FCC Reminds Advanced Communications Services Providers and Equipment Manufacturers of CVAA Recordkeeping Obligations and Compliance Certification

by Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Contact

Recently, the FCC issued a Public Notice reminding the providers and equipment manufacturers of advanced communications services (ACS) of their obligation to maintain records evidencing their efforts to comply with the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA). In addition, these entities are also required to submit an annual certification stating that such records are being kept in accordance with the statute. The CVAA is a 2010 law ensuring access to ACS for people with disabilities, and the FCC began issuing regulations implementing the legislation in 2011.

It is important to keep in mind the continuously evolving nature of the FCC’s accessibility obligations. In 1999, the FCC issued rules implementing Section 255 of the 1996 Telecommunications Act, requiring telecommunications service providers and their equipment manufacturers to make their products and services accessible to people with disabilities. In 2007, the FCC extended the accessibility requirements of Section 255 to the historically unregulated interconnected Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers and equipment manufacturers.

The CVAA goes even further, extending these accessibility obligations to ACS providers and equipment manufacturers, thereby including both interconnected and non-interconnected VoIP, as well as electronic messaging services and interoperable video conferencing services in the realm of regulated services. As a result, many of these previously unregulated entities may be unaware not only that their operations are now covered by the CVAA, but that important compliance deadlines also loom on the horizon this year.

The new recordkeeping obligations for covered entities should be looked at as two separate but related requirements. First, covered entities are now required – beginning January 30, 2013 – to maintain in the ordinary course of business records of their compliance with the new regulations implementing the CVAA. These records must include the following items:

  • Information about efforts to consult with individuals with disabilities;
  • Descriptions of the accessibility features that are a part of products and services; &
  • Information about the compatibility of products and services with peripheral devices or specialized customer premise equipment commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access.

By April 1, 2013, the covered entities must file their first certification showing that they are in compliance with the recordkeeping requirements, and also provide certain other contact information in order to efficiently resolve consumer complaints. Covered entities must identify the name and contact details of a person within the company who is authorized to resolve customer complaints, as well as an agent designated for the service of informal and formal complaints alleging violations of the CVAA rules. The contact information must list the person’s title, address, phone number, and if available, TTY number, fax, and email.

Covered entities should note that these designations must be done for each entity or subsidiary that is subject to the CVAA; the implementing regulations cannot be satisfied by designating one overall contact person for a parent company.

Importantly, the entire certification must be supported by an affidavit or declaration under penalty of perjury, which is signed and dated by an authorized officer of the company or subsidiary with personal knowledge of the representations provided.

Lastly, the certification must then be filed electronically on the FCC’s website. Once filed, it is the requirement of the covered entity to update the information within 30 days of any material change.

Since these new rules are now impacting many companies that have little or no experience with direct FCC regulation, newly covered entities should begin formulating a plan for compliance with these rapidly approaching deadlines as soon as possible.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP
Contact
more
less

Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):
hide

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.

Security

JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at info@jdsupra.com. In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at: info@jdsupra.com.

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.