rendered these requirements unnecessary? Commenters should address the
costs and benefits to manufacturers, service providers, and consumers
with hearing loss if the Commission eliminates these requirements. The
Commission further proposes to make a corresponding change to section
20.19(h) and delete the requirement that service providers make
available on their websites information about the ``differing levels of
functionality'' of each handset they
[[Page 13123]]
offer. The Commission seeks comment on its proposal.
 23. The Commission proposes to revise the date that service
providers must file certifications of compliance with the Commission's
hearing aid compatibility provisions and the date that manufacturers
must file compliance reports. Presently, service provider
certifications are due January 15 each year and manufacturer reports
are due July 15 each year. The Commission proposes to move these dates
to January 31 and July 31, respectively. Under this approach, the
filing window for service providers would open the first business day
in January and for manufacturers the first business day in July. This
change would ensure that service provider certifications and
manufacturer reports are ``up-to-date as of the last day of the
calendar month preceding the due date of each report and
certification.'' The Commission seeks comment on this change.
 24. Finally, throughout section 20.19, the Commission proposes to
delete references to implementation dates and benchmarks that have
already passed. Eliminating these references will simplify the rules
and make them easier to read and understand. The Commission also
propose deleting all references to hearing aid compatibility
requirements and deployment benchmarks that applied to handsets
certified under the 2007 ANSI standard, except for labeling and
disclosure requirements related to these handsets. Because all
certifications under the 2007 ANSI standard remain valid, current
language in the rule describing the requirements and benchmarks that
apply to these handsets appears unnecessary. To the extent handsets
certified under the 2007 ANSI standard are still being offered for
sale, however, these handsets must be labeled in a manner consistent
with the Commission's labeling and disclosure requirements. The
Commission also seek comment on any other ministerial changes to
section 20.19 that it should consider as it updates Commission rules.
 25. Section 68.300. The Commission proposes a technical correction
of section 68.300 of the Commission's rules, which requires labeling of
hearing aid-compatible telephones. When the Commission amended part 68
of the rules in 2000 to remove various provisions pertaining to
registration of terminal equipment connected to the public switched
telephone network (PSTN), it appears that a definition of the term
``permanently affixed,'' which is relevant to the labeling requirement,
was inadvertently deleted. The Commission proposes to restore an
updated version of the definition.
 26. Under section 68.300(b) of the rules, if a telephone that is
approved for connection to the PSTN is hearing aid-compatible, the
letters ``HAC'' must be permanently affixed to the telephone. Prior to
the 2000 amendments, this provision was designated as paragraph (c) of
section 68.300, and it referenced a definition of ``permanently
affixed'' contained in what was then paragraph (b). In 2000, the
Commission deleted the existing paragraph (b)--including the definition
of ``permanently affixed''--and renumbered paragraph (c) as paragraph
(b). As a result, section 68.300(b) of the rules now refers to a
definition that is no longer present in the rule.
 27. Subsequently, in 2017, the Commission adopted hearing aid
compatibility rules for telephonic equipment used with advanced
communications services (ACS telephonic CPE). These rules include an
updated definition of ``permanently affixed,'' applicable to the
labeling of such equipment as hearing aid-compatible. To ensure that
hearing aid compatibility labeling requirements are consistent for both
PSTN telephones and advanced telephonic CPE, the Commission proposes to
amend section 68.300(b) to include the same definition currently
provided in section 68.502(a), as follows:
 ``Permanently affixed'' means that the label is etched,
engraved, stamped, silkscreened, indelibly printed, or otherwise
permanently marked on a permanently attached part of the equipment
or on a nameplate of metal, plastic, or other material fastened to
the equipment by welding, riveting, or a permanent adhesive. The
label must be designed to last the expected lifetime of the
equipment in the environment in which the equipment may be operated
and must not be readily detachable.
 28. Further, the Commission proposes to delete from the paragraph
the stated requirement date of April 1, 1997, given that the starting
date has passed. Because there are only minor differences between the
new and old definitions of ``permanently affixed,'' the Commission does
not anticipate that these proposed changes will have any significant
effect on the current practices of hearing aid compatibility
manufacturers or equipment providers. Therefore, the Commission
proposes to make this amendment effective in the normal course, 30 days
after Federal Register publication of the amended rule. The Commission
seeks comment on these proposed technical corrections and effective
date.
