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CGB and WTB Release Advanced Services Accessibility PN

October 21st, 2010 by Karen Peltz Strauss

By Karen Peltz Strauss and Elizabeth Lyle

Today the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a Public Notice that seeks comment on some of the key provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, which the President signed into law on October 8, 2010.

The law’s provisions are designed to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to emerging Internet Protocol-based communication and video programming technologies in the 21st Century.

The PN seeks comment on the requirement in Section 716 of the Act that service providers of advanced communications services and manufacturers of equipment and software used with those services ensure that their equipment and services will be accessible to people with disabilities, unless not achievable.

The Commission is required to promulgate rules implementing this provision within one year of enactment.  Given the tight statutory deadline, the PN seeks to build a record as quickly as possible to aid the Commission in its rulemaking.

The PN also seeks initial comment on ways to implement new recordkeeping obligations imposed by new Section 717 on entities subject to Sections 255, 716, and 718.  In addition, this Notice seeks comment on the obligation imposed by new Section 718 on manufacturers and service providers to provide access to Internet browsers in telephones used with public mobile services by blind or visually-impaired individuals.

Comments are due November 22 and reply comments are due December 7.  One way to submit comments is via the FCC’s electronic comment filing system (ECFS).  If ECFS is not accessible to you, you may send your comments directly to dro@fcc.gov.  We urge you to help us build this record.

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