§ 20.19 Hearing aid-compatible mobile handsets.  


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  • (a) Scope of section; definitions—(1) Service providers. (i) On or after January 1, 2018 for Tier I carriers and April 1, 2018 for service providers other than Tier I carriers, the hearing aid compatibility requirements of this section apply to providers of digital mobile service in the United States to the extent that they offer 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, and such service is provided over frequencies in the 698 MHz to 6 GHz bands.

    (ii) Prior to January 1, 2018 for Tier I carriers and April 1, 2018 for service providers other than Tier I carriers, the hearing aid compatibility requirements of this section apply to providers of digital CMRS in the United States to the extent that they offer real-time, two-way switched voice or data service that is interconnected with the public switched network and utilizes an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless hand-offs of subscriber calls, and such service is provided over frequencies in the 698 MHz to 6 GHz bands.

    (2) Manufacturers. On or after January 1, 2018, the requirements of this section also apply to the manufacturers of the wireless handsets that are used in delivery of the services specified in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this section. Prior to January 1, 2018, the requirements of this section also apply to the manufacturers of the wireless handsets that are used in delivery of the services specified in paragraph (a)(1)(ii) of this section.

    (3) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

    (i) Handset refers to a device used in delivery of the services specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section that contains a built-in speaker and is typically held to the ear in any of its ordinary uses.

    (ii) Manufacturer refers to a wireless handset manufacturer to which the requirements of this section apply.

    (iii) 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.

    (iv) Service provider refers to a provider of digital mobile service to which the requirements of this section apply.

    (v) Tier I carrier refers to a CMRS provider that offers such service nationwide.

    (b) Hearing aid compatibility; technical standards—(1) For radio frequency interference and volume control. A wireless handset submitted for equipment certification or for a permissive change relating to hearing aid compatibility on or after August 28, 2018, must meet, at a minimum, the M3 rating associated with the technical standard set forth in the standard document “American National Standard Methods of Measurement of Compatibility Between Wireless Communication Devices and Hearing Aids,” ANSI C63.19-2011. Any grants of certification issued before August 28, 2018, under ANSI C63.19-2011, or previous versions of ANSI C63.19, remain valid for hearing aid compatibility purposes. Beginning March 1, 2021, a wireless handset submitted for equipment certification or for a permissive change relating to hearing aid compatibility must also be equipped with volume control that produces sound levels suitable for persons with hearing loss (including persons with and without hearing aids). Any grants of certification issued to handsets not equipped with such volume control that were submitted for certification before March 1, 2021, remain valid for hearing aid compatibility purposes.

    (2) For inductive coupling. A wireless handset submitted for equipment certification or for a permissive change relating to hearing aid compatibility on or after August 28, 2018, must meet, at a minimum, the T3 rating associated with the technical standard set forth in the standard document “American National Standard Methods of Measurement of Compatibility Between Wireless Communication Devices and Hearing Aids,” ANSI C63.19-2011. Any grants of certification issued for handsets submitted for such certification before August 28, 2018, under ANSI C63.19-2011, or previous versions of ANSI C63.19, remain valid for hearing aid compatibility purposes.

    (3) Handsets operating over multiple frequency bands or air interfaces. (i) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section, a wireless handset used for digital mobile service only over the 698 MHz to 6 GHz frequency bands is hearing aid-compatible with regard to radio frequency interference or inductive coupling if it meets the applicable technical standard set forth in paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section 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 applicable standard pursuant to §2.1033(d) of this chapter. A wireless handset that incorporates operations outside the 698 MHz to 6 GHz frequency bands is hearing aid-compatible if the handset otherwise satisfies the requirements of this paragraph (b).

    (ii) A handset that is introduced by the manufacturer prior to July 17, 2013, and that does not meet the requirements for hearing aid compatibility under paragraph (b)(3)(i) of this section, is hearing aid-compatible for radio frequency interference or inductive coupling only with respect to those frequency bands and air interfaces for which technical standards are stated in ANSI C63.19-2007 if it meets, at a minimum, an M3 rating (for radio frequency interference) or a T3 rating (for inductive coupling) under ANSI C63.19-2007 for all such frequency bands and air interfaces over which it operates, and the handset has been certified as compliant with the test requirements for the applicable standard pursuant to §2.1033(d) of this chapter.