II. Procedural Matters
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
 29. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), the
Commission has prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
(IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on a substantial
number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed in the
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The IRFA is set forth in Appendix
B. Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be
identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines
for comments provided in the NPRM. The Commission's Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, will send a
copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA). In addition, the
NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal
Register.
Ex Parte Presentations
 30. This proceeding shall be treated as a ``permit-but-disclose''
proceeding in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules. 47 CFR
1.1200 et. seq. Persons making ex parte presentations must file a copy
of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral
presentation within two business days after the presentation (unless a
different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies). Persons
making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda
summarizing the presentation must (1) list all persons attending or
otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte
presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and
arguments made during the presentation. If the presentation consisted
in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments already
reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other
filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide citations to such
data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or other
filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where
such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of summarizing them in the
memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission staff during ex
parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must
be filed consistent with rule 1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by
Rule 1.49(f) or for which the Commission has made available a method of
electronic filing, written ex
[[Page 13124]]
parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte
presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the
electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and
must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt,
searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize
themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.
Paperwork Reduction Act
 31. This document contains proposed new or modified information
collection requirements. The Commission, as part of its continuing
effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and the
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to comment on the information
collection requirements in this document, subject to the Paperwork
Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, pursuant
to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198,
see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), the Commission seeks specific comment on how
it might further reduce the information collection burden for small
business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.
III. Ordering Clauses
 Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to sections 4(i), 303(r), and
710 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i),
303(r), 610, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby adopted.
 It is further ordered that pursuant to applicable procedures set
forth in sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's Rules, 47 CFR
1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments on this Notice of
Proposed Rulemaking on or before April 6, 2020, and reply comments on
or before April 20, 2020.
 It is further ordered that WT Docket Nos. 07-250 and 10-254 are
hereby terminated.
 It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a
copy of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of
the Small Business Administration.
List of Subjects in 47 CFR Parts 2, 20 and 68
 Incorporation by reference, Individuals with disabilities,
Telecommunications, Telephones.
Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene Dortch,
Secretary.
Proposed Rules
 For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal
Communications Commission proposes to amend title 47 parts 2, 20, and
68 of the Code of Federal Regulations as follows:
PART 2--FREQUENCY ALLOCATIONS AND RADIO TREATY MATTERS; GENERAL
REULES AND REGULATIONS
0
1. The authority citation for part 2 continues to read as follows:
 Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 302a, 303, and 336, unless otherwise
noted.
0
2. Amend Sec. 2.1033 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
Sec. 2.1033 Application for certification.
* * * * *
 (d) Applications for certification of equipment operating under
part 20 of this chapter, that a manufacturer is seeking to certify as
hearing aid-compatible, as set forth in Sec. 20.19 of this chapter,
shall include a statement indicating compliance with the test
requirements of Sec. 20.19 of this chapter. The manufacturer of the
equipment shall be responsible for maintaining the test results.
* * * * *
PART 20--COMMERCIAL MOBILE RADIO SERVICES
0
3. The authority citation for part 20 is revised to read as follows:
 Authority: 47 U.S.C. 151, 152(a), 154(i), 155, 157, 160, 201,
214, 222, 251(e), 301, 302, 303, 303(b), 303(r), 307, 307(a), 309,
309(j)(3), 316, 316(a), 332, 610, 615, 615a, 615b, 615c, unless
otherwise noted.
0
4. Amend Sec. 20.19 by revising paragraphs (a) through (l) to read as
follows:
Sec. 20.19 Hearing aid-compatible mobile handsets.
 (a) Definitions. For purposes of this section:
 2007 ANSI standard refers to the technical standard for hearing aid
compatibility applicable to frequencies between 800 MHz and 3 GHz as
set forth in the standards document ``American National Standard
Methods of Measurement of Compatibility Between Wireless Communication
Devices and Hearing Aids,'' ANSI C63.19-2007 (2007 ANSI standard).
 2011 ANSI standard refers to the technical standard for hearing aid
compatibility applicable to frequencies between 698 MHz and 6 GHz as
set forth in the standards document ``American National Standard
Methods of Measurement of Compatibility Between Wireless Communication
Devices and Hearing Aids,'' ANSI C63.19-2011 (2011 ANSI standard).
