Thread Subject: Re: Volume gain standard
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From: Michaelis, Paul R. (Paul)
Date: Sun, Sep 09 2007 12:15 PM
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A few quick personal comments about the volume gain requirement (not
necessarily reflecting my company's official position):
On every bid and proposal I have supported, my company provides pricing
for our standard desktop telephones and for the same telephones equipped
with specialized handsets that provide the user-adjustable amplification
required by Section 508. If I recall correctly, the price difference is
approximately fifty dollars per phone. I have never seen any customer,
including our government customers, purchase more than a handful of the
508-compliant configurations. The feedback I have received is that
these configurations are purchased only for employees who are known to
A comparatively small percentage of my company's revenue is from sales
to government agencies. This means that, even if there is a change in
the government's procurement policies, such that all phones must conform
to the amplification requirement, the vast majority of our sales will
continue to be to customers who don't want to spend extra money for
It has been suggested that the new Section 508 rules should require 20
dB of available amplification to be a built-in feature of the phones, as
opposed to being achievable by swapping the standard handset for a
handset that includes an auxiliary amplifier. If this requirement were
adopted, the telecom industry could wind up having to build two
different versions of every phone: (1) a standard version that satisfies
what the vast majority of our customers tell us they want, and (2) a
specialized version that satisfies the requirements of a customer that,
quite frankly, has a poor record of buying and using what they require
the telecom industry to build.
Please be aware that I am fully in favor of providing the additional
amplification that is required by people who are hard-of-hearing, and
that I would love to see all endpoints have this capability.
Configurations that satisfy this need are available. The fundamental
problem is that they are not being purchased. This problem is not going
to be solved by requiring the telecom industry to implement a different
configuration that is equally unlikely to be purchased.
-- Paul Michaelis
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