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Notice

Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

Document Details

Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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This document has been published in the Federal Register. Use the PDF linked in the document sidebar for the official electronic format.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collection, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995. Comments are requested concerning (a) whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; (c) ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and (e) ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number.

DATES:

Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before February 28, 2012. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email PRA@fcc.gov and to Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

Title: Accessible Telecommunications and Advanced Communications Services and Equipment.

Form Number: N/A.

Type of Review: New collection.

Respondents: Individuals or households; Businesses or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit Institutions.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 9,454 respondents; 119,660 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: .50 to 40 hours.

Frequency of Response: Annual, one time, and on occasion reporting requirements; Recordkeeping requirement; Third-party disclosure requirement.

Obligation to Respond: Mandatory. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1-4, 255, 303(r), 403, 503, 716, 717, and 718 of the Act, 47 U.S.C. 151-154, 255, 303(r), 403, 503, 617, 618, and 619.

Total Annual Burden: 408,695 hours.

Total Annual Cost: $110, 588.

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Confidentiality is an issue to the extent that individuals and households provide personally identifiable information, which is covered under the FCC's system of records notice (SORN), FCC/CGB-1, “Informal Complaints and Inquiries.” As required by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a, the Commission also published a SORN, FCC/CGB-1 “Informal Complaints and Inquiries,” in the Federal Register on December 15, 2009 (74 FR 66356) which became effective on January 25, 2010.

In addition, upon the service of an informal or formal complaint, a service provider or equipment manufacturer must produce to the Commission, upon request, records covered by 47 CFR 14.31 of the Commission's rules and may assert a statutory request for confidentiality for these records. All other information submitted to the Commission pursuant to Subpart D of Part 14 of the Commission's rules or to any other request by the Commission may be submitted pursuant to a request for confidentiality in accordance with 47 CFR 0.459 of the Commission's rules.

Privacy Impact Assessment: Yes. The Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) was completed on June 28, 2007. It may be reviewed at: http://www.fcc.gov/​omd/​privacyact/​Privacy_​Impact_​Assessment.html. The Commission is in the process of updating the PIA to incorporate various revisions made to the SORN.

Note:

The Commission will prepare a revision to the SORN and PIA to cover the PII collected related to this information collection, as required by OMB's Memorandum M-03-22 (September 26, 2003) and by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a.

Needs and Uses: On October 7, 2011, in document FCC 11-151, the Commission released a Report and Order adopting final rules to implement sections 716 and 717 of the Communications Act of 1934 (the Act), as amended, which were added to the Act by the “Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010” (CVAA). See Public Law 111-260, 104. Section 716 of the Act requires providers of advanced communications services and Start Printed Page 82298manufacturers of equipment used for advanced communications services to make their services and equipment accessible to individuals with disabilities, unless doing so is not achievable. See 47 U.S.C. 617. Section 717 of the Act establishes new recordkeeping requirements and enforcement procedures for service providers and equipment manufacturers that are subject to sections 255, 716, and 718 of the Act. See 47 U.S.C. 618. Section 255 of the Act requires telecommunications and interconnected VoIP services and equipment to be accessible, if readily achievable. See 47 U.S.C. 255. Section 718 of the Act requires web browsers included on mobile phones to be accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or have a visual impairment, unless doing so is not achievable. See 47 U.S.C. 619.

Specifically, the rules adopted in document FCC 11-151 have the following possible related information collection requirements:

(a) The rules adopted in document FCC 11-151 establish procedures for advanced communications service providers and equipment manufacturers to seek waivers from the accessibility obligations of section 716 of the Act and, in effect, waivers from the recordkeeping requirements and enforcement procedures of section 717 of the Act. Waiver requests may be submitted for individual or class offerings of services or equipment which are designed for multiple purposes, but are designed primarily for purposes other than using advanced communications services. All such waiver petitions will be put on public notice for comments and oppositions.

(b) The CVAA and the rules adopted in document FCC 11-151 require service providers and equipment manufacturers that are subject to sections 255, 716, or 718 of the Act to maintain records of the following: (1) Their efforts to consult with people with disabilities; (2) descriptions of the accessibility features of their products and services; and (3) information about the compatibility of their products with peripheral devices or specialized customer premises equipment commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access. These recordkeeping requirements are necessary to facilitate enforcement of accessibility obligations. Document FCC 11-151 provides flexibility by allowing covered entities to keep records in any format, recognizing the unique recordkeeping methods of individual entities. Because complaints regarding accessibility of a service or equipment may not occur for years after the release of the service or equipment, covered entities must keep records for two years from the date the service ceases to be offered to the public or the equipment ceases to be manufactured. Service providers and equipment manufacturers are not required to keep records of their consideration of achievability or the implementation of accessibility, but they must be prepared to carry their burden of proof in any enforcement proceeding, which requires greater than conclusory or unsupported claims.

(c) The CVAA and the rules adopted in document FCC 11-151 require an officer of service providers and equipment manufacturers that are subject to sections 255, 716, or 718 of the Act to certify annually to the Commission that records are kept in accordance with the recordkeeping requirements. The certification must be supported with an affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury, signed and dated by an authorized officer of the entity with personal knowledge of the representations provided in the company's certification, verifying the truth and accuracy of the information. The certification must also identify the name and contact details of the person or persons within the company that are authorized to resolve accessibility complaints, and the agent designated for service of process. The certification must be filed with the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau on or before April 1 each year for records pertaining to the previous calendar year. The certification must be updated when necessary to keep the contact information current.

(d) The Commission also established procedures in document FCC 11-151 to facilitate the filing of formal and informal complaints alleging violations of sections 255, 716, or 718 of the Act. Those procedures include a nondiscretionary pre-filing notice procedure to facilitate dispute resolution. As a prerequisite to filing an informal complaint, complainants must first request dispute assistance from the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau's Disability Rights Office.

The rules adopted in document FCC 11-151 temporarily exempt advanced communications service providers and equipment manufacturers from the accessibility obligations of section 716 of the Act and, in effect, from the recordkeeping requirements and enforcement procedures of section 717 of the Act, if they qualify as small business concerns under the Small Business Administration's (SBA) rules and size standards for the industry in which they are primarily engaged. These size standards are based on the maximum number of employees or maximum annual receipts of a business concern. The SBA categorizes industries for its size standards using the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

The temporary exemption will begin on the effective date of the rules adopted in document FCC 11-151 and will expire the earlier of the following: (1) The effective date of small entity exemption rules adopted pursuant to the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in document FCC 11-151; or (2) October 8, 2013.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Office of Managing Director.

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[FR Doc. 2011-31081 Filed 12-29-11; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P