FCC Issues New Rules for Emergency Information and Video Description Services
On April 9, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) adopted video description rules that fulfill the mandate of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 to make emergency information in video programming accessible to blind or visually impaired individuals. The new rules impose obligations on both video programming providers and video programming distributors, including broadcasters, cable networks and multichannel video programming distributors. The rules do not implicate online video distributors (OVDs), but the Commission may revisit the rules' application to OVDs in the coming years. The Commission also adopted new video description rules for certain devices. Covered entities and devices must be in compliance with the new rules within two years of their publication in the Federal Register.