Emerging Tech

FCC Comment Deadline: Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) seeks public comments on a proposed revision of its information collection project titled "Telecommunications Relay Services and Speech-to-Speech Services for Individuals with Hearing and Speech Disabilities." 

The telecommunications relay service (TRS) program enables access to the nation's telephone network by persons with hearing and speech disabilities. In 1991, as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act and codified at 47 U.S.C. 225, the Commission adopted rules governing the telecommunications relay services (TRS) program and procedures for each state TRS program to apply for initial Commission certification and renewal of Commission certification of each state program.

Between 2008 and 2011, to integrate internet-based TRS into the North American Numbering plan and facilitate interoperability, universal calling, and 911 emergency services, the Commission adopted rules in three separate orders related to the telephone numbering system and enhanced 911 (E911) services for users of two forms of internet-based TRS: Video Relay Service (VRS) and internet Protocol Relay service (IP Relay).

The rules adopted in these three orders have information collection requirements that include requiring VRS and IP Relay providers to: Register each user who selects the provider as his or her default provider, including obtaining a self-certification from each user; verify the accuracy of each user's; provision and maintain their registered users' routing information to the TRS Numbering Directory; place their users' Registered Location and certain callback information in Automatic Location Information (ALI) databases across the country and provide a means for their users to update their Registered Locations; include advisories on their websites and in any promotional materials addressing numbering and E911 services for VRS or IP Relay; verify in the TRS Numbering Directory whether each dial-around user is registered with another provider; and if they provide equipment to a consumer, make available to other VRS providers enough information about that equipment to enable another VRS provider selected as the consumer's default provider to perform all of the functions of a default provider.

Members of the public may submit comments by duplicate email to PRA@fcc.gov and Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

DOS Comment Deadline: Use of Digital Sequence Information of Genetic Resources

The Department of State (DOS) seeks public comments on the topic of "digital sequence information (DSI) on genetic resources," also known as genetic sequence data (GSD). The United States will use these comments to inform policy development and international messaging on GSD, particularly regarding the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the Nagoya Protocol. 

The Secretariat of the CBD released three studies on "Digital Sequence Information on Genetic Resources" that examine the scope, present use, traceability, access, and current benefit-sharing schemes relating to DSI/GSD. These studies were commissioned to inform decisions by the Parties to the CBD and the Nagoya Protocol at the 2020 Conference of Parties (COP) to the CBD and the Conference of Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Nagoya Protocol. (Originally planned for October 15-18, 2020 in Kunming, China, the CBD COP and related meetings have been postponed due to COVID-19; new dates have not yet been announced.)

Members of the public may submit comments online at Regulations.gov. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

NOAA Nomination Deadline: Science Advisory Board

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is soliciting nominations for members of its Science Advisory Board (SAB). The SAB is the only Federal Advisory Committee with the responsibility to advise the Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans, Atmosphere, and NOAA Administrator on long- and short-range strategies for research, education, and application of science to resource management and environmental assessment and prediction. The SAB consists of approximately fifteen members reflecting the full breadth of NOAA's areas of responsibility and assists NOAA in maintaining a complete and accurate understanding of scientific issues critical to the agency's missions.

At this time, individuals are sought with expertise in tsunami science; extreme weather prediction (including tornadoes); social sciences (including geography, sociology, behavioral science); Great Lakes research; cloud computing, artificial intelligence and data management; unmanned, autonomous system technology; `omics science and eDNA; weather modeling and data assimilation; and ocean ecosystem science. Individuals with expertise in other NOAA mission areas are also welcome to apply.

Members of the public may submit nominations via email. More information is available at this Federal Register notice.

NASEM Teleconference: Committee on Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Issues Associated with Neural Chimeras and Organoids

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Division on Policy and Global Affairs, will hold by public teleconference the first meeting of its Committee on Ethical, Legal, and Regulatory Issues Associated with Neural Chimeras and Organoids. The Committee will examine the scientific, ethical and regulatory issues associated with neural chimeras and neural organoid research. The Committee will review the status of research, consider the benefits and risks of such research, discuss associated ethical issues, and consider what oversight mechanisms might be appropriate in this area.

Members of the public may attend the teleconference. More information is available at this NASEM website.