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Brand X Could Impact Hearing Impaired

Speaking to a Self Help for Hard of Hearing People convention in Washington last week, FCC Commissioner Michael Copps told attendees to get ready to weigh in on the Brand X decision.

The decision, in which the Supreme Court said the cable industry does not have to open up its lines to independent Internet access providers, "could make it more difficult to require access to telecommunications technologies and services," said Copps.

"The case involves the definition of what is a “'telecommunications service' and what is an 'information service.' It may sound like regulatory jargon," he said, "but I can tell you it is central to the future of the Internet and the future of access for persons with disabilities."

He told them to "prepare now to make sure that lawyers’ games in Washington don’t end by denying you...the opportunities these new technologies hold for a better future."

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association had no comment on the speech or the suggestion that the hard of hearing might be denied service.