Audible Crawls Implementation and FCC Comment Deadlines Set

On May 28, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission released the Second Accessible Emergency Information Order, which adopted additional rules under the authority of Sections 202 and 203 of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. First, the Second Accessible Emergency Information Order requires multichannel video programming distributors (MVPD) to pass through a secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information when they permit consumers to access linear programming on second-screen devices, such as tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices. Second, the Second Accessible Emergency Information Order requires manufacturers of apparatus that receive or play back video programming to provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use for activating the secondary audio stream to access audible emergency information. The Commission stated that the Second Accessible Emergency Information Order would become effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. The Federal Register published a summary of the Second Accessible Emergency Information Order on July 10, 2015. Accordingly, the rules adopted in the Second Accessible Emergency Information Order will take effect on August 10, 2015.

In the Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted with the order, the Commission seeks comment on additional issues related to making emergency information audibly accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired, including: how to prioritize aural emergency information on the secondary audio stream; whether to continue to require school closing information to be included aurally on the secondary audio stream; and whether to require MVPDs to ensure that the devices and applications they provide to subscribers include a simple and easy to use activation mechanism for accessing audible emergency information on the secondary audio stream. The Commission set deadlines for filing comments and reply comments at 30 and 60 days, respectively, after publication of the Second Further Notice in the Federal Register. The Federal Register published a summary of the Second Further Notice on July 10, 2015. Accordingly, comments must be submitted no later than Aug. 10, 2015, and reply comments must be submitted no later than Sept. 8, 2015.

Read the FCC Public Notice

MB Docket No. 12-107

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