 2019 ANSI standard refers to the technical standard for hearing aid
compatibility applicable to frequencies between 614 MHz and 6 GHz as
set forth in the standards document ``American National Standard
Methods of Measurement of Compatibility Between Wireless Communication
Devices and Hearing Aids,'' ANSI C63.19-2019 (2019 ANSI standard).
 ANSI standard refers to the 2007, 2011, and 2019 ANSI standards as
a group.
 Any version of the ANSI standard previous to the 2019 ANSI standard
refers to the 2007 and 2011 ANSI standards.
 Digital mobile service refers to a terrestrial mobile service that
enables two-way real-time voice communications among members of the
public or a substantial portion of the public, including both
interconnected and non-interconnected VoIP services, to the extent that
such service is provided over frequencies specified in the 2011 ANSI
standard or the 2019 ANSI standard.
 Handset refers to a device used in delivery of digital mobile
service in the United States that contains a built-in speaker and is
typically held to the ear in any of its ordinary uses.
 Manufacturer refers to a manufacturer of handsets that are used in
delivery of digital mobile service, as defined in this section, in the
United States.
 Model refers to a wireless handset device that a manufacturer has
designated as a distinct device model, consistent with its own
marketing practices. However, if a manufacturer assigns different model
device designations solely to distinguish units sold to different
carriers, or to signify other distinctions that do not relate to either
form, features, or capabilities, such designations shall not count as
distinct models for purposes of this section.
 Service provider refers to a provider of digital mobile service, as
defined in this section, in the United States.
 Tier I carrier refers to a CMRS provider that offers such service
nationwide.
 (b) Hearing aid compatibility; technical standards.--(1) Handset
compatibility on or after [DATE TWO YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL
RULE]. In order to satisfy a manufacturer or service provider's
[[Page 13125]]
obligations under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, a handset
submitted for equipment certification or for a permissive change
relating to hearing aid compatibility on or after [the transition date]
must meet the 2019 ANSI standard.
 (2) Handset compatibility before [DATE TWO YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVE
DATE OF FINAL RULE]. In order to satisfy a manufacturer or service
provider's obligations under paragraphs (c) and (d) of this section, a
handset submitted for equipment certification or for a permissive
change relating to hearing aid compatibility before [the transition
date] must meet either:
 (i) At a minimum, the M3 and T3 ratings associated with the 2011
ANSI standard; or
 (ii) The 2019 ANSI standard.
 (3) Handsets operating over multiple frequency bands or air
interfaces. (i) Beginning on [DATE TWO YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF
FINAL RULE], a handset that uses only the frequencies specified in the
2019 ANSI standard is hearing aid-compatible if it meets the 2019 ANSI
standard for all frequency bands and air interfaces over which it
operates, and the handset has been certified as compliant with the test
requirements for the 2019 ANSI standard pursuant to Sec. 2.1033(d) of
this chapter. A handset that incorporates operations outside the
frequencies specified in the 2019 ANSI standard is hearing aid-
compatible if the handset otherwise satisfies the requirements of this
paragraph (b).
 (ii) Before [DATE TWO YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE] a
handset that uses only the frequencies specified in the 2011 ANSI
standard is hearing aid-compatible with regard to radio frequency
interference or inductive coupling if it meets the 2011 ANSI standard
for all frequency bands and air interfaces over which it operates, and
the handset has been certified as compliant with the test requirements
for the 2011 ANSI standard pursuant to Sec. 2.1033(d) of this chapter.
Before [DATE TWO YEARS AFTER EFFECTIVE DATE OF FINAL RULE], a handset
that incorporates operations outside the frequencies specified in the
2011 ANSI standard is hearing aid-compatible if the handset otherwise
satisfies the requirements of this paragraph (b).
 (4) All factual questions of whether a handset meets the technical
standard(s) of this paragraph shall be referred for resolution to the
Chief, Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications
Commission, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554.
 (5) A handset certified under any version of the ANSI standard
previous to the 2019 ANSI standard remains hearing aid-compatible for
purposes of this section.
 (c) Phase-in of hearing aid-compatibility requirements. The
following applies to each manufacturer and service provider that offers
handsets used to deliver the services specified in paragraph (a) of
this section and that does not fall within the de minimis exception set
forth in paragraph (e) of this section.
