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e-CFR data is current as of September 16, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter BPart 68 → Subpart C


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 68—CONNECTION OF TERMINAL EQUIPMENT TO THE TELEPHONE NETWORK


Subpart C—Terminal Equipment Approval Procedures


Contents
§68.201   Connection to the public switched telephone network.
§68.211   Terminal equipment approval revocation procedures.
§68.213   Installation of other than “fully protected” non-system simple customer premises wiring.
§68.214   Changes in other than “fully protected” premises wiring that serves fewer than four subscriber access lines.
§68.215   Installation of other than “fully protected” system premises wiring that serves more than four subscriber access lines.
§68.218   Responsibility of the party acquiring equipment authorization.
§68.224   Notice of non-hearing aid compatibility.

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§68.201   Connection to the public switched telephone network.

Terminal equipment may not be connected to the public switched telephone network unless it has either been certified by a Telecommunications Certification Body or the responsible party has followed all the procedures in this subpart for Supplier's Declaration of Conformity.

[66 FR 7583, Jan. 24, 2001]

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§68.211   Terminal equipment approval revocation procedures.

(a) Causes for revocation. The Commission may revoke the interconnection authorization of terminal equipment, whether that authorization was acquired through certification by a Telecommunications Certification Body or through the Supplier's Declaration of Conformity process in §§68.320 through 68.350 of this part, where:

(1) The equipment approval is shown to have been obtained by misrepresentation;

(2) The approved equipment is shown to cause harms to the public switched telephone network, as defined in §68.3;

(3) The responsible party willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with the terms and conditions of its equipment approval; or

(4) The responsible party willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any rule, regulation or order issued by the Commission under the Communications Act of 1934 relating to terminal equipment.

(b) Notice of intent to revoke interconnection authority. Before revoking interconnection authority under the provisions of this section, the Commission, or the Enforcement Bureau under delegated authority, will issue a written Notice of Intent to Revoke Part 68 Interconnection Authority, or a Joint Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and Notice of Intent to Revoke Part 68 Interconnection Authority pursuant to §§1.80 and 1.89 of this chapter.

(c) Delivery. The notice will be sent via certified mail to the responsible party for the terminal equipment at issue at the address provided to the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments.

(d) Reauthorization. A product that has had its approval revoked may not be authorized for connection to the public switched telephone network for a period of six months from the date of revocation of the approval.

(e) Reconsideration or appeal. A responsible party of terminal equipment that has had its authorization revoked and/or that has been assessed a forfeiture may request reconsideration or make administrative appeal of the decision pursuant to part 1 of the Commission's rules: Practice and Procedure, part 1 of this chapter.

[66 FR 7583, Jan. 24, 2001, as amended at 67 FR 13229, Mar. 21, 2002; 68 FR 13850, Mar. 21, 2003]

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§68.213   Installation of other than “fully protected” non-system simple customer premises wiring.

(a) Scope of this rule. Provisions of this rule apply only to “unprotected” premises wiring used with simple installations of wiring for up to four line residential and business telephone service. More complex installations of wiring for multiple line services, for use with systems such as PBX and key telephone systems, are controlled by §68.215 of these rules.

(b) Wiring authorized. Unprotected premises wiring may be used to connect units of terminal equipment or protective circuitry to one another, and to carrier-installed facilities if installed in accordance with these rules. The provider of wireline telecommunications is not responsible, except pursuant to agreement between it and the customer or undertakings by it, otherwise consistent with Commission requirements, for installation and maintenance of wiring on the subscriber's side of the demarcation point, including any wire or jacks that may have been installed by the carrier. The subscriber and/or premises owner may install wiring on the subscriber's side of the demarcation point, and may remove, reconfigure, and rearrange wiring on that side of the demarcation point including wiring and wiring that may have been installed by the carrier. The customer or premises owner may not access carrier wiring and facilities on the carrier's side of the demarcation point. Customers may not access the protector installed by the provider of wireline telecommunications. All plugs and jacks used in connection with inside wiring shall conform to the published technical criteria of the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments. In multiunit premises with more than one customer, the premises owner may adopt a policy restricting a customer's access to wiring on the premises to only that wiring located in the customer's individual unit wiring that serves only that particular customer. See §68.105 in this part. The customer or premises owner may not access carrier wiring and facilities on the carrier's side of the demarcation point. Customers may not access the protector installed by the provider of wireline telecommunications. All plugs and jacks used in connection with inside wiring shall conform to the published technical criteria of the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments.

