The FCC Part 68
On January 24, 2001, the Federal Register published
FCC Report & Order FCC 00-400, CC Docket 99-216. This Order allows two
options to demonstrate compliance with telephone network protection criteria,
either by the use of the Telecommunication Certification
Body (TCB) program or
a Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity
The TCB program has been in place since June 2000. This program provides
suppliers with an FCC certification, granted by a TCB, without the usual delays
encountered when submitting applications to the FCC.
The SDOC program will become operational after the publication of Technical
Criteria standards and the establishment of a terminal equipment database by the
Administrative Council for Terminal Attachment (ACTA). ACTA is a private entity,
established in accordance with the provisions of CC Docket 99-216, and composed
of members elected by various interest segments. ACTA is scheduled to have its
inaugural meeting on May 2, 2001, in Bethesda, MD. Additional information
regarding the meeting may be directed to Megan Hayes, ACTA Secretariat pro
ACTA has established a web presence at www.part68.org.
The FCC has provided ACTA with several links to Part 68 related documents and
rulemakings indicating the start of the transfer or responsibilities from the
FCC to industry. The election for members to populate the Council has been
completed. Two industry segments, the Terminal Equipment Manufacturer (TEM) and
Other Interested Parties (OIP) have tied votes, so a run-off election is being
scheduled to resolve ties.
Either option of demonstrating terminal equipment compliance
must be supported by compliant test data.
The test data must be obtained by testing the equipment to the Technical
Criteria as developed by ACTA. The first issue of the Technical Criteria
Standard published by ACTA is required by the FCC to be identical to the
criteria as found in 47 CFR Part 68, October 2000 issue.
What This Means to Suppliers of Terminal Equipment
1. Terminal Equipment must continue to comply with the technical criteria of:
2. After the equipment is found compliant with the Technical Criteria, the test
data can be used by the supplier to either:
- Environmental conditioning requirements (section 68.302, 47 CFR Part 68,
October 2000 issue)
- Leakage current limitations (section 68.304, 47 CFR Part 68, October 2000
- Hazardous voltage limitations (section 68.306, 47 CFR Part 68, October 2000
- Signal power limitations (section 68.308, 47 CFR Part 68, October 2000
- Transverse balance limitations (section 68.310, 47 CFR Part 68, October 2000
- On-hook impedance limitations (section 68.312, 47 CFR Part 68, October 2000
- Billing protection limitations (section 68.314, 47 CFR Part 68, October 2000
- Hearing-aid compatibility magnetic field and Volume Control requirements
(sections 68.316 and 68.317, 47 CFR Part 68, as published in the Federal
Register, January 24, 2001), if applicable
- Consumer protection requirements (section 68.318, 47 CFR Part 68, as
published in the Federal Register, January 24, 2001), if applicable.
criteria of 47 CFR Part 68, October 2000 issue, Sections 68.302 through 68.314,
will be published in ANSI TIA/EIA 968, Telecommunications
Telephone Terminal Equipment, Technical Requirements for Connection of Terminal
Equipment to the Telephone Network.
The Equipment Labeling requirements will be published as TIA/EIA TSB-198,
Telecommunications, Telephone Terminal
Equipment, Labeling Requirements.
The technical requirements used currently by the FCC in
granting waivers to Stutter Dial Tone equipment and ADSL equipment will be
published as TIA/EIA-IS-883, Telecommunications
Telephone Terminal Equipment Supplemental Criteria for Stutter Dial Tone
Detection Devices and ADSL Modems to Prevent Harm to the Telephone Network.
3. In some cases, the supplier may choose to do both a) and b) above, based on
the same set of test data. Multi-national suppliers have found that some
countries prefer to have an FCC Part 68 grant over the Supplier’s own
Declaration of Conformity.
- Submit to a Telecommunication Certification Body (TCB) to obtain an FCC
Part 68 Certification Number. This process basically allows the maintenance
of the "status quo" for suppliers to whom an FCC Grant continues
to bring a competitive marketing advantage.
- Create a Declaration of Compliance, in accordance with the recommendations
of ISO Guide 22.
About the Author:
Ms. Anh Wride is Vice President of Engineering at
Communications Certification Laboratory (CCL). Ms
Wride has been with CCL since 1980 and has served on the Industry Canada
Terminal Attachment Program Advisory Committee, is Chairperson of the
Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) - TR41.9 Regulatory Considerations
on Terminal Attachment Programs, has served on the FCC Administrative Committee
on P68 matters, and participated in the TIA TR41.2 Conformity Assessment
Communication Certification Laboratory (CCL)
is a TCB, accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to ISO
Guide 65, and designated by the FCC to provide FCC Part 68 certification grants
as well as grants for Unlicensed and Licensed Transmitters under the FCC Rules
as allowed under FCC GEN Docket 98-68. CCL is also a testing facility accredited
to ISO Guide 25 by the National Voluntary Laboratory Accreditation Program
(NVLAP) of the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST). CCL is located in Salt Lake City, Utah, in the United States
For additional information, contact Joe
Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org,
or 801-972-6146 Ex 1220, or visit http://www.cclab.com