Comment Deadline Extended on Mobile Phone Use Options by Handicapped

The new deadline is April 25.
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The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has extended the comment period on a proposed rule that seeks to ensure emergency mobile phone options are available for blind and deaf users.

On April 12, 2011, the FCC posted a Federal Register notice—Phone Options for People who are Blind, Deaf-Blind, or Have Low Vision, CG Docket No. 10-145, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)—that extends the comment deadline for that NPRM to April 25, 2011, and the deadline for reply comments to May 23, 2011.

The NPRM is part of a larger document, “Implementing the Provisions of the Communications Act of 1934, as Enacted by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010,” according to the FCC. The order extends the deadlines for filing comments and reply comments concerning Section 104 of the NPRM, which adopts rules ensuring mobile phone options are available for people who are blind, deaf-blind or have low vision, the notice says.

The FCC is extending the comments deadline at the request of organizations—the American Foundation for the Blind; the Consumer Electronics Association; the Information Technology Industry Council; and the Telecommunications Industry Association—that either represent blind, deaf-blind or have low vision users, or communications technology producers, the notice says. Those groups requested a 30-day extension of the comment period, which the FCC denied.

The reason for the denial is the “Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010” (P.L. 111 – 265) mandates the FCC produce regulations that implement Section 104 of the act within a year of the legislation’s date of enactment; that deadline is Oct. 8, 2011. “Given this deadline, a 30-day extension is not feasible,” says the FCC. However, “in light of the number and complexity of the issues in this proceeding, we will grant ten-day extensions of the comment and reply comment deadlines.”

When submitting comments, included any of the identifying numbers, DA 11-595; CG Docket No. 10-213; WT Docket No. 96-198; or CG Docket No. 10-145.

The addresses to submit comments are:

Submit paper comments to the FCC, 445 12th Street, SW., Washington, D.C. 20554.

Electronic comments can be submitted by any of the following methods:

Federal eRulemaking Portal: regulations.gov. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

Federal Communications Commission’s Web Site: fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language interpreters, CART, etc.) by e-mail: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: (202) 418-0530 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.

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