The Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments (ACTA) is an open organization with a mission to: (1) adopt technical criteria for terminal equipment to prevent network “harm” (as defined in 47 C.F.R. section 68.3) and HAC-compliant ACS telephonic CPE through the act of publishing such criteria developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) accredited standards development organizations; and (2) establish and maintain database(s) of equipment approved as compliant with the technical criteria.
The ACTA will not make substantive decisions regarding the development of technical criteria.
The Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments (ACTA) was established pursuant to the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC) Report and Order in the 2000 Biennial Review of Part 68 of the Commission’s Rules and Regulations, CC Docket No. 99-216, released December 21, 2000 (Order or R&O). The Order privatized the process by which technical criteria for the prevention of harm are established for customer premises or terminal equipment that may be sold for connection to the telephone network, and for the approval of such equipment to demonstrate compliance with the relevant technical criteria. The Order directed the industry, through the co-sponsorship and support of the Alliance for Telecommunications Industry Solutions (ATIS) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) to establish the ACTA as the open body that would assume the Federal Communication Commission’s Part 68 role for those items privatized in the Order (47 C.F.R. section 68.602). The initial ACTA meeting was held on May 2, 2001.
In October 2017, the FCC released new rules regarding Hearing Aid Compatibility (HAC) for wireline and wireless handsets. The Report and Order and Order on Reconsideration, CG Docket No. 13-46WT, Docket No. 07-250WT, Docket No. 10-254, released October 26, 2017, amends Part 68 to apply, for purposes of HAC compliance, the same testing, attestations of compliance, registration, labeling, and complaint handling requirements that previously applied only to Customer Premises Equipment (CPE) directly connected to the public switched telephone network (PSTN) to advanced communications services (ACS) telephonic CPE such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) telephones. These rule amendments require “responsible parties” for ACS telephonic CPE to register such equipment in the ACTA terminal equipment database.
Membership in the ACTA is open to any organization, company or group having an interest in the business of the ACTA.
Company Registration Companies shall register with the ACTA by submitting written correspondence declaring an Interest Segment, identifying a “Company/Organization Voting Participant” and providing contact information for the Company/Organization Voting Participant.
Each Member shall identify a Company/Organization Voting Participant as that company/organization’s primary contact for ACTA-related business. Company/Organization Voting Participants shall vote on behalf of their company. Each Member company can appoint an Alternate, in the case that the primary Voting Participant is unable to vote.
To download an ACTA Membership Form, click here.
Descriptions of Interest Segments
Service Provider Segment (SPS) – The Service Provider interest segment is intended for entities that provide telephone and data communications services over wireline carrier facilities including, but not limited to, incumbent and competitive Local Exchange Carriers (LECs), incumbent and competitive Access Providers, Interexchange Carriers (IXCs), Operator Service Providers, Shared-Tenant Service Providers, Payphone Service Providers, and any other telecommunications or data communications service provider utilizing wireline interfaces to customers. The term “service provider” was chosen because it is a more generic term, and thus is more inclusive, than the old LEC and IXC interest groups which it replaces.
Manufacturer Segment (MS) – The Manufacturer interest segment is intended for entities that produce wireline telephone and data communications equipment including stand-alone products or board-level components of a larger system. Included is telecommunications equipment used by wireline carriers and other service providers to provide telecommunications services and data communications services and includes software integral to such equipment. Examples of telecommunications equipment include central office switching equipment, fiber optic and metallic cabling, electronic connectors, electronic components, telecommunications transport systems and local loop systems providing wireline interfaces to customers. The interest group also includes entities that produce customer premises equipment used to originate, route, or terminate telecommunications and data communications services. Examples of customer premises equipment includes wired telephones, cordless telephones (except cellular), PBX equipment, telephone answering machines, modems and other data communications equipment, such as bridges, routers, and gateways. The term “manufacturer” was chosen because it is a more generic term, and thus is more inclusive, than the old TEM and NEM interest groups which it replaces.
Testing Laboratories Segment (LAB) – The Testing Laboratories interest segment is intended for independent, neutral Third Parties (i.e., testing laboratories) that provide regulatory compliance testing to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regulations and ACTA requirements for wireline attachments to the Public Switch Telephone Network (PSTN); The laboratory also may provide Certifications under the Telecommunications Certifying Bodies (TCB) program for wireline attachments.
Other Interested Parties Segment (OIP) – The Other Interested Parties interest segment is an overarching term intended for take in those entities that cannot be easily categorized in the other interest group segments noted above. Entities that have material or direct interest in the services and equipment associated with wireline telecommunications and their relationship with Part 68 are those most likely to be considered in this ACTA Council segment. Examples of possible OIP members include consumer groups, advocacy organizations, law firms, and consultants.