FCC Reminds Service Providers of Upcoming Changes to Hearing Aid Compatibility Deployment Benchmarks

On September 28, 2021, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a Public Notice reminding wireless handset manufactures and service providers of upcoming increases in deployment benchmarks for hearing aid-compatible handsets.  You may recall that, in 2016, the FCC adopted a schedule for phased increases of the benchmark that will ultimately ensure that at least 85% of covered wireless handsets are hearing aid-compatible.

The benchmark will increase from 66% to 85% for the following groups on the following dates:

  • October 4, 2021 – handset manufacturers
  • April 4, 2022 – Tier I service providers
  • April 3, 2023 – non-Tier I service providers 

The Bureau reminds manufactures and service providers that they are required to comply with the benchmark and other rules, or they could face enforcement action.  The FCC continues to assess whether further changes should be made, including whether to require 100% of covered handsets to be hearing aid-compatible.

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