 (1) Manufacturers--Number of hearing aid-compatible handset models
offered. For each digital air interface for which it offers handsets in
the United States or imported for use in the United States, each
manufacturer must offer hearing aid compatible handsets as follows:
 (i) Beginning October 3, 2018, at least sixty-six (66) percent of
those handset models (rounded down to the nearest whole number) must be
hearing aid-compatible under paragraph (b) of this section.
 (ii) Beginning October 4, 2021, at least eighty-five (85) percent
of those handset models (rounded down to the nearest whole number) must
be hearing aid-compatible under paragraph (b) of this section.
 (2) Tier I carriers. For each digital air interface for which it
offers handsets to customers, each Tier I carrier must:
 (i) Beginning April 3, 2019, ensure that at least sixty-six (66)
percent of the handset models it offers are hearing aid-compatible
under paragraph (b) of this section, calculated based on the total
number of unique handset models the carrier offers nationwide.
 (ii) Beginning April 4, 2022, ensure that at least eighty-five (85)
percent of the handset models it offers are hearing aid-compatible
under paragraph (b) of this section, calculated based on the total
number of unique handset models the carrier offers nationwide.
 (3) Service providers other than Tier I carriers. For each digital
air interface for which it offers handsets to customers, each service
provider other than a Tier I carrier must:
 (i) Beginning April 3, 2020, ensure that at least sixty-six (66)
percent of the handset models it offers are hearing aid-compatible
under paragraph (b) of this section, calculated based on the total
number of unique handset models the carrier offers.
 (ii) Beginning April 3, 2023, ensure that at least eighty-five (85)
percent of the handset models it offers are hearing aid-compatible
under paragraph (b) of this section, calculated based on the total
number of unique handset models the carrier offers.
 (4) In-store testing. All service providers must make available for
consumers to test, in each retail store owned or operated by the
service provider, all of its handset models that are hearing aid-
compatible under paragraph (b) of this section.
 (d) [Reserved]
 (e) De minimis exception. (1)(i) Manufacturers or service providers
that offer two or fewer handsets in an air interface in the United
States are exempt from the requirements of this section in connection
with that air interface, except with regard to the reporting and
certification requirements in paragraph (i) of this section. Service
providers that obtain handsets only from manufacturers that offer two
or fewer handset models in an air interface in the United States are
likewise exempt from the requirements of this section other than
paragraph (i) of this section in connection with that air interface.
 (ii) Notwithstanding paragraph (e)(1)(i) of this section,
manufacturers that have had more than 750 employees for at least two
years and service providers that have had more than 1500 employees for
at least two years, and that have been offering handsets over an air
interface for at least two years, that offer one or two handsets in
that air interface in the United States must offer at least one handset
model that is hearing aid-compatible under paragraph (b) of this
section in that air interface. Service providers that obtain handsets
only from manufacturers that offer one or two handset models in an air
interface in the United States, and that have had more than 750
employees for at least two years and have offered handsets over that
air interface for at least two years, are required to offer at least
one handset model in that air interface that is hearing aid-compatible
under paragraph (b) of this section. For purposes of this paragraph,
employees of a parent, subsidiary, or affiliate company under common
ownership or control with a manufacturer or service provider are
considered employees of the manufacturer or service provider.
Manufacturers and service providers covered by this paragraph must also
comply with all other requirements of this section.
 (2) Manufacturers or service providers that offer three handset
models in an air interface must offer at least one handset model that
is hearing aid-compatible under paragraph (b) of this section in that
air interface. Service providers that obtain handsets only from
manufacturers that offer three handset models in an air interface in
the United
[[Page 13126]]
States are required to offer at least one handset model in that air
interface that is hearing aid-compatible under paragraph (b) of this
section.
 (3) Manufacturers that offer four or five handset models in an air
interface must offer at least two handset models that are hearing aid-
compatible under paragraph (b) of this section in that air interface.
Tier I carriers who offer four handset models in an air interface must
offer at least two handsets that are hearing aid-compatible under
paragraph (b) of this section in that air interface and Tier I carriers
who offer five handset models in an air interface must offer at least
three handsets that are hearing aid-compatible under paragraph (b) of
this section in that air interface. Service providers, other than Tier
I carriers, who offer four handset models in an air interface must
offer at least two handset models that are hearing aid-compatible under
paragraph (b) of this section in that air interface and service
providers, other than Tier I carriers, who offer five handset models in
an air interface must offer at least three handsets that are hearing
aid-compatible under paragraph (b) of this section in that air
interface.