    (4) All factual questions of whether a wireless 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.

    (c) Phase-in of requirements relating to radio frequency interference. The following applies to each manufacturer and service provider that offers wireless handsets used in the delivery of 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. However, prior to July 17, 2014 for manufacturers and Tier I carriers and October 17, 2014 for service providers other than Tier I carriers, the requirements of this section do not apply to handset operations over frequency bands and air interfaces for which technical standards are not stated in ANSI C63.19-2007.

    (1) Manufacturers—(i) Number of hearing aid-compatible handset models offered. For each digital air interface for which it offers wireless handsets in the United States or imported for use in the United States, each manufacturer of wireless handsets must offer handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section. Prior to September 8, 2011, handset models for purposes of this paragraph include only models offered to service providers in the United States.

    (A) If it offers four to six models, at least two of those handset models must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (B) If it offers more than six models, at least one-third of those handset models (rounded down to the nearest whole number) must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (C) Beginning October 3, 2018, at least sixty-six (66) percent of those handset models (rounded down to the nearest whole number) must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (D) Beginning October 4, 2021, at least eighty-five (85) percent of those handset models (rounded down to the nearest whole number) must comply with the requirements set forth in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (ii) Refresh requirement. Beginning in calendar year 2009, and for each year thereafter that it elects to produce a new model, each manufacturer that offers any new model for a particular air interface during the calendar year must “refresh” its offerings of hearing aid-compatible handset models by offering a mix of new and existing models that comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section according to the following requirements:

    (A) For manufacturers that offer three models per air interface, at least one new model rated M3 or higher shall be introduced every other calendar year.

    (B) For manufacturers that offer four or more models operating over a particular air interface, the number of models rated M3 or higher that must be new models introduced during that calendar year is equal to one-half of the minimum number of models rated M3 or higher required for that air interface (rounded up to the nearest whole number).

    (C) Beginning September 10, 2012, for manufacturers that together with their parent, subsidiary, or affiliate companies under common ownership or control, have had more than 750 employees for at least two years and that offer two models over an air interface for which they have been offering handsets for at least two years, at least one new model rated M3 or higher shall be introduced every other calendar year.

    (2) Tier I carriers. For each digital air interface for which it offers wireless handsets to customers, each Tier I carrier must either:

    (i) Ensure that at least fifty (50) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide; or

    (ii) Ensure that it offers, at a minimum, the following specified number of handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section:

    (A) Prior to February 15, 2009, at least eight (8) handset models;

    (B) Beginning February 15, 2009, at least nine (9) handset models; and

    (C) Beginning February 15, 2010, at least ten (10) handset models.

    (iii) Beginning April 3, 2019, each Tier I carrier must ensure that at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide. Beginning April 4, 2022, each Tier I carrier must ensure that at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide.

    (3) Service providers other than Tier I carriers. For each digital air interface for which it offers wireless handsets to customers, each service provider other than a Tier I carrier must:

    (i) Prior to September 7, 2008, include in the handset models it offers at least two handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section;

    (ii) Beginning September 7, 2008, either:

    (A) Ensure that at least fifty (50) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the service provider offers nationwide; or

    (B) Ensure that it offers, at a minimum, the following specified number of handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section:

    (1) Until May 15, 2009, at least eight (8) handset models;

    (2) Beginning May 15, 2009, at least nine (9) handset models; and

    (3) Beginning May 15, 2010, at least ten (10) handset models.

    (iii) Beginning April 3, 2020, ensure that at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers.

    (iv) Beginning April 3, 2023, ensure that at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers.

    (4) All service providers. The following requirements apply to Tier I carriers and all other service providers.

    (i) In-store testing. Each service provider must make available for consumers to test, in each retail store owned or operated by the provider, all of its handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section.

