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FCC Wants Latest Hearing Aid Standards Put in Cell Phones

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Nov 1, 2011, 4:45 PM   by Eric M. Zeman

The Federal Communications Commission today proposed that that the latest standards developed by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) for hearing-aid compatibility (HAC) be added to cell phones as quickly as possible. Today's cell phones use a standard that was developed in 2007 to ensure the best performance of HAC devices in the 800MHz to 950MHz, and 1.6GHz to 2.5GHz spectrum bands. This year, ANSI redefined the standard to include 700MHz and other frequencies that are used in modern phones to support 4G and other wireless technologies. The 2011 standard differs enough from the 2007 one that the FCC would like to see handsets use the newer one. This standard is developed to make sure that hearing-impaired users don't suffer undue radio frequency interference with devices such as hearing aids. The FCC wants all cell phones to be compatible at all radio frequencies in which they broadcast, and phones will not be granted HAC certification unless they meet the 2011 standard. The FCC is seeking comments on the proposal, and eventually expects all cell phones to meet the new standards within one year from the rules being published in the Federal Register.



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