One FCC neutrality elephant: disabilities compliance

http://www.fcc.gov/guides/telecommunications-access-people-disabilities
http://www.fcc.gov/encyclopedia/title-iv-ada

Section 255 of Title II applies to Internet providers now, as does section 225 of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These rules have such unbelievable broad statements as:

"Accessibility and usability must be assessed for individual products and services. Accessibility features that can be incorporated into the design of products or services with very little or no difficulty or expense must be put in each and every product or service."

"...require network architecture to be designed in a way that does not hinder access by people with disabilities. Network architecture covers the public switched telephone network, and includes hardware or software databases associated with routing telecommunications services."

"Telecommunications service providers and equipment manufacturers must provide the FCC with the name and contact information of the person (or persons) in their companies who are authorized to resolve accessibility complaints."

"Each common carrier providing telephone voice transmission services shall, not later than 3 years after July 26, 1990, provide in compliance with the regulations prescribed under this section, throughout the area in which it offers service, telecommunications relay services"

"The term "telecommunications relay services" means telephone transmission services that provide the ability for an individual who has a hearing impairment or speech impairment to engage in communication by wire or radio with a hearing individual in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability of an individual who does not have a hearing impairment or speech impairment to communicate using voice communication services by wire or radio. Such term includes services that enable two-way communication between an individual who uses a TDD or other nonvoice terminal device and an individual who does not use such a device."

Many news stories have been published about how ADA was exploited by scammers to extort money out of bricks-and-mortar businesses. Now these scams are coming to the ISP biz.

http://www.adaabuse.com

These regulations are found in 47CFR§6, not 47CFR§8, which is the subject of docket 14-28.

Not having read the actual R&O in docket 14-28, so basing the following statements on the NPRM instead. Since the NPRM had 47CFR§8 limited to 47CFR§8.11, and the actual amendment going to 47CFR§8.17, the adopted rules are different than originally proposed. You can read the proposed regulations yourself in FCC 14-61 ( http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/document/view?id=7521129942 ) pages 66-67. Yes, two pages. The actual regulations are a bit, but not much, longer.

47CFR§6 was already there before docket 14-28 came about.

Lamar,

Two pages? Read the news, man. It's been widely reported that the actual Order runs to over 300 pages!

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/02/26/389259382

You say you haven't read the actual R&O. Nobody in the public sector, or even in Congress AFAIK, has read it. The Order's 300-plus pages were never publicly released or openly debated.This is another "you must pass it to see what's in it" debacle, without the luxury of having any semblance of democratic process or transparency.

I wrote the FCC to ask for a copy of the Order, and here is the response I received:

It was also "widely reported" that the Affordable Care Act was 20,000 pages,
when in fact it was about 1,900.

Way off topic but the Act may had around 2K pages but the rules and regulations go with it are at 20K and counting . That is what people are referring to.

Two pages? Read the news, man.

I'd rather read the actual regulations, from the source, in 47CFR§8. They're public. The enforcement won't come from what the news said.

You say you haven't read the actual R&O. Nobody in the public sector, or even in Congress AFAIK, has read it. The Order's 300-plus pages were never publicly released or openly debated.This is another "you must pass it to see what's in it" debacle, without the luxury of having any semblance of democratic process or transparency.

The R&O is not limited to just the text of the actual regulations. The R&O will include the discussion and the rationale behind the adopted rules, along with quotes from those who commented on the action, and further language, including the derivation of the regulatory authority. The actual regulation, much shorter than the R&O, is already public, in 47CFR§8. The R&O is the 'what' plus the 'why,' 'how,' and 'when' whereas the new section in 47CFR is just the 'what.' It takes a lot more time to get the 'why,' 'how,' and 'when' into shape for publication than it does to get the 'what' into shape for publication. The enforcement will come from the 'what.'

This is standard, normal, FCC procedure. The NPRM was 99 pages, plus, with proposed rules of two pages. The R&O is reported as being 300 pages perhaps, with actual adopted rules of about 8 pages (depending upon the font used; I took the eCFR version of 47CFR§8 and printed it to PDF, and that PDF ran 8 pages). This is not unusual, and is something I've seen many times. The process is quite transparent, just with greater latency than many people like, and you do need to know where to look, although the FCC has made it a lot easier to find stuff than it was a few years back. The statement from the FCC spokesperson doesn't quote a length; we'll see how long it will be. I personally look forward to reading it; FCC R&O's tend to be better reading than the resulting sections in 47CFR, but when the EB knocks on your door they're going to hold you to 47CFR, not the establishing R&O.

This is a lot better than the days where you had to subscribe to a service, like Pike and Fischer's, to get even the Daily Digest, much less up to the day copies of the CFR, like we now can have. The latency for Commission actions is typically on the order of months; the NPRM's date is May 15, 2014.

You can see more into this by looking at the docket's page at http://apps.fcc.gov/ecfs/proceeding/view?name=14-28 . There were over 2 million filings in this docket, with almost 7,000 in the last 30 days alone. I would imagine the first place to have the actual R&O text will be the docket's page linked above; you can even follow it with its RSS feed and get it as soon as its released.