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Presented By: Tim Jeffries Director, ACTA & Technology Development

An Overview of the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments (ACTA) The Federal Communications Commission’s Privatization of 47 CFR Part 68. Presented By: Tim Jeffries Director, ACTA & Technology Development Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS).

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Presented By: Tim Jeffries Director, ACTA & Technology Development

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  1. An Overview of theAdministrative Council for Terminal Attachments (ACTA)The Federal Communications Commission’s Privatization of 47 CFR Part 68 Presented By: Tim Jeffries Director, ACTA & Technology Development Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS)

  2. Part 68: Biennial Review • The Telecommunications Act of 1996 directed the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) to review its rules every even-numbered year and repeal or modify those found to be no longer in the public interest • Because of the rapid pace of change in both network and telephone equipment technologies, the FCC found it increasingly difficult for the regulatory process to keep pace thus creating a public disservice

  3. Part 68: Privatization • Pursuant to the FCC Report and Order CC Docket No. 99-216, FCC 00-400, the FCC minimized the government’s role in Part 68 by privatizing significant portions of its rules governing the connection of customer premises equipment (telephone equipment) to the public switched telephone network and privatized the standards development and terminal equipment approval processes

  4. Part 68: Privatization • To ensure continued uniformity and a level playing field that will assure robust competition, the FCC mandated the establishment of the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments (ACTA) to assume functions privatized • ACTA was formed through the co-sponsorship and support of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA)

  5. Administrative Council: Structure • A non-governmental telecommunications industry driven entity not controlled or dominated by any particular industry segment • Is impartial, fair, balanced, and open • Represent all segments of the industry including: • Local Exchange Carriers (LEC) • Interexchange Carriers (IXC) • Terminal Equipment Manufacturers (TEM) • Network Equipment Manufacturers (NEM) • Test Laboratories (LAB), and • Other Interested Parties (OIP)

  6. Administrative Council: Mission • The ACTA mission is to: (1) adopt technical criteria for terminal equipment to prevent network harms (as defined in §68.3) through the act of publishing such criteria developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited Standards Development Organizations (SDO); and (2) establish and maintain database(s) of equipment approved as compliant with the technical criteria • The scope of ACTA assumes the coordination and management role for the adoption and publication of technical requirements for terminal equipment, and the associated database(s). The Administrative Council will not make substantive technical decisions regarding the development of technical criteria

  7. Administrative Council: Responsibilities • Responsibilities must be performed in an equitable and nondiscriminatory manner, and include: • Adopt technical criteria submitted from ANSI-accredited SDO or committees • Provide 30-day public notice to inform industry of proposed technical criteria • Operate and maintain an accurate database of compliant equipment • Establish and maintain an appropriate labeling methodology • Respond to inquiries from the public regarding its technical criteria • Manage such other tasks as necessary and within the Council’s scope that were formerly part of the FCC’s Part 68 functions • Ensure that the management, activities, and decisions of the Council are independent from all external influences • Coordinate, if necessary, which industry SDOs will take on a particular development project

  8. Administrative Council: Appeals • Individuals and entities possessing directly and materially affected interests and believing that they have been or will be adversely affected by the actions or inaction of the ACTA shall have the right to appeal such action or inaction; however, • Appeals relating to the activities of a SDO submitting technical criteria to the ACTA, must utilize the appeals processes afforded by that SDO, the ANSI if applicable, or alternatively the FCC • In the case of action or inaction appropriate for the ACTA appeals process, individuals and entities are encouraged to first approach the ACTA leadership with an informal complaint before pursuing the official appeals process

  9. Administrative Council: Standards • Any ANSI-accredited SDO observing ANSI consensus decision-making procedures may establish technical criteria and submit such criteria to the ACTA for adoption. • Committee T1E1 and TIA Committee TR41 • SDO must certify, in writing, that:  •  it is ANSI-accredited to the Standards Committee Method or the Organization Method • the technical criteria does not conflict with any published technical criteria or with any technical criteria submitted and pending for publication • the technical criteria is limited to preventing harms to the PSTN, identified in §68.3 of Part 68; and • the criteria were developed in accordance with ANSI requirements for consensus and due process.

  10. Administrative Council: Approval Methods • Telecommunications Certification Body • Most follow FCC Rules governing the TCB Program • Most submit copy of certificate to ACTA • Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity (SDoC) -- is a procedure where the Responsible Party, as defined in §68.3, makes measurements or takes other necessary steps to ensure that the terminal equipment complies with the appropriate technical standards • The SDoC signifies that the responsible party has determined that the equipment has been shown to comply with the applicable technical criteria • The Responsible Party for a SDoC must be located in the USA

  11. Administrative Council: SDoC Method • Responsible party shall include in the SDoC: • the identification and a description of the responsible party for the SDoC and the product, including the model number of the product, • a statement that the terminal equipment conforms with applicable technical requirements, and a reference to the technical requirements, • the date and place of issue of the declaration, • the signature, name and function of person making declaration, • a statement that the handset, if any, complies with §68.316 defining hearing aid compatibility, or that it does not comply with that section, • any other information required to be included in the SDoC by the Administrative Council of Terminal Attachments

  12. Administrative Council: SDoC Method • Responsible Party for a SDoC shall maintain records containing: • A copy of the Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity • The identity of the testing facility, including the name, address, phone number and other contact information • A detailed explanation of the testing procedure utilized to determine whether terminal equipment conforms to the appropriate technical criteria • A copy of the test results for terminal equipment compliance with the appropriate technical criteria • A description of the measurement facilities employed for testing the equipment must be complied and shall contain the information required to be included by the ACTA

  13. Administrative Council: Database • The continuation of a uniform, nationwide database is essential to protecting the public interest • Maintaining a centralized, accurate database that is readily available and accessible to the public, including individuals with disabilities will: • Permit interested parties such as the FCC, U.S. Customs, and providers of telecommunications services to track and identify suppliers or importers of non-compliant equipment • Ameliorate concerns regarding the potentially adverse impact of non-compliant terminal equipment on the public switched telephone network (PSTN) by ensuring that suppliers are held accountable for any damage their equipment may cause • Provide the public with the means to identify the party ultimately responsible for the product

  14. Administrative Council: Database • Entities submitting information to the database, whether they obtained their approval from a TCB or utilized the supplier’s declaration of conformity (SDoC) process, must submit pertinent information regarding their identity and approved equipment to the database administrator • ACTA assumed the FCC Part 68 database which (currently) maintains records for 34,000+ products • Database is accessible via the Internet at http://www.part68.org

  15. Join ACTA on May 1-3, 2002 for an Educational Conference “Protecting the Public Network in a Privatized Part 68 Environment: What the Telecom Industry Needs to Know” Highlights of the Conference include: Representatives from the FCC, Industry Canada, European Commission, Telecom Experts, Standards Developers, and Industry Leaders Visit ACTA Website for Additional Details www.part68.org

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