(c) Material requirements. (1) For new installations and modifications to existing installations, copper conductors shall be, at a minimum, solid, 24 gauge or larger, twisted pairs that comply with the electrical specifications for Category 3, as defined in the ANSI EIA/TIA Building Wiring Standards.

(2) Conductors shall have insulation with a 1500 Volt rms minimum breakdown rating. This rating shall be established by covering the jacket or sheath with at least 15 cm (6 inches) (measured linearly on the cable) of conductive foil, and establishing a potential difference between the foil and all of the individual conductors connected together, such potential difference gradually increased over a 30 second time period to 1500 Volts rms, 60 Hertz, then applied continuously for one minute. At no time during this 90 second time interval shall the current between these points exceed 10 milliamperes peak.

(3) All wire and connectors meeting the requirements set forth in paragraphs (c)(1) and (c)(2) shall be marked, in a manner visible to the consumer, with the symbol “CAT 3” or a symbol consisting of a “C” with a “3” contained within the “C” character, at intervals not to exceed one foot (12 inches) along the length of the wire.

(d) Attestation. Manufacturers (or distributors or retailers, whichever name appears on the packaging) of non-system telephone premises wire shall attest in a letter to the Commission that the wire conforms with part 68, FCC Rules.

[49 FR 21734, May 23, 1984, as amended at 50 FR 29392, July 19, 1985; 50 FR 47548, Nov. 19, 1985; 51 FR 944, Jan. 9, 1986; 55 FR 28630, July 12, 1990; 58 FR 44907, Aug. 25, 1993; 62 FR 36464, July 8, 1997; 65 FR 4140, Jan. 26, 2000; 66 FR 7583, Jan. 24, 2001]

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§68.214   Changes in other than “fully protected” premises wiring that serves fewer than four subscriber access lines.

Operations associated with the installation, connection, reconfiguration and removal (other than final removal) of premises wiring that serves fewer than four subscriber access lines must be performed as provided in §68.215(c) if the premises wiring is not “fully protected.” For this purpose, the supervisor and installer may be the same person.

[66 FR 7584, Jan. 24, 2001]

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§68.215   Installation of other than “fully protected” system premises wiring that serves more than four subscriber access lines.

(a) Types of wiring authorized—(1) Between equipment entities. Unprotected premises wiring, and protected premises wiring requiring acceptance testing for imbalance, may be used to connect separately-housed equipment entities to one another.

(2) Between an equipment entity and the public switched telephone network interface(s). Fully-protected premises wiring shall be used to connect equipment entities to the public switched telephone network interface unless the provider of wireline telecommunications is unwilling or unable to locate the interface within 7.6 meters (25 feet) of the equipment entity on reasonable request. In any such case, other than fully-protected premises wiring may be used if otherwise in accordance with these rules.

(3) Hardware protection as part of the facilities of the provider of wireline telecommunications. In any case where the carrier chooses to provide (and the customer chooses to accept, except as authorized under paragraph (g) of this section), hardware protection on the network side of the interface(s), the presence of such hardware protection will affect the classification of premises wiring for the purposes of §68.215, as appropriate.

(b) Installation personnel. Operations associated with the installation, connection, reconfiguration and removal (other than final removal of the entire premises communications system) of other than fully-protected premises wiring shall be performed under the supervision and control of a supervisor, as defined in paragraph (c) of this section. The supervisor and installer may be the same person.

(c) Supervision. Operations by installation personnel shall be performed under the responsible supervision and control of a person who:

(1) Has had at least six months of on-the-job experience in the installation of telephone terminal equipment or of wiring used with such equipment;

(2) Has been trained by the registrant of the equipment to which the wiring is to be connected in the proper performance of any operations by installation personnel which could affect that equipment's continued compliance with these rules;

(3) Has received written authority from the registrant to assure that the operations by installation personnel will be performed in such a manner as to comply with these rules.

(4) Or, in lieu of paragraphs (c) (1) through (3) of this section, is a licensed professional engineer in the jurisdiction in which the installation is performed.

(d) Workmanship and material requirements—(1) General. Wiring shall be installed so as to assure that there is adequate insulation of telephone wiring from commercial power wiring and grounded surfaces. Wiring is required to be sheathed in an insulating jacket in addition to the insulation enclosing individual conductors (see below) unless located in an equipment enclosure or in an equipment room with restricted access; it shall be assured that this physical and electrical protection is not damaged or abraded during placement of the wiring. Any intentional removal of wiring insulation (or a sheath) for connections or splices shall be accomplished by removing the minimum amount of insulation necessary to make the connection or splice, and insulation equivalent to that provided by the wire and its sheath shall be suitably restored, either by placement of the splices or connections in an appropriate enclosure, or equipment rooms with restricted access, or by using adequately-insulated connectors or splicing means.

