Media Bureau Seeks CC Rule Refresh


WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Media Bureau has announced that it “seeks to refresh the record” on proposed FCC rules intended to enable individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing to fully enjoy video programming through closed captioning.

Specifically, in 2015, the Commission proposed rules that would require manufacturers of
covered apparatus and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to make closed captioning display settings readily accessible to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing and asked commenters to address the Commission’s authority to adopt such rules under the Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990 (TDCA).

The comment period closed nearly six years ago.

“To ensure that the Commission has the benefit of current information, including any developments relating to these issues since the release of the underlying Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Second Further Notice), we invite parties to update the record on these issues,” the Media Bureau announced Monday (1/10).

Comments are due 30 days after publication in the Federal Register. Reply comments are due 45 days after such publication.

Since the Commission last invited comment on these issues, consumers and other stakeholders have raised ongoing concerns about difficulties consumers face when attempting to access closed captioning display settings across a host of technologies and services, the Media Bureau asserts. “For instance, the Commission has received consumer complaints regarding user interfaces and the difficulty of adjusting closed captioning
settings,” it says. The Commission’s implementation of the CVAA was also addressed.

Most recently, at a forum co-hosted by the Media Bureau and the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, panelists detailed the discoverability and ease of use challenges posed by closed captioning display settings across an increasingly fragmented video programming hardware and software environment.