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Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

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Federal Communications Commission.


Notice and request for comments.


As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: 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; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; 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 ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees. The Commission may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 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 OMB control number.


Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before October 20, 2016. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it Start Printed Page 64462difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.


Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email and to

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

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OMB Control Number: 3060-XXXX.

Title: National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program.

Form Number: N/A.

Type of Review: New collection.

Respondents: Individuals or households; businesses or other for-profit entities; not-for-profit institutions; state, local, or tribal governments.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 78 respondents; 3,631 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 0.5 hours (30 minutes) to 40 hours.

Frequency of Response: Annual, semiannual, quarterly, monthly, one time, and on occasion reporting requirements; recordkeeping requirement; third-party disclosure requirement.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefit. Statutory authority for this information collection is contained in sections 1, 4(i), 4(j), and 719 of the Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), and 620.

Total Annual Burden: 7,995 hours.

Total Annual Cost: $600.

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 Commission's system of records notice (SORN), FCC/CGB-3, “National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program,” which became effective on February 28, 2012.

Privacy Impact Assessment: The Commission completed a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) on December 31, 2012. The PIA may be reviewed at​omd/​privacyact/​Privacy_​Impact_​Assessment.html. The Commission is in the process of updating the PIA with respect to the Commission's adoption of rules in document FCC 16-101 on August 4, 2016, which converted the pilot program to a permanent program without change to the PII covered by these information collections.

Needs and Uses: Section 105 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) added section 719 to the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (the Act). Pub. L. 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751 (2010); Pub. L. 111-265, 124 Stat. 2795 (2010) (making technical corrections); 47 U.S.C. 620. Section 719 of the Act requires the Commission to establish rules that define as eligible for up to $10,000,000 of support annually from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund (TRS Fund) those programs that are approved by the Commission for the distribution of specialized customer premises equipment designed to make telecommunications service, Internet access service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services and advanced telecommunications and information services, accessible by low-income individuals who are deaf-blind. 47 U.S.C. 620(a), (c). Accordingly, on April 6, 2011, the Commission released a Report and Order, document FCC 11-56, adopting rules to establish the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program (NDBEDP) as a pilot program. See 47 CFR 64.610(a) through (k). The FCC's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau (CGB or Bureau) launched the pilot program on July 1, 2012. In an Order released on May 27, 2016, document FCC 11-69, the Commission extended the pilot program to June 30, 2017, at which time distributing equipment and providing related services under the pilot program will cease.

On August 5, 2016, the Commission released a Report and Order, document FCC 16-101, adopting rules to establish the NDBEDP, also known as “iCanConnect,” as a permanent program. See 47 CFR 64.6201 through 64.6219. In document FCC 16-101, the Commission clarified that the pilot program will not terminate until after all reports have been submitted, all payments and adjustments have been made, and all wind-down activities have been completed, and no issues with regard to the NDBEDP pilot program remain pending. Information collections related to NDBEDP pilot program activities are included in OMB Control Number 3060-1146, Implementation of the Twenty-first Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Section 105, Relay Services for Deaf-Blind Individuals, CG Docket No. 10-210, which will expire June 30, 2018.

Rules for the NDBEDP permanent program that are subject to the PRA will become effective on the date specified in a notice published in the Federal Register announcing OMB approval. At that time, in accordance with document 16-101, the Bureau will announce the timing of the 60-day period for new and incumbent entities to apply for certification to participate in the permanent NDBEDP. To minimize any disruption of service in the transition between the pilot program and the permanent program, the Bureau will announce its selection of the entities certified to participate in the NDBEDP permanent program as soon as possible, but certifications to participate in the NDBEDP permanent program will not become effective before July 1, 2017.

Because the information collection burdens related to NDBEDP pilot program activities overlap in time with the information collection burdens related to NDBEDP permanent program activities, the Commission is seeking approval for a new collection for the information burdens associated with the permanent NDBEDP.

In document FCC 16-101, the Commission adopted rules requiring the following:

(a) Entities must apply to the Commission for certification to receive reimbursement from the TRS Fund for NDBEDP activities.

(b) A program wishing to relinquish its certification before its certification expires must provide written notice of its intent to do so.

(c) Certified programs must disclose to the Commission actual or potential conflicts of interest.

(d) Certified programs must notify the Commission of any substantive change that bears directly on its ability to meet the qualifications necessary for certification.

(e) A certified entity may present written arguments and any relevant documentation as to why suspension or revocation of certification is not warranted.

(f) When a new entity is certified as a state's program, the previously certified entity must take certain actions to complete the transition to the new entity.

(g) Certified programs must require an applicant to provide verification that the applicant is deaf-blind.

(h) Certified programs must require an applicant to provide verification that the applicant meets the income eligibility requirement.

(i) Certified programs must re-verify the income and disability eligibility of an equipment recipient under certain circumstances.

(j) Certified programs must permit the transfer of an equipment recipient's account when the recipient relocates to another state.Start Printed Page 64463

(k) Certified programs must include an attestation on consumer application forms.

(l) Certified programs must conduct annual audits and submit to Commission-directed audits.

(m) Certified programs must document compliance with NDBEDP requirements, provide such documentation to the Commission upon request, and retain such records for at least five years.

(n) Certified programs must submit reimbursement claims as instructed by the TRS Fund Administrator, and supplemental information and documentation as requested. In addition, the entity selected to conduct national outreach will submit claims for reimbursement on a quarterly basis.

(o) Certified programs must submit reports every six months as instructed by the NDBEDP Administrator. In addition, the entity selected to conduct national outreach will submit an annual report.

(p) Informal and formal complaints may be filed against NEDBEDP certified programs, and the Commission may conduct such inquiries and hold such proceedings as it may deem necessary.

(q) Certified programs must include the NDBEDP whistleblower protections in appropriate publications.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2016-22522 Filed 9-19-16; 8:45 am]