The Federal Communications Commission published a reminder to service providers and equipment manufacturers that provide advanced communications services — such as e-mail, instant messaging, Voice over Internet Protocol, and interoperable video conferencing services — or telecommunications services that are subject to Section 255 of the Communications Act to begin maintaining records by January 30, 2013 of the efforts they take to make their services and equipment accessible.
Specifically, these companies must maintain, in the ordinary course of business and for a reasonable period, records regarding:
- Information about the manufacturer’s or provider’s efforts to consult with individuals with disabilities;
- Descriptions of the accessibility features of the products or services; and
- Information about the compatibility of such products and services with peripheral devices or specialized customer premise equipment commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access.
These records need not be filed with the Commission in the ordinary course. However, by April 1, 2013, these companies must file with the Commission an annual certification that records are being kept in accordance with the statute. The Commission is creating a new web-based system, the “Recordkeeping Compliance Certification and Contact Information Registry,” where companies can upload these annual certifications, along with their contact information.