On October 7, 2011, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) adopted a Report and Order implementing certain provisions of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”). The CVAA was enacted to ensure that people with disabilities have access to the modern and innovative communications technologies of the 21st century. The FCC also released an accompanying Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (“FNPRM”) that seeks comment on outstanding issues regarding the implementation of the CVAA.
Specifically, the FNPRM seeks public input on the following issues:
- Whether the FCC should adopt a permanent exemption from CVAA compliance for small entities that provide advanced communications services;
- The implementation of section 718 of the CVAA, which requires mobile phone browsers to be accessible to and useable by individuals who are blind or visually impaired;
- The class of interoperable video conferencing services that are subject to the accessibility requirements of the CVAA;
- Performance objectives to ensure the accessibility, usability, and compatibility of advanced communications services; and
- The creation of safe harbors to ensure compliance with the accessibility requirements of the CVAA.
The Report and Order and FNPRM were published in the Federal Register on December 30, 2011. Comments and Reply Comments on the questions and proposals presented in the FNPRM are due February 13, 2012 and March 14, 2012, respectively.