The Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC’s” or “Commission’s”) new text-to-911 rules are effective today. As we discussed in a previous post immediately following the adoption of the related order, the FCC has mandated that all messaging services that permit users to send text messages using domestic telephone numbers also enable users to communicate with public emergency response providers via text messages. The FCC adopted its Second Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Text-to-911 proceeding on August 8, 2014. On September 16, the order and NPRM were published in the Federal Register making the rules effective today and setting the comment deadline on the NPRM for today, with reply comments due on November 17.
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On March 19, 2014, Kelley Drye will host a free, half-day workshop, at the COMPTEL PLUS Spring 2014 Convention & EXPO in Las Vegas, NV.  The workshop is designed to help service providers identify new opportunities as changes in technology, the marketplace, and the regulatory environment continue to disrupt existing business plans. Entitled “The

On January 28, 2014, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) issued an Order granting an August 2013 request filed by the Coalition of E-Reader Manufacturers (“Coalition”) seeking a waiver of the Commission’s disabilities access rules as applied to e-readers. As previously reported on this blog, on October 22, 2013, the Commission granted a temporary waiver for the class of e-readers in order to give the FCC time to further evaluate the Coalition’s petition.

With this latest ruling, electronic text-based readers that are capable of accessing advanced communications services (“ACS”) like electronic messaging and that meet the distinct, narrow definition are exempt from making their products accessible to individuals with disabilities until January 28, 2015. This new class waiver joins a limited set of waivers that the Commission has granted for IPTVs (and IP-DVPs), cable set top boxes, and certain game consoles, game distribution and online game play services, and game software.
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In a Public Notice released last week, the FCC announced new procedures for consumers to file complaints against companies to allege violations of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”), the goal of which is to ensure that people with disabilities have access to advanced communications services (“ACS”).  Generally, ACS is

Kelley Drye Telecommunications paralegal Jennifer Rodden contributed to this post.

Earlier this year, a coalition of e-reader manufacturers (Amazon, Kobo and Sony Electronics) petitioned for waiver from the disabled access requirements applicable to Advanced Communications Services (“ACS”) under the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”). The Coalition seeks a class waiver

As of October 8, 2013, all advanced communication products and services offered in interstate commerce must be compliant (including products and services previously offered) with the Federal Communications Commission’s (“FCC’s”) disabled access requirements, and consumers can begin filing complaints with the FCC as of that date. Covered entities should ensure that the internal contact identified on their FCC registration is prepared to address any Requests for Dispute Assistance once the government shutdown is resolved and the FCC is back to work.

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On August 1, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC" or "Commission") released a Public Notice seeking comment by September 3, 2013 on a petition for waiver from the disabled access requirements filed by a coalition of e-reader manufacturers (Amazon, Kobo and Sony Electronics). In late 2011, the FCC released a Report and Order implementing provisions

At its open meeting this month, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) received a status report on the implementation of broad disabilities access obligations passed three years ago.  In the presentation, FCC staff members reported that the Commission met all of the implementation deadlines in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA), and reminded service providers and equipment manufacturers of the upcoming deadlines for compliance with the Act.

The FCC’s new disabilities access rules apply potentially significant new obligations to a variety of entities that may not otherwise consider themselves subject to the FCC’s jurisdiction.  These rules are being implemented in stages, with many obligations taking full effect in the next six months.  Providers of advanced communications services and equipment manufacturers should review these obligations carefully to ensure that their services and equipment are compliant with the new requirements.

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David Darwin co-authored this post.

Last Friday, the FCC clarified several aspects of the complex closed-captioning regulations adopted last year applicable to service and content providers using Internet protocol (IP) to deliver video programming and to certain devices used by consumers watch video programming. In January 2012, the FCC had issued a Report and Order for the implementation of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA).  Among other things, the CVAA and the Commission’s implementing regulations established closed captioning obligations for providers using IP to deliver video programming, as well as for certain consumer devices on which consumers watch video programming.  On June 14, 2013 the FCC released an Order on Reconsideration (Recon Order) and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) modifying and clarifying the Report and Order, granting some waivers and denying others, which should create some additional certainty for programming providers and distributors as well as device manufacturers regarding how to comply with the regulations.  The Recon Order and FNPRM follow three petitions for reconsideration, brought by the Consumer Electronics Association, TVGuardian, and a number of consumer groups.

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Josh Guyan contributed to this post.

In the latest of its orders to implement the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (“CVAA”), the FCC released a Second Report and Order addressing the accessibility requirements of Internet browsers on mobile phones for the blind and visually impaired. This order adopted requirements for which it sought further comment in January 2012 when it released a Report and Order implementing provisions of the CVAA to ensure that people with disabilities have access to advanced communications services (“ACS”). The substantive obligations for mobile phones will go into effect at the same time as the CVAA’s substantive obligations for ACS services take effect, on October 8, 2013. The recordkeeping obligations, however, went into effect on January 30, 2013.

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