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Rule

Transition From TTY to Real-Time Text Technology

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule; announcement of OMB approval.

SUMMARY:

In this document, the Commission announces that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved, for a period of three years, the information collection associated with requirements adopted in the Commission's document Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology; Petition for Rulemaking to Update the Commission's Rules for Access to Support the Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology, and Petition for Waiver of Rules Requiring Support of TTY Technology, Report and Order (Report and Order). This document is consistent with the Report and Order, which stated that the Commission would publish a document in the Federal Register announcing the approval date of those information collect requirements.

DATES:

The real-time text (RTT) outreach guidelines, TTY waiver notice conditions, and a requirement for waiver recipients to file reports every six months were approved by OMB on December 4, 2017.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Michael Scott, Disability Rights Office, Start Printed Page 60563Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, at (202) 418-1264, or email: Michael.Scott@fcc.gov.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

This document announces that, on December 4, 2017, OMB approved, for a period of three years, the information collection requirements contained in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 16-169, published at 82 FR 7699, January 23, 2017. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1248. The Commission publishes this notification as an announcement of the approval date of those requirements. If you have any comments on the burden estimates listed below, or how the Commission can improve the collections and reduce any burdens caused thereby, please contact Cathy Williams, Federal Communications Commission, Room 1-C823, 445 12th Street SW, Washington, DC 20554. Please include the OMB Control Number, 3060-1248, in your correspondence. The Commission will also accept your comments via the internet if you send them to PRA@fcc.gov.

To request materials in accessible formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (844) 432-2275 (videophone), or (202) 418-0432 (TTY).

Synopsis

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3507), the FCC is notifying the public that it received OMB approval on December 4, 2017, for the information collection requirements concerning real-time text (RTT) outreach guidelines, TTY waiver notice conditions, and a requirement for waiver recipients to file reports every six months that are contained in the Commission's Report and Order, FCC 16-169, published at 82 FR 7699, January 23, 2017.

Under 5 CFR part 1320, an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a current, valid OMB Control Number.

No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act that does not display a current, valid OMB Control Number. The OMB Control Number is 3060-1248.

The foregoing notice is required by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 104-13, October 1, 1995, and 44 U.S.C. 3507.

The total annual reporting burdens and costs for the respondents are as follows:

OMB Control Number: 3060-1248.

OMB Approval Date: December 4, 2017.

OMB Expiration Date: December 31, 2020.

Title: Transition from TTY to Real-Time Text Technology, CG Docket No. 16-145 and GN Docket No. 15-178.

Form Number: N/A.

Type of Review: New collection.

Respondents: Business or other for-profit.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 967 respondents; 5,557 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 0.2 hours (12 minutes) to 60 hours.

Frequency of Response: Annual, ongoing, one-time, and semiannual reporting requirements; Recordkeeping requirement.

Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefit. The statutory authority can be found at sections 4(i), 225, 255, 301, 303(r), 316, 403, 715, and 716 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and section 106 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 225, 255, 301, 303(r), 316, 403, 615c, 616, 617; Public Law 111-260, § 106, 124 Stat. 2751, 2763 (2010).

Total Annual Burden: 127,360 hours.

Total Annual Cost: No cost.

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no need for confidentiality with this collection of information.

Privacy Impact Assessment: This information collection does not affect individuals or households; therefore, the Privacy Act is not impacted.

Needs and Uses: TTY technology provides the primary means for people with disabilities to send and receive text communications over the public switched telephone network (PSTN). Changes to communications networks, particularly ongoing technology transitions from circuit switched to IP-based networks and from copper to wireless and fiber infrastructure, have affected the quality and utility of TTY technology, prompting discussions on transitioning to an alternative advanced communications technology for text communications. Accordingly, on December 16, 2016, the Commission released the Report and Order, amending its rules that govern the obligations of wireless service providers and manufacturers to support TTY technology to permit such providers and manufacturers to provide support for RTT over wireless IP-based networks to facilitate an effective and seamless transition to RTT in lieu of continuing to support TTY technology.

In the Report and Order, the Commission adopted measures requiring the following:

(a) RTT outreach guidelines. Each wireless provider and manufacturer that voluntarily transitions from TTY technology to RTT over wireless IP-based networks and services is encouraged to develop consumer and education efforts that include (1) the development and dissemination of educational materials that contain information pertinent to the nature, purpose, and timelines of the RTT transition; (2) internet postings, in an accessible format, of information about the TTY to RTT transition on the websites of covered entities; (3) the creation of a telephone hotline and an online interactive and accessible service that can answer consumer questions about RTT; and (4) appropriate training of staff to effectively respond to consumer questions. All consumer outreach and education should be provided in accessible formats including, but not limited to, large print, Braille, videos in American Sign Language that are captioned and video described, emails to consumers who have opted to receive notices in this manner, and printed materials. Service providers and manufacturers are also encouraged to coordinate with consumer, public safety, and industry stakeholders to develop and distribute education and outreach materials. The information will inform consumers of alternative accessible technology available to replace TTY technology that may no longer be available to consumers through their provider or on their devices.

(b) TTY waiver notice conditions. Each wireless provider that receives a waiver of the requirement to support TTY technology over wireless IP-based networks and services must apprise its customers, through effective and accessible channels of communication, that (1) until TTY is sunset, TTY technology will not be supported for calls to 911 services over IP-based wireless services, and (2) there are alternative PSTN-based and IP-based accessibility solutions for people with disabilities to reach 911 services. These notices must be developed in coordination with PSAPs and national consumer organizations, and include a listing of text-based alternatives to 911, including, but not limited to, TTY capability over the PSTN, various forms of PSTN-based and IP-based TRS, and text-to-911 (where available). The notices will inform consumers of the loss of the use of TTY for completing 911 calls over the provider's network and alternative services that may be used.

(c) Six-month reports. Once every six months, each wireless provider that Start Printed Page 60564requests and receives a waiver of the requirement to support TTY technology must file a report with the Commission and inform its customers regarding its progress toward and the status of the availability of new IP-based accessibility solutions. Such reports must include (1) information on the interoperability of the provider's selected accessibility solution with the technologies deployed or to be deployed by other carriers and service providers, (2) the backward compatibility of such solution with TTYs, (3) a showing of the provider's efforts to ensure delivery of 911 calls to the appropriate PSAP, (4) a description of any obstacles incurred towards achieving interoperability and steps taken to overcome such obstacles, and (5) an estimated timetable for the deployment of accessibility solutions. The information will inform consumers of the progress towards the availability of alternative accessible means to replace TTY. The Commission will evaluate the reports to determine whether any changes to the waivers are warranted and whether there are any impediments to progress that the Commission may be in a position to resolve.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2017-27434 Filed 12-20-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P