 (f) Labeling and disclosure requirements for hearing aid-compatible
handsets. (1) For all handset models certified to be hearing aid-
compatible, manufacturers and service providers shall disclose to
consumers through clear and effective means (e.g., inclusion of
packaging materials, user manuals, call-out cards or other physical
media):
 (i) That the handset is hearing aid-compatible (including placing
this information on the handset's packaging label);
 (ii) The air interfaces on the handset that are not hearing aid-
compatible, if applicable, or have been determined to be hearing aid-
compatible under special testing circumstances;
 (iii) The ANSI standard that was used to determine the hearing aid
compatibility of the handset model's air interfaces; and
 (iv) If using the 2007 ANSI standard or the 2011 ANSI standard, the
lowest hearing aid compatibility rating assigned to any of the air
interfaces.
 (2) Any handset model certified to be hearing aid-compatible but
with one or more air interfaces that are not hearing aid-compatible
must include the following language:
 This phone has been tested and certified for use with hearing
aids for some of the wireless technologies that it uses. However,
there may be some newer wireless technologies used in this phone
that have not been tested yet for use with hearing aids. It is
important to try the different features of this phone thoroughly and
in different locations, using your hearing aid or cochlear implant,
to determine if you hear any interfering noise. Consult your service
provider or the manufacturer of this phone for information on
hearing aid compatibility. If you have questions about return or
exchange policies, consult your service provider or phone retailer.
 (3) For those handset models that have been certified as having met
the 2019 ANSI standard's volume control requirement, manufacturers and
service providers must clearly display information indicating the
handset's amplification capabilities, including numerical metrics or
ratings for handset volume control, on the packaging material of the
handset and an explanation of those capabilities in the handset's user
manual or as an insert in the packaging material for the handset. The
volume control metrics or ratings displayed shall be the lowest metrics
or ratings assigned to the handset for any air interface or frequency
band.
 (g) Model designation requirements. Where a manufacturer has made
physical changes to a handset that result in a change in the hearing
aid compatibility rating under the 2011 ANSI standard, the altered
handset must be given a model designation distinct from that of the
handset prior to its alteration.
 (h) Website and record retention requirements. (1) Each
manufacturer and service provider that operates a publicly-accessible
website must make available on its website a list of all hearing aid-
compatible models currently offered, the ANSI standard used to evaluate
hearing aid compatibility, the ratings of those models under the
relevant ANSI standard, if applicable, and an explanation of the rating
system. Each service provider must also include on its website: A list
of all non-hearing aid-compatible models currently offered, as well as
a link to the current FCC web page containing information about the
wireless hearing aid compatibility rules and service providers'
obligations. Each service provider must also include the marketing
model name/number(s) and FCC ID number of each hearing aid-compatible
and non-hearing aid-compatible model currently offered.
 (2) Service providers must maintain on their website either:
 (i) A link to a third-party website as designated by the Commission
or Wireless Telecommunications Bureau with information regarding
hearing aid-compatible and non-hearing aid-compatible handset models;
or
 (ii) A clearly marked list of hearing aid-compatible handset models
that are no longer offered if the calendar month/year that model was
last offered is within 24 months of the current calendar month/year and
was last offered in January 2018 or later along with the information
listed in paragraph (h)(1) of this section for each hearing aid-
compatible handset.
 (3) If the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau determines that the
third-party website has been eliminated or is not updated in a timely
manner, it may select another website or require service providers to
comply with paragraph (h)(2)(ii) of this section.
 (4) The information on the website must be updated within 30 days
of any relevant changes, and any website pages containing information
so updated must indicate the day on which the update occurred.
 (5) Service providers must maintain internal records including the
ratings, if applicable, of all hearing aid-compatible and non-hearing
aid-compatible models no longer offered (if the calendar month/year
that model was last offered is within 24 months of the current calendar
month/year and was last offered in January 2018 or later); for models
no longer offered (if the calendar month/year that model was last
offered is within 24 months of the current calendar month/year), the
calendar months and years each hearing aid-compatible and non-hearing
aid-compatible model was first and last offered; and the marketing
model name/number(s) and FCC ID number of each hearing aid-compatible
and non-hearing aid-compatible model no longer offered (if the calendar
month/year that model was last offered is within 24 months of the
current calendar month/year and was last offered in January 2018 or
later).
