Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Request For Waiver of Volume Control Reset

Download Options

Released: March 16, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-424

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Sorenson Communications, Inc.
)
Request For Waiver of Volume Control Reset,
)
47 C.F.R. § 68.317(f)
)

ORDER

Adopted: March 16, 2012

Released: March 16, 2012

By the Chief, Disability Rights Office, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau:
1.
In this Order, we grant a petition for waiver of 47 C.F.R. § 68.317(f) of the
Commission’s rules filed by Sorenson Communications, Inc. (Sorenson), on February 15, 2012. Section
68.317(f) requires that telephones with amplification greater than 18 dB (designed for persons with
hearing disabilities) must reset to a volume no greater than 18 dB once the telephone is returned to an on-
hook position. Sorenson seeks a waiver of Section 68.317(f) pursuant to the Commission’s streamlined
waiver procedures1 for certain telephone devices, Models 57T and 57Tx, that include a volume control
override switch so that persons with hearing disabilities can use the telephone without having to turn the
volume back up each time.
2.
Background: Part 68 Registration Process. All terminal equipment manufactured in, or
imported into, the United States and connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) must
conform to the requirements of Part 68 of the Commission’s rules.2 To that end, Part 68 requires either
that terminal equipment be tested by a Telecommunications Certification Body (TCB)3 or that the
responsible party follow the procedures for a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDOC).4 A waiver
of section 68.317(f) allows the petitioner to request testing from a TCB, or to file its SDOC pursuant to
the Part 68 equipment approval requirements, despite the fact that the device does not meet the technical


1 See Tandy Corporation, Walker Equipment Company, Ameriphone, Inc., and Ultratec, Inc., Request for Waiver of
Volume Control Reset, 47 C.F.R. § 68.317(f)
, NSD-L-00-17, NSD-L-00-22, NSD-L-00-63, NSD-L-00-193, DA 01-
578, 16 FCC Rcd 5253 (Com. Car. Bur. 2001) (Tandy Corporation).
2
Part 68 is intended to prevent harm to the PSTN from the connection of terminal equipment and associated
wiring. 47 C.F.R. § 68.1. Pursuant to Part 68, all terminal equipment that may be connected to the telephone
network must meet the technical requirements of both Part 68 and those published by the Administrative Council for
Terminal Attachments (ACTA) as required in sections 68.7, 68.102, and subpart C of Part 68 of the Commission’s
rules. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 68.7, 68.102; 47 C.F.R. Subpart C.
3 TCBs are equipment test laboratories certified by the Commission pursuant to sections 68.160 and 68.162 of the
Commission’s rules to approve terminal equipment for connection to the telephone network. Each TCB has its own
application procedure and operates independently of the Commission. In addition, bodies outside the United States
are also permitted to approve equipment. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 68.160(c), 162.
4 SDOC procedures are set forth in sections 68.320 – 68.353 of the Commission’s rules. 47 C.F.R. §§ 68.320 –
68.353.

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-424

standards of section 68.317(f).
3.
Streamlined Volume Reset Switch Waiver Process. On March 5, 2001, the Commission’s
Common Carrier Bureau, Network Services Division, released an order adopting a streamlined waiver
process for deciding section 68.317(f) waiver petitions.5 The Bureau identified five safety conditions
that, if met, would allow for the grant of a waiver. Those conditions are:
(1) the volume reset override switch shall be labeled as such and located on the telephone in such
a way as not to be accessible to accidental engagement;
(2) a bright indicator light shall be prominently displayed on the front of the telephone and shall
light up when the override is engaged and the telephone is placed in an off-hook condition;
(3) next to the light shall be a warning that the amplification is at a high level;
(4) a caution on the use of the volume reset override switch shall be included in the users’
manual; and
(5) the telephone shall include a warning printed in Braille that can be securely attached to the
back of the handset, or, if the telephone has only a headset, above the dial buttons, to indicate that
a high volume setting may be engaged.
With this streamlined waiver process, the Commission eliminated the usual public notice and comment
procedures for petitions for waivers of Commission rules.6
4.
Accordingly, a party may request waiver of section 68.317(f) by submitting a letter
certifying that the equipment for which the waiver is requested complies with the five safety conditions
set forth in Tandy Corporation.7 The letter (waiver request) must be signed “by a company representative
or other officer responsible for its truthfulness.”8 “If the request is in order and if no other issues are
present that preclude a grant, the [Commission] will issue an order granting the waiver request.”9 The
party receiving such a waiver may then pursue equipment approval under the applicable Part 68 rules.10
5.
Discussion. Sorenson has provided a letter dated February 15, 2012, certifying that its
telephone devices, Models 57T and 57Tx, comply with the five safety conditions specified in Tandy
Corporation
. Its statement of certification is signed by Robert Puzey, the Senior Product Manager of the
company. Based on this letter, we conclude that it is appropriate to grant the requested waiver. This
Order therefore grants Sorenson’s waiver request. Sorenson may therefore proceed with either TCB
certification or a Self-Declaration of Conformity pursuant to Part 68 of the Commission’s rules.
6.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to authority delegated in sections 0.141 and
0.361 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.141, 0.361, and section 1.3 of the Commission’s rules,
47 C.F.R. § 1.3, the request for waiver of section 68.317(f) for Models 57T and 57Tx, filed by Sorenson
Communications, Inc., IS GRANTED SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING CONDITIONS: (1) the
volume reset override switch shall be labeled as such and located on the telephone in such a way as to not


5 Tandy Corporation at ¶¶ 13-15.
6 Id. at ¶ 15.
7 Id. at ¶ 17.
8 Id. at ¶ 15.
9 Id.
10 Id. at ¶ 15.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 12-424

be accessible to accidental engagement; (2) a bright indicator light shall be prominently displayed on the
front of the telephone and shall light up when the override is engaged and the telephone is placed in an
off-hook condition; (3) next to the light shall be a warning that the amplification is at a high level; (4) a
caution on the use of the volume reset override switch shall be included in the users’ manual; and (5) the
telephone includes a warning printed in Braille that can be securely attached to the back of the handset,
or, if the telephone has only a headset, above the dial buttons, to indicate that a high volume setting may
be engaged.
7.
To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print,
electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer & Governmental
Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY). This Order can also be downloaded in
Word or Portable Document Format (PDF) at: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/dro/hearing.html.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Gregory Hlibok
Chief, Disability Rights Office

Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau
3

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.