In the next few weeks, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to vote on two key pieces of legislation that will reshape how we communicate with one another.
One of the bills will require manufacturers of headsets that are more than 100 millimeters in diameter to install a microphone in their headsets.
The other would require companies to make sure the devices are certified to meet the FCC’s standards for sound.
While the bills were passed in the Senate and the House of Representatives, they are unlikely to pass through both chambers until 2020.
The only way these laws will become law in time to impact the millions of people in the US who rely on a hearing aid or hearing aid compatible headset is if the two chambers agree to a conference committee.
This would allow both chambers to vote down the legislation on a conference call, rather than the regular way, and allow for a conference vote to be held before it is approved.
In both cases, the votes in both chambers would be necessary.
And, as of right now, both chambers are opposed to the bill, according to a report by the Institute for Policy Studies.
The IHS has been tracking the impact of the legislation since it was passed in June, and found that the vote was far from unanimous.
As of mid-June, two Republicans voted for the bill.
As a result, the IHS estimated that the legislation would be able to pass the House but not the Senate, and the Senate vote would be tied.
The IHS also found that there were strong concerns that the bill would not meet the requirements of the Federal Trade Commission (the agency that enforces the Federal Communication Commission’s rules) and would not be considered a consumer protection bill.
As a result of the bill’s strong support, the American Society of Head and Face Painters (ASHF) and the Association of Head Mounted Display (AHMD) have both declared their opposition to the legislation, according a statement by ASHF president and CEO Greg Johnson.
The AHMD has called the proposed legislation “unprecedented and unconscionable.”
“This is an attempt to legislate out of existence the industry that has proven over and over again that the use of the new technology will be safe and effective,” Johnson said in a statement.
“It is not.
This is an extreme example of the kind of legislation being proposed by the FCC.
The American people expect their voices to be heard.
This bill is a direct threat to their rights to access the most effective medical technology available.”
The American Academy of Actuaries has also warned against the legislation.
In a statement, the association said, “While the proposed changes to the Haptic Communications Act would require some devices to be certified to be sound-certified, this is an unreasonable and unnecessary step.
A sound-only certification would not achieve compliance with the FCC standards, and would only require certification of the device.”
According to Johnson, the vote in the House was also extremely close.
Johnson said, “[The vote] was 50-50 and so we believe that the votes were a tie, but it was close.”
While Johnson believes the vote should be overturned, the bill is still in place.
As the IHEs statement notes, the only way the vote would end up being overturned is if either the House or Senate votes to reverse the vote.
In other words, the FCC will have to vote again.
As of this writing, the House has yet to vote.