 (i) Reporting requirements.--(1) Reporting and certification dates.
Manufacturers shall submit Form 655 reports on efforts toward
compliance with the requirements of this section on an annual basis by
July 31 of each year. Service providers shall submit Form 855
certifications on their compliance with the requirements of this
section by January 31 of each year. Information in each report and
certification must be up-to-date as of the last day of the calendar
month preceding the due date of each report and certification.
 (2) Content of manufacturer reports. Reports filed by manufacturers
must include:
 (i) Handset models tested, since the most recent report, for
compliance with the applicable hearing aid compatibility technical
ratings, if applicable;
 (ii) Compliant handset models offered to service providers since
the most
[[Page 13127]]
recent report, identifying each model by marketing model name/number(s)
and FCC ID number;
 (iii) For each compliant model, the air interface(s) and frequency
band(s) over which it operates, the hearing aid compatibility ratings
for each frequency band and air interface under the ANSI standard (if
applicable), the ANSI standard version used, and the months in which
the model was available to service providers since the most recent
report;
 (iv) Non-compliant models offered to service providers since the
most recent report, identifying each model by marketing model name/
number(s) and FCC ID number;
 (v) For each non-compliant model, the air interface(s) over which
it operates and the months in which the model was available to service
providers since the most recent report;
 (vi) Total numbers of compliant and non-compliant models offered to
service providers for each air interface as of the time of the report;
 (vii) Any instance, as of the date of the report or since the most
recent report, in which multiple compliant or non-compliant devices
were marketed under separate model name/numbers but constitute a single
model for purposes of the hearing aid compatibility rules, identifying
each device by marketing model name/number and FCC ID number;
 (viii) Status of product labeling;
 (ix) Outreach efforts; and
 (x) If the manufacturer maintains a public website, the website
address of the page(s) containing the information regarding hearing
aid-compatible handset models required by paragraph (h) of this
section.
 (3) Content of service provider certifications. Certifications
filed by service providers must include:
 (i) The name of the signing executive and contact information;
 (ii) The company(ies) covered by the certification;
 (iii) The FCC Registration Number (FRN);
 (iv) If the service provider is subject to paragraph (h) of this
section, the website address of the page(s) containing the required
information regarding handset models;
 (v) The percentage of handsets offered that are hearing aid-
compatible (providers will derive this percentage by determining the
number of hearing aid-compatible handsets offered across all air
interfaces during the year divided by the total number of handsets
offered during the year); and
 (vi) The following language:
 I am a knowledgeable executive [of company x] regarding
compliance with the Federal Communications Commission's wireless
hearing aid compatibility requirements at a wireless service
provider covered by those requirements.
 I certify that the provider was [(in full compliance/not in full
compliance)] [choose one] at all times during the applicable time
period with the Commission's wireless hearing aid compatibility
deployment benchmarks and all other relevant wireless hearing aid
compatibility requirements.
 The company represents and warrants, and I certify by this
declaration under penalty of perjury pursuant to 47 CFR 1.16 that
the above certification is consistent with 47 CFR 1.17, which
requires truthful and accurate statements to the Commission. The
company also acknowledges that false statements and
misrepresentations to the Commission are punishable under Title 18
of the U.S. Code and may subject it to enforcement action pursuant
to Sections 501 and 503 of the Act.
 (vii) If the company selected that it was not in full compliance,
an explanation of which wireless hearing aid compatibility requirements
it was not in compliance with, when the non-compliance began and (if
applicable) ended with respect to each requirement.
 (4) Format. The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is delegated
authority to approve or prescribe forms, formats, and methods for
submission of the reports and certifications in addition to or instead
of those required by this section. Any format that the Bureau may
approve or prescribe shall be made available on the Bureau's website.
 (j) Enforcement. Enforcement of this section is hereby delegated to
those states that adopt this section and provide for enforcement. The
procedures followed by a state to enforce this section shall provide a
30-day period after a complaint is filed, during which time state
personnel shall attempt to resolve a dispute on an informal basis. If a
state has not adopted or incorporated this section, or failed to act
within six (6) months from the filing of a complaint with the state
public utility commission, the Commission will accept such complaints.
A written notification to the complainant that the state believes
action is unwarranted is not a failure to act. The procedures set forth
in part 68, subpart E of this chapter are to be followed.
