On September 28, 2021, the FCC reminded wireless handset manufacturers and service providers of upcoming increases in deployment benchmarks for hearing aid-compatible handsets.

Specifically, the benchmark for handset manufacturers will increase from 66% to 85% on October 4, 2021, and the benchmark for Tier I service providers will increase from 66% to 85% on April 4, 2022. For non-Tier I service providers, the benchmark will increase from 66% to 85% on April 3, 2023.

The Commission continues to assess whether further changes are needed to facilitate use of wireless handsets by those with hearing loss, including whether to require 100% of covered handsets to be hearing aid-compatible. The Commission will also review the Hearing Aid Compatibility Task Force’s final report on this topic, which is due by December 31, 2022.

The FCC reminded handset manufacturers and service providers that they must comply with the new 85% benchmark and the Commission’s other hearing aid compatibility rules or face possible enforcement proceedings and forfeitures.

Links to News Release:
URL: https://www.fcc.gov/document/wtb-provides-reminder-hac-benchmark-changes    
Word:  https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1215A1.docx  
PDF: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1215A1.pdf      
Text: https://docs.fcc.gov/public/attachments/DA-21-1215A1.txt

To learn more about hearing-aid compatibility requirements for wireless handsets, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/hearing-aid-compatibility-wireless-telephones.  For further information, please contact Eli Johnson, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at (202) 418-1395 or email: eli.johnson@fcc.gov.  Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).

Tuesday, September 28, 2021