    (ii) Offering models with differing levels of functionality. Each service provider must offer its customers a range of hearing aid-compatible models with differing levels of functionality (e.g., operating capabilities, features offered, prices). Each provider may determine the criteria for determining these differing levels of functionality.

    (d) Phase-in of requirements relating to inductive coupling capability. The following applies to each manufacturer and service provider that offers wireless handsets used in the delivery of 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. However, prior to July 17, 2014 for manufacturers and Tier I carriers and October 17, 2014 for service providers other than Tier I carriers, the requirements of this section do not apply to handset operations over frequency bands and air interfaces for which technical standards are not stated in ANSI C63.19-2007.

    (1) Manufacturers. Each manufacturer offering to service providers four or more handset models, and beginning September 8, 2011, each manufacturer offering four or more handset models, in a digital air interface for use in the United States or imported for use in the United States must ensure that it offers to service providers, and beginning September 8, 2011, must ensurel that it offers, at a minimum, the following number of handset models that comply with the requirements set forth in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, whichever number is greater in any given year.

    (i) At least two (2) handset models in that air interface; or

    (ii) At least the following percentage of handset models (rounded down to the nearest whole number):

    (A) Beginning February 15, 2009, at least twenty (20) percent of its handset models in that air interface, provided that, of any such models introduced during calendar year 2009, one model may be rated using ANSI C63.19-2006 (June 12, 2006), and all other models introduced during that year or subsequent years shall be rated using ANSI C63.19-2007 (June 8, 2007) or subsequently adopted version as may be approved pursuant to paragraph (k);

    (B) Beginning February 15, 2010, at least twenty-five (25) percent of its handset models in that air interface; and

    (C) Beginning February 15, 2011, at least one-third of its handset models in that air interface.

    (D) Beginning October 3, 2018, at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models in that air interface, which must comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (E) Beginning October 4, 2021, at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models in that air interface, which must comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section.

    (2) Tier I carriers. For each digital air interface for which it offers wireless handsets to service providers, each Tier I carrier must:

    (i) Ensure that at least one-third of the handset models it offers comply with paragraph (b)(2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide; or

    (ii) Ensure that it offers, at a minimum, the following specified number of handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(2) of this section:

    (A) Prior to February 15, 2009, at least three (3) handset models;

    (B) Beginning February 15, 2009, at least five (5) handset models;

    (C) Beginning February 15, 2010, at least seven (7) handset models; and

    (D) Beginning February 15, 2011, at least ten (10) handset models.

    (iii) Beginning April 3, 2019, each Tier I carrier must ensure that at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide. Beginning April 4, 2022, each Tier I carrier must ensure that at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide.

    (3) Service providers other than Tier I carriers. For each digital air interface for which it offers wireless handsets to customers, each service provider other than a Tier I carrier must:

    (i) Prior to September 7, 2008, include in the handset models it offers at least two handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(2) of this section;

    (ii) Beginning September 7, 2008, either:

    (A) Ensure that at least one-third of the handset models it offers comply with paragraph (b)(2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers nationwide; or

    (B) Ensure that it offers, at a minimum, the following specified number of handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(2) of this section:

    (1) Until May 15, 2009, at least three (3) handset models;

    (2) Beginning May 15, 2009, at least five (5) handset models;

    (3) Beginning May 15, 2010, at least seven (7) handset models; and

    (4) Beginning May 15, 2011, at least ten (10) handset models.

    (iii) Beginning April 3, 2020, ensure that at least sixty-six (66) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers;

    (iv) Beginning April 3, 2023, ensure that at least eighty-five (85) percent of the handset models it offers comply with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, calculated based on the total number of unique digital wireless handset models the carrier offers.

    (4) All service providers. The following requirements apply to Tier I carriers and all other service providers.

    (i) In-store testing. Each service provider must make available for consumers to test, in each retail store owned or operated by the provider, all of its handset models that comply with paragraph (b)(2) of this section.

    (ii) Offering models with differing levels of functionality. Each service provider must offer its customers a range of hearing aid-compatible models with differing levels of functionality (e.g., operating capabilities, features offered, prices). Each provider may determine the criteria for determining these differing levels of functionality.

