The deadline applies to all service providers and equipment manufacturers subject to section 255, 716, or 718 of the Communications Act.

Service providers and equipment manufacturers subject to section 255, 716, or 718 of the Communications Act must maintain records of their efforts to implement accessibility requirements. These entities must file their annual recordkeeping certifications and required contact information by April 1, 2016, in the Recordkeeping Compliance Certification and Contact Information Registry (RCCCI Registry). Under section 717 of the Communications Act, covered entities must complete, submit, and maintain the following three pieces of information in the RCCCI Registry:

  1. annual recordkeeping compliance certifications,
  2. current contact information for consumers, and
  3. current US agent for service contact information.

Although the section 255 obligation is now in effect for broadband Internet access service providers, registry requirements will not be enforced against these providers at this time, although some may be subject to these requirements by virtue of offering advanced communications services.

BACKGROUND

Section 255 of the Communications Act requires telecommunications service providers and equipment manufacturers to ensure that their services and equipment are accessible to individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable. In 2007, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted rules to extend these accessibility obligations to interconnected voice over Internet protocol service providers and equipment manufacturers.

The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 added additional accessibility obligations, including sections 716 and 718. Section 716 requires providers of advanced communications services and manufacturers of equipment used for those services to ensure that such services and equipment are accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, unless doing so is not achievable.

Section 718 requires manufacturers of telephones used with public mobile services and providers of mobile service to ensure that the functions of the Internet browser they include or arrange to be included in such telephones are accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or have a visual impairment, unless doing so is not achievable.