FCC Issues List of ‘Regulatory Agenda’ Items

The Federal Communications Commission has issued its “semiannual regulatory agenda” of “major items and other significant proceedings” under development or review by the FCC, and some items affect non-commercial broadcasters, or agencies that send or receive emergency transmissions.
            The FCC has compiled “a list of important proceedings now in progress.” The list of 85 regulatory items is “to help keep the public informed of significant rulemaking proceedings,” the Commission says.
            The FCC issued the regulatory items list as a Federal Register notice—Unified Agenda of Federal Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions, Fall 2012—that says, “to help keep the public informed of significant rulemaking proceedings, the Commission has prepared a list of important proceedings now in progress.”
            At least 12 of those items affect non-commercial broadcasters or government agencies that send or receive emergency transmissions. Those items and information on each are:
            Closed-Captioning of Video Programming: The FCC’s closed-captioning rules are designed to make video programming more accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing Americans. This proceeding resolves some issues regarding the FCC’s closed-captioning rules that were raised for comment in 2005, and also seeks comment on how a certain exemption from the closed-captioning rules should be applied to digital multicast broadcast channels.
            Accessibility of Programming Providing Emergency Information: In this proceeding the FCC adopted rules detailing how video-programming distributors must make emergency information accessible to persons with hearing and visual disabilities.
            Video Description, Implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010: The CVAA requires reinstatement of video description rules—which is the insertion of narrated descriptions of a television program’s key visual elements into natural pauses in the program’s dialogue—adopted by the FCC in 2000.
            Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming: Pursuant to the FCC’s responsibilities as directed by the CVAA, this proceeding was initiated to adopt rules to govern the closed captioning requirements for the owners, providers and distributors of Internet protocol video programming.
            Basic Service Tier Encryption: In this proceeding, the FCC evaluated a proposed rule to allow cable operators to encrypt the basic service tier in all- digital cable systems, provided that those operators undertake certain consumer protection measures.    
            Noncommercial Educational Station Fundraising for Third-Party Non-Profit Organizations: The proceeding was initiated to analyze the FCC’s long standing policy prohibiting non-commercial educational broadcast stations from conducting on-air fundraising activities that interrupt regular programming for the benefit of third-party non-profit organizations.    
            Revision of the Rules To Ensure Compatibility With Enhanced 9-1-1 Emergency Calling Systems: Rules have been adopted governing the availability of basic 9-1-1 services and the implementation of enhanced 9-1-1 (E9-1-1) for wireless services.
            Enhanced 9-1-1 Services for Wireline: The rules listed in this document generally will assist state governments in drafting legislation that ensures multi-line telephone systems are compatible with the enhanced 9-1-1 network.
            E9-1-1 Requirements for IP-Enabled Service Providers: The notice seeks comment on what additional steps the FCC should take to ensure that providers of voice-over Internet protocol services that interconnect with the public switched telephone network provide ubiquitous and reliable enhanced 9-1-1 service.
            Emergency Alert System: This document provides for national- level testing of the Emergency Alert System.
            Wireless E9-1-1 Location Accuracy Requirements: This action requires wireless carriers to take steps to provide more specific automatic location information in connection with 9-1-1 emergency calls to public safety answering points in areas where wireless carriers have not done so in the past.
            IP-Enabled Services: The notice seeks comment on ways in which the FCC might categorize or regulate IP-enabled services including the proper allocation of jurisdiction over each category of IP-enabled service.
            Click here to access the Federal Register notice.
 

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