    (e) De minimis exception. (1)(i) Manufacturers or service providers that offer two or fewer digital wireless 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 digital wireless 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, beginning September 10, 2012, 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 digital wireless handsets in that air interface in the United States must offer at least one handset model compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section in that air interface, except as provided in paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section. Service providers that obtain handsets only from manufacturers that offer one or two digital wireless 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 compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section, except as provided in paragraph (e)(1)(iii) 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.

    (iii) Manufacturers and service providers that offer one or two digital handset models that operate over the GSM air interface in the 1900 MHz band may satisfy the requirements of paragraph (e)(1)(ii) of this section by offering at least one handset model that complies with paragraph (b)(2) of this section and that either complies with paragraph (b)(1) of this section or meets the following conditions:

    (A) The handset enables the user optionally to reduce the maximum power at which the handset will operate by no more than 2.5 decibels, except for emergency calls to 911, only for GSM operations in the 1900 MHz band;

    (B) The handset would comply with paragraph (b)(1) of this section if the power as so reduced were the maximum power at which the handset could operate;

    (C) Customers are informed of the power reduction mode as provided in paragraph (f)(3) of this section. Manufacturers and service providers covered by this paragraph must also comply with all other requirements of this section; and

    (D) The handset was certified as meeting the requirements of paragraph (b)(1) of this section with the power reduction prior to August 28, 2018.

    (2) Manufacturers or service providers that offer three digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least one handset model compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section in that air interface. Service providers that obtain handsets only from manufacturers that offer three digital wireless handset models in an air interface in the United States are required to offer at least one handset model in that air interface compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (b)(2) of this section.

    (3) Beginning October 3, 2018, manufacturers that offer four or five digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least two handset models compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface. Beginning April 3, 2019, Tier I carriers who offer four digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least two handsets compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface and Tier I carriers who offer five digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least three handsets compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface. Beginning April 3, 2020, service providers, other than Tier I carriers, who offer four digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least two handset models compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface and service providers, other than Tier I carriers, who offer five digital wireless handset models in an air interface must offer at least three handsets compliant with paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section in that air interface.

    (f) Labeling and disclosure requirements—(1) Labeling requirements—(i) Inductive coupling and RF interference reduction. Manufacturers and service providers shall ensure that handsets that are hearing aid-compatible, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, clearly display the rating, as defined in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, on the packaging material of the handset. In the event that a hearing aid-compatible handset achieves different radio interference or inductive coupling ratings over different air interfaces or different frequency bands, the RF interference reduction and inductive coupling capability ratings displayed shall be the lowest rating assigned to that handset for any air interface or frequency band. An explanation of the ANSI C63.19 rating system must also be included in the device's user's manual or as an insert in the packaging material for the handset.

    (ii) Volume control. Beginning March 1, 2021, manufacturers and service providers shall ensure that handsets that are hearing aid compatible, as defined in paragraph (b) of this section, clearly display information indicating the handset's amplification capabilities on the packaging material of the handset. If the handset has been certified as compliant with a technical standard that specifies acceptable numerical metrics or qualitative ratings for handset volume control, the labeling shall include the relevant volume control metrics or ratings. In the event that such a handset achieves different metrics or ratings over different air interfaces or different frequency bands, the volume control metrics or ratings displayed shall be the lowest metrics or ratings assigned to that handset for any air interface or frequency band. An explanation of such volume control metrics or ratings shall be included in the device's user manual or as an insert in the packaging material for the handset.

    (2) Disclosure requirements relating to handsets treated as hearing aid-compatible over fewer than all their operations.

