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New Hearing Aid Compatibility Standards

July 17, 2012 – The FCC published in the Federal Register the final rule Hearing Aid Compatibility Technical Standard, adopting the 2011 American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for measuring the hearing aid comparability of wireless phones.  HAC ensures that consumers have access to wireless communication services without experiencing interference from radio frequencies or other technical sources. The new ANSI technical standard expands the operating frequency range for wireless devices covered from the previous standard which included 800 MHz – 950 MHz and 1.6 GHz to the new standard which includes 2.5 GHz to 2.5 GHz to 698 MHz – 6GHz.  The rules allow for handset models to be evaluated using the 2007 or 2011 ANSI standard for a 12 month period of transition. Meaning that handset models offered to consumers can be certified HAC compliant using the old standard. However, manufacturers and service providers are required to disclose to consumers any operations of the handsets that failed to meet HAC compliance when tested against the 2011 standard.  After the 12 month transition period, the FCC will set a deployment t benchmark of 2 years to allow time for service providers and manufactures to incorporate HAC compliant phones certified under the 2011 standard into their portfolios.  [Source: Federal Register / Federal Communications Commission]

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.