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Wireless Bureau Wants Comments on Hearing Aid Compatibility

November 1, 2012—The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau is seeking public input on the effectiveness of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) rules regarding hearing aid compatibility (HAC) of wireless handsets. The Bureau previously released a 2010 Review PN that addressed the compatibility and accessibility of various wireless phones to people with hearing aids and cochlear implants. However, there have been technological advances since the 2010 Review PN and in this new Public Notice (PN), the Bureau is interested in how these advances have affected HAC. In addition, the Bureau seeks comments and information on the 2011 revision of American National Standards Institute Technical Standard C63.19 (ANSI Standard C63.19), which “expanded the range of frequencies over which hearing aid compatibility can be tested to 698 MHz – 6 GHz and established a direct method for measuring the radio frequency (RF) interference level of wireless devices to hearing aids.”

The FCC issues Public Notices to inform the public of upcoming actions or events and occasionally a PN will invite the public to submit comments and input regarding the rule or policy under review. This allows any individual to submit their views on the issue and participate in the development of policies related to telecommunications and broadcast issues. Comments can be filed electronically using the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS) or by paper format and there is no particular format or length required. All that needs to be included in the comment is the docket number or rulemaking number to which the comment refers to, the commenter’s name and views.  Comments are due on or before January 7, 2013.

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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.