American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued April 10 the following statement with regard to the Federal Communications Commission's decision implementing the emergency information accessibility requirements contained in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).
"We are pleased with the FCC's recognition that many small cable systems will face unique challenges in complying with its emergency information accessibility rule. In its order, the FCC expressly welcomed ACA to file a request for waiver to address the concerns and obtain the relief ACA proposed in this proceeding for systems unable to pass through aural emergency information on a secondary audio program stream.
"We appreciate the time that the FCC spent considering our concerns and request for relief, and understand the FCC's interest in gathering more data to ensure that it is appropriately balancing the interests of the blind and visually impaired community with those of small cable operators. Although cable operators do not need to comply with the new mandates for two years, ACA plans to start work on that waiver petition at once so that we can quickly eliminate the regulatory uncertainty that now exists regarding when and how these systems can comply with Congress' goal of conveying emergency information in a manner accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.
"FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai said in his statement that he hopes ‘the Media Bureau will look favorably upon such waiver requests.' We appreciate his remarks and agree with them."