(2) Wire. Insulated conductors shall have a jacket or sheath with a 1500 volt rms minimum breakdown rating, except when located in an equipment enclosure or an equipment room with restricted access. This rating shall be established by covering the jacket or sheath with at least 15 cm (6 in) (measured linearly on the cable) of conductive foil, and establishing a potential difference between the foil and all of the individual conductors connected together, such potential difference gradually increased over a 30 second time period to 1500 volts rms, 60 Hertz, then applied continuously for one minute. At no time during this 90 second time interval shall the current between these points exceed 10 milliamperes peak.

(3) Places where the jacket or sheath has been removed. Any point where the jacket or sheath has been removed (or is not required) shall be accessible for inspection. If such points are concealed, they shall be accessible without disturbing permanent building finish (e.g., by removing a cover).

(4) Building and electrical codes. All building and electrical codes applicable in the jurisdiction to telephone wiring shall be complied with. If there are no such codes applicable to telephone wiring, Article 800 of the 1978 National Electrical Code, entitled Communications Systems, and other sections of that Code incorporated therein by reference shall be complied with.

(5) Limitations on electrical signals. Only signal sources that emanate from the provider of wireline telecommunications central office, or that are generated in equipment at the customer's premises and are “non-hazardous voltage sources” as defined in the technical criteria published by the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments, may be routed in premises telephone wiring, except for voltages for network control signaling and supervision that are consistent with standards employed by the provider of wireline telecommunications. Current on individual wiring conductors shall be limited to values which do not cause an excessive temperature rise, with due regard to insulation materials and ambient temperatures. The following table assumes a 45 °C temperature rise for wire sizes 22 AWG or larger, and a 40 °C rise for wire sizes smaller than 22 AWG, for poly-vinyl chloride insulating materials, and should be regarded as establishing maximum values to be derated accordingly in specific installations where ambient temperatures are in excess of 25 °C:

Maximum Continuous Current Capacity of PVC Insulated Copper Wire, Confined

Wire size, AWGCircular milsMaximum current, amperes
3263.20.32
30100.50.52
28159.80.83
26254.11.3
24404.02.1
22642.45.0
2010227.5
18162410

Note: The total current in all conductors of multiple conductor cables may not exceed 20% of the sum of the individual ratings of all such conductors.

(6) Physical protection. In addition to the general requirements that wiring insulation be adequate and not damaged during placement of the wiring, wiring shall be protected from adverse effects of weather and the environment in which it is used. Where wiring is attached to building finish surfaces (surface wiring), it shall be suitably supported by means which do not affect the integrity of the wiring insulation.

(e) Documentation requirements. A notarized affidavit and one copy thereof shall be prepared by the installation supervisor in advance of each operation associated with the installation, connection, reconfiguration and removal of other than fully-protected premises wiring (except when accomplished functionally using a cross-connect panel), except when involved with removal of the entire premises communications system using such wiring. This affidavit and its copy shall contain the following information:

(1) The responsible supervisor's full name, business address and business telephone number.

(2) The name of the registrant(s) (or manufacturer(s), if grandfathered equipment is involved) of any equipment to be used electrically between the wiring and the telephone network interface, which does not contain inherent protection against hazardous voltages and longitudinal imbalance.

(3) A statement as to whether the supervisor complies with §68.215(c). Training and authority under §68.215(c)(2)-(3) is required from the registrant (or manufacturer, if grandfathered equipment is involved) of the first piece of equipment electrically connected to the telephone network interface, other than passive equipments such as extensions, cross-connect panels, or adapters. In general, this would be the registrant (or manufacturer) of a system's common equipment.

(4) The date(s) when placement and connection of the wiring will take place.

(5) The business affiliation of the installation personnel.

(6) Identification of specific national and local codes which will be adhered to.

(7) The manufacturer(s); a brief description of the wire which will be used (model number or type); its conformance with recognized standards for wire if any (e.g., Underwriters Laboratories listing, Rural Electrification Administration listing, “KS-” specification, etc.); and a general description of the attachment of the wiring to the structure (e.g., run in conduit or ducts exclusively devoted to telephone wiring, “fished” through walls, surface attachment, etc.).

(8) The date when acceptance testing for imbalance will take place.

