FCC Service Provider Hearing Aid Compatibility Report Due January 15, 2016

Kelley Drye Client Advisory

Please be reminded of the upcoming due date for the Report listed below:

FCC Form 655 – Service Provider Hearing Aid Compatibility Status Report

All providers of digital commercial mobile radio service (CMRS) in the United States must file, by midnight January 15, 2016, FCC Form 655 reporting on the status of the provider’s compliance with the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) rule 20.19 hearing aid compatible (HAC) handset requirements.  FCC Form 655 must be submitted electronically via the FCC’s website and is available here.
Who Must File
All digital CMRS commercial mobile radio service providers, within the scope of FCC rule 20.19, including mobile virtual network operators (MVNO) and resellers.  Providers that are otherwise exempt from HAC rules, pursuant to the de minimis exception of Rule 20.19(e), are required to file the HAC report.

Rule 20.19 applies to providers of digital CMRS in theUnited Statesthat meet the following specifications:

(i) to the extent that they offer real-time, two-way switched voice or data service that is interconnected with the public switched network; and

(ii) utilize an in-network switching facility that enables the provider to reuse frequencies and accomplish seamless hand-offs of subscriber calls; and

(iii) such service is provided over frequencies in the 698 MHz to 6 GHz bands. 

Overview of Report Contents
The Service Provider HAC report includes information regarding the HAC-compliant and non-compliant handsets offered, including, but not limited to, the air interface on which the handsets operate and the total numbers of handsets offered.  For compliant models, Service Providers must report additional details such as the operating frequency bands, HAC ratings, and the functionality levels of the handsets.  Service Providers also must provide information regarding product labeling and consumer outreach efforts.
Time Period Covered by Report
The report covers the time period January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015.  Information in the reports must be up-to-date as of December 31, 2015.
Future Changes
As noted in a recent Kelley Drye blog post, the FCC is establishing new rules that will expand the scope of the hearing aid compatibility rules and is also soliciting comment on whether to change the annual reporting requirement.  The new rules and the FCC’s notice of proposed rulemaking do not impact the current upcoming report filing but could be relevant to future filings.

Please be advised that attorneys in Kelley Drye & Warren’s Communications Practice Group are experienced in addressing issues related to the hearing aid compatibility reports.  For more information regarding this client advisory, please contact your usual Kelley Drye attorney.