 (k) Delegation of rulemaking authority. (1) The Chief of the
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the Chief of the Office of
Engineering and Technology are delegated authority, by notice-and-
comment rulemaking, to issue an order amending this section to the
extent necessary to adopt technical standards for additional frequency
bands and/or air interfaces upon the establishment of such standards by
ANSI Accredited Standards Committee C63[supreg], provided that the
standards do not impose with respect to such frequency bands or air
interfaces materially greater obligations than those imposed on other
services subject to this section. Any new obligations on manufacturers
and Tier I carriers pursuant to paragraphs (c) through (i) of this
section as a result of such standards shall become effective no less
than one year after release of the order adopting such standards and
any new obligations on other service providers shall become effective
no less than 15 months after the release of such order, except that any
new obligations on manufacturers and service providers subject to
paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section shall become effective no less
than two years after the release of such order.
 (2) The Chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and the
Chief of the Office of Engineering and Technology are delegated
authority, by notice-and-comment rulemaking if required by statute or
otherwise in the public interest, to issue an order amending this
section to the extent necessary to approve any version of the technical
standards for radio frequency interference, inductive coupling, or
volume control adopted subsequently to the 2007 ANSI standard for use
in determining whether a wireless handset meets the appropriate rating
over frequency bands and air interfaces for which technical standards
have previously been adopted either by the Commission or pursuant to
paragraph (k)(1) of this section. This delegation is limited to the
approval of changes to the technical standards that do not raise major
compliance issues. Further, by such approvals, the Chiefs may only
permit, and not require, the use of such subsequent versions of the
technical standards to establish hearing aid compatibility.
 (l) The standards required in this section are incorporated by
reference into this section with the approval of the Director of the
Federal Register under 5 U.S.C. 552(a) and 1 CFR part 51. All approved
material is available for inspection at the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC), 445 12th St. SW, Reference Information Center, Room
CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-0270, and is available from
the source indicated below. It is also available for inspection at the
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on
the availability of this material at NARA, email [email protected]
or go to http://
[[Page 13128]]
www.archives.gov/federal-register/cfr/ibr-locations.html.
 (1) IEEE Standards Association (IEEE-SA), 445 Hoes Lane,
Piscataway, NJ 08854-4141, (732) 981-0060, email to [email protected],
and http://standards.ieee.org/.
 (i) ANSI C63.19-2007, American National Standard Methods of
Measurement of Compatibility Between Wireless Communication Devices and
Hearing Aids, June 8, 2007 (2007 ANSI standard).
 (ii) ANSI C63.19-2011, American National Standard Methods of
Measurement of Compatibility Between Wireless Communication Devices and
Hearing Aids, May 27, 2011 (2011 ANSI standard).
 (iii) ANSI C63.19-2019, American National Standard Methods of
Measurement of Compatibility Between Wireless Communication Devices and
Hearing Aids, August 19, 2019 (2019 ANSI standard).
 (2) [Reserved]
PART 68--CONNECTION OF TERMINAL EQUIPMENT TO THE TELEPHONE NETWORK
0
5. The authority citation for part 68 continues to read as follows:
 Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 610.
SUBPART D--Conditions for Terminal Equipment Approval
0
6. The authority citation for part 68, Subpart D is revised to read as
follows:
 Authority: 47 U.S.C. 154, 155, 303, 610.
0
7. Amend Sec. 68.300 by revising paragraph (b) to read as follows:
Sec. 68.300 Labeling requirements.
* * * * *
 (b) All registered telephones, including cordless telephones, as
defined in Sec. 15.3(j) of this chapter, manufactured in the United
States (other than for export) or imported for use in the United
States, that are hearing aid compatible, as defined in Sec. 68.316,
shall have the letters ``HAC'' permanently affixed thereto.
``Permanently affixed'' means that the label is etched, engraved,
stamped, silkscreened, indelibly printed, or otherwise permanently
marked on a permanently attached part of the equipment or on a
nameplate of metal, plastic, or other material fastened to the
equipment by welding, riveting, or a permanent adhesive. The label must
be designed to last the expected lifetime of the equipment in the
environment in which the equipment may be operated and must not be
readily detachable. Telephones used with public mobile services or
private radio services, and secure telephones, as defined by Sec.
68.3, are exempt from this requirement.
[FR Doc. 2020-03149 Filed 3-5-20; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6712-01-P