(9) The supervisor's signature. The notarized original shall be submitted to the provider of wireline telecommunications at least ten calendar days in advance of the placement and connection of the wiring. This time period may be changed by agreement of the provider of wireline telecommunications and the supervisor. The copy shall be maintained at the premises, available for inspection, so long as the wiring is used for telephone service.

(f) Acceptance testing for imbalance. Each telephone network interface that is connected directly or indirectly to other than fully-protected premises wiring shall be subjected to the acceptance test procedures specified in this section whenever an operation associated with the installation, connection, reconfiguration or removal of this wiring (other than final removal) has been performed.

(1) Test procedure for two-way or outgoing lines or loops. A telephone instrument may be associated directly or indirectly with the line or loop to perform this test if one is not ordinarily available to it:

(i) Lift the handset of the telephone instrument to create the off-hook state on the line or loop under test.

(ii) Listen for noise. Confirm that there is neither audible hum nor excessive noise.

(iii) Listen for dial tone. Confirm that dial tone is present.

(iv) Break dial tone by dialing a digit. Confirm that dial tone is broken as a result of dialing.

(v) With dial tone broken, listen for audible hum or excessive noise. Confirm that there is neither audible hum nor excessive noise.

(2) Test procedure for incoming-only (non-originating) lines or loops. A telephone instrument may be associated directly or indirectly with the line or loop to perform this test if one is not ordinarily available to it:

(i) Terminate the line or loop under test in a telephone instrument in the on-hook state.

(ii) Dial the number of the line or loop under test from another station, blocking as necessary other lines or loops to cause the line or loop under test to be reached.

(iii) On receipt of ringing on the line or loop under test, lift the handset of the telephone instrument to create the off-hook state on that line or loop.

(iv) Listen for audible hum or excessive noise. Confirm that there is neither audible hum nor excessive noise.

(3) Failure of acceptance test procedures. Absence of dial tone before dialing, inability to break dial tone, or presence of audible hum or excessive noise (or any combination of these conditions) during test of two-way or outgoing lines or loops indicates failure. Inability to receive ringing, inability to break ringing by going off-hook, or presence of audible hum or excessive noise (or any combination of these conditions) during test of incoming-only lines or loops indicates failure. Upon any such failure, the failing equipment or portion of the premises communications system shall be disconnected from the network interface, and may not be reconnected until the cause of the failure has been isolated or removed. Any previously tested lines or loops shall be retested if they were in any way involved in the isolation and removal of the cause of the failure.

(4) Monitoring or participation in acceptance testing by the provider of wireline telecommunications. The provider of wireline telecommunications may monitor or participate in the acceptance testing required under this section, in accordance with §68.215(g) of this part, from its central office test desk or otherwise.

(g) Extraordinary procedures. The provider of wireline communications is hereby authorized to limit the subscriber's right of connecting approved terminal equipment or protective circuitry with other than fully-protected premises wiring, but solely in accordance with this paragraph and §68.108 of these rules.

(1)(i) Conditions that may invoke these procedures. The extraordinary procedures authorized herein may only be invoked where one or more of the following conditions is present:

(A) Information provided in the supervisor's affidavit gives reason to believe that a violation of part 68 of the FCC's rules is likely.

(B) A failure has occurred during acceptance testing for imbalance.

(C) Harm has occurred, and there is reason to believe that this harm was a result of wiring operations performed under this section.

(ii) The extraordinary procedures authorized in the following subsections shall not be used so as to discriminate between installations by provider of wireline telecommunications personnel and installations by others. In general, this requires that any charges for these procedures be levied in accordance with, or analogous to, the “maintenance of service” tariff provisions: If the installation proves satisfactory, no charge should be levied.

(2) Monitoring or participation in acceptance testing for imbalance. Notwithstanding the previous sub-section, the provider of wireline telecommunications may monitor or participate in acceptance testing for imbalance at the time of the initial installation of wiring in the absence of the conditions listed therein; at any other time, on or more of the listed conditions shall be present. Such monitoring or participation in acceptance testing should be performed from the central office test desk where possible to minimize costs.

(3) Inspection. Subject to paragraph (g)(1) of this section, the provider of wireline telecommunications may inspect wiring installed pursuant to this section, and all of the splicing and connection points required to be accessible by §68.215(d)(3) to determine compliance with this section. The user or installation supervisor shall either authorize the provider of wireline telecommunications to render the splicing and inspection points visible (e.g., by removing covers), or perform this action prior to the inspection. To minimize disruption of the premises communications system, the right of inspecting is limited as follows:

(i) During initial installation of wiring:

(A) The provider of wireline telecommunications may require withdrawal of up to 5 percent (measured linearly) of wiring run concealed in ducts, conduit or wall spaces, to determine conformance of the wiring to the information furnished in the affidavit.

