ADA update proposes to make G.722 a federal standard

Thanks to Dan Berninger and Panasonic’s Paul G. Schomburg for the pointer

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is currently going through the process of updating its standards.  Buried within an ANPRM (Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) published in the Federal Register on March 22, 2010 is a clause to make G.722 – HD voice – a standard for “Audio Clarity for Interconnected VoIP.”

The proposed 508-255 Refresh (ANPRM), 906 “Audio Clarity for Interconnected VoIP” states–

906 Audio Clarity for Interconnected VoIP

906.1 General.  ICT that is interconnected VoIP telephones and interconnected VoIP telephone-emulation software shall conform to 906.

Advisory 906.1 General.  The intent of this provision is to ensure audio clarity for VoIP calls.

906.2 ITU Standard G.722.  ICT shall transmit and receive speech that is digitally encoded in the manner specified by International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Standard G.722 for encoding and storing audio information (1988) (incorporated by reference, see “Referenced Standards and Guidelines” in 508 Chapter 1 and 255 Chapter 1).

Exception:  Where ICT is a closed system, standards other than ITU Standard G.722 may be used, so long as equivalent or better acoustic performance is provided, and if conversion to International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Standard G.722 at the borders of the closed system is supported.

An original citation can be found at http://access-board.gov/sec508/refresh/draft-rule.htm#i906

Commentary on docket number 201-1 or RIN number 3014-AA37 is open until June 21, 2010.  Once the comments are reviewed, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board (Access Board) will issue a proposed rule (NPRM, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking) followed by a final rule.

Once the final rule is in place, U.S. government agencies – aside from Congress, which always makes its own rules – will have to use G.722 for “interconnected VoIP telephones” and VoIP client software, with the exception noted above. 

Since there is no final rule, there is no “date certain” as to when G.722 would have to be active, and there is also no comment as to what would happen/be expected with legacy systems running narrowband VoIP  that aren’t capable of supporting G.722.

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