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FCC Slaps T-Mobile with $819,000 Fine

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:59am
Ben Munson

This story has been updated with comment from T-Mobile.

The FCC has levied a $819,000 fine against T-Mobile, citing the carriers has for more than two years failed to offer its customers enough hearing aid-compatible digital wireless handsets.

Originally spotted by Phone Scoop, the FCC’s complaint against T-Mobile alleges the carrier “willfully and repeatedly” violated the mandate toward carrying hearing aid-compatible phones.

At present, the FCC requires Tier 1 carriers to offer 50 percent or at least 10 models compatible with M3 acoustic coupling and 33 percent of at least 7 models compatible with T3 inductive coupling. In both circumstances, the required number is whichever is less.

T-Mobile in 2012 asked the FCC to “substantially reduce” the fine. The FCC denied T-Mobile’s request.

The FCC has given T-Mobile 30 days to pay the fine and if the carrier does not, the case may be referred to the U.S. Justice Department.

"T-Mobile is currently reviewing the FCC’s Order.  We provide a broad selection of handsets that are hearing aid compatible and we take seriously our commitment to meeting the accessibility needs of our customers. This action relates to issues that first were raised by the Commission several years ago, and we are now in full compliance," a T-Mobile spokesperson told Wireless Week.

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