    (i) Each manufacturer and service provider shall ensure that, wherever it provides hearing aid compatibility ratings for a handset that is considered hearing aid-compatible under paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section only with respect to those frequency bands and air interfaces for which technical standards are stated in ANSI C63.19-2007 and that has not been tested for hearing aid compatibility under ANSI C63.19-2011, or any handset that operates over frequencies outside of the 698 MHz to 6 GHz bands, it discloses to consumers, by clear and effective means (e.g., inclusion of call-out cards or other media, revisions to packaging materials, supplying of information on Web sites), that the handset has not been rated for hearing aid compatibility with respect to some of its operation(s). This disclosure shall include the following language:

    (ii) However, service providers are not required to include this language in the packaging material for handsets that incorporate a Wi-Fi air interface and that were obtained by the service provider before March 8, 2011, provided that the service provider otherwise discloses by clear and effective means that the handset has not been rated for hearing aid compatibility with respect to Wi-Fi operation.

    (iii) Each manufacturer and service provider shall ensure that, wherever it provides hearing aid compatibility ratings for a handset that is considered hearing aid-compatible under paragraph (b)(3)(ii) of this section only with respect to those frequency bands and air interfaces for which technical standards are stated in ANSI C63.19-2007, and that the manufacturer has tested and found not to meet hearing aid compatibility requirements under ANSI C63.19-2011 for operations over one or more air interfaces or frequency bands for which technical standards are not stated in ANSI C63.19-2007, it discloses to consumers, by clear and effective means (e.g., inclusion of call-out cards or other media, revisions to packaging materials, supplying of information on Web sites), that the handset does not meet the relevant rating or ratings with respect to such operation(s).

    (3) Disclosure requirement relating to handsets that allow the user to reduce the maximum power for GSM operation in the 1900 MHz band. Handsets offered to satisfy paragraph (e)(1)(iii) of this section shall be labeled as meeting an M3 rating. Each manufacturer and service provider shall ensure that, wherever this rating is displayed, it discloses to consumers, by clear and effective means (e.g., inclusion of call-out cards or other media, revisions to packaging materials, supplying of information on Web sites), that user activation of a special mode is necessary to meet the hearing aid compatibility standard. In addition, each manufacturer or service provider shall ensure that the device manual or a product insert explains how to activate the special mode and that doing so may result in a reduction of coverage.

    (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 paragraph (b)(1) or (b)(2) of this section, 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 ratings of those models, and an explanation of the rating system. Each service provider must also specify on its website, based on the levels of functionality and rating that the service provider has defined, the level that each hearing aid-compatible model falls under, as well as an explanation of how the functionality of the handsets varies at the different levels. Each service provider must also include on its website: A list of all non-hearing aid-compatible models currently offered, including the level of functionality that each of those models falls under, an explanation of how the functionality of the handsets varies at the different levels 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 reports on efforts toward compliance with the requirements of this section on an annual basis on July 15. Service providers shall submit certifications on their compliance with the requirements of this section by January 15 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) Digital wireless handset models tested, since the most recent report, for compliance with the applicable hearing aid compatibility technical ratings;

    (ii) Compliant handset models offered to service providers since the most 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 ANSI Standard C63.19, the ANSI Standard C63.19 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 Web site, the Web site 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:

    (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 formats and methods for submission of the reports and certifications 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 C63TM, 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 ANSI C63.19-2007 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. They are also available for inspection at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For information on the availability of this material at NARA, call 202-741-6030 or go to http://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 stds-info@ieee.org, 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.

    (ii) ANSI C63.19-2011, American National Standard Methods of Measurement of Compatibility between Wireless Communication Devices and Hearing Aids, May 27, 2011.

    (2) [Reserved]

    [73 FR 25587, May 7, 2008, as amended at 75 FR 54522, Sept. 8, 2010; 77 FR 41928, July 17, 2012; 81 FR 183, Jan. 5, 2016; 81 FR 60633, Sept. 2, 2016; 83 FR 8631, Feb. 28, 2018; 83 FR 63105, Dec. 7, 2018; 84 FR 37592, Aug. 1, 2019]

[73 FR 25587, May 7, 2008, as amended at 75 FR 54522, Sept. 8, 2010; 77 FR 41928, July 17, 2012; 81 FR 183, Jan. 5, 2016; 81 FR 60633, Sept. 2, 2016; 83 FR 8631, Feb. 28, 2018; 83 FR 63105, Dec. 7, 2018; 84 FR 37592, Aug. 1, 2019