(B) In the course of any such inspection, the provider of wireline telecommunications shall have the right to inspect documentation required to be maintained at the premises under §68.215(e).

(ii) After failure of acceptance testing or after harm has resulted from installed wiring: The provider of wireline telecommunications may require withdrawal of all wiring run concealed in ducts, conduit or wall spaces which reasonably could have caused the failure or harm, to determine conformance of the wiring to the information furnished in the affidavit.

(iii) In the course of any such inspection, the provider of wireline telecommunications shall have the right to inspect documentation required to be maintained at the premises under §68.215(e).

(4) Requiring the use of protective apparatus. In the event that any of the conditions listed in paragraph (g)(1) of this section, arises, and is not permanently remedied within a reasonable time period, the provider of wireline telecommunications may require the use of protective apparatus that either protects solely against hazardous voltages, or that protects both against hazardous voltages and imbalance. Such apparatus may be furnished either by the provider of wireline telecommunications or by the customer. This right is in addition to the rights of the provider of wireline telecommunications under §68.108.

(5) Notice of the right to bring a complaint. In any case where the provider of wireline telecommunications invokes the extraordinary procedures of §68.215(g), it shall afford the customer the opportunity to correct the situation that gave rise to invoking these procedures, and inform the customer of the right to bring a complaint to the Commission pursuant to the procedures set forth in subpart E of this part. On complaint, the Commission reserves the right to perform any of the inspections authorized under this section, and to require the performance of acceptance tests.

(h) Limitations on the foregoing if protected wiring requiring acceptance testing is used. If protected wiring is used which required acceptance testing, the requirements in the foregoing paragraphs of §68.215 are hereby limited, as follows:

(1) Supervision. Section 68.215(c)(2)-(3) are hereby waived. The supervisor is only required to have had at least six months of on-the-job experience in the installation of telephone terminal equipment or of wiring used with such equipment.

(2) Extraordinary procedures. Section 68.215(g)(3) is hereby limited to allow for inspection of exposed wiring and connection and splicing points, but not for requiring the withdrawal of wiring from wiring run concealed in ducts, conduit or wall spaces unless actual harm has occurred, or a failure of acceptance testing has not been corrected within a reasonable time. In addition, §68.215(g)(4) is hereby waived.

[43 FR 16499, Apr. 19, 1978, as amended at 44 FR 7958, Feb. 8, 1979; 47 FR 37896, Aug. 27, 1982; 49 FR 21735, May 23, 1984; 58 FR 44907, Aug. 25, 1993; 66 FR 7584, Jan. 24, 2001]

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§68.218   Responsibility of the party acquiring equipment authorization.

(a) In acquiring approval for terminal equipment to be connected to the public switched telephone network, the responsible party warrants that each unit of equipment marketed under such authorization will comply with all applicable rules and regulations of this part and with the applicable technical criteria of the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments.

(b) The responsible party or its agent shall provide the user of the approved terminal equipment the following:

(1) Consumer instructions required to be included with approved terminal equipment by the Administrative Council for Terminal Attachments;

(2) For a telephone that is not hearing aid-compatible, as defined in §68.316 of these rules:

(i) Notice that FCC rules prohibit the use of that handset in certain locations; and

(ii) A list of such locations (see §68.112).

(c) When approval is revoked for any item of equipment, the responsible party must take all reasonable steps to ensure that purchasers and users of such equipment are notified to discontinue use of such equipment.

[66 FR 7585, Jan. 24, 2001]

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§68.224   Notice of non-hearing aid compatibility.

Every non-hearing aid compatible telephone offered for sale to the public on or after August 17, 1989, whether previously-registered, newly registered or refurbished shall:

(a) Contain in a conspicuous location on the surface of its packaging a statement that the telephone is not hearing aid compatible, as is defined in §§68.4(a)(3) and 68.316, or if offered for sale without a surrounding package, shall be affixed with a written statement that the telephone is not hearing aid-compatible, as defined in §§68.4(a)(3) and 68.316; and

(b) Be accompanied by instructions in accordance with §68.218(b)(2).

[54 FR 21431, May 18, 1989, as amended at 61 FR 42187, Aug. 14, 1996; 83 FR 8632, Feb. 28, 2018]

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