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ACA Commends FCC On Taking Flexible Approach To CVAA Regulations

The American Cable Association President and CEO on Oct. 31 commended the Federal Communications Commission on its adoption of new set-top box accessibility regulations under the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA):

"ACA supports the FCC's efforts to make user guides on set-top boxes (STBs) used to access multichannel video programming accessible to the blind and visually impaired, and we appreciate the extra two years (five years total) given to small cable operators to comply," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

The FCC order grants the extra time to cable operators with fewer than 400,000 subscribers and small cable systems serving 20,000 or fewer subscribers (that are not affiliated with one of the largest operators) to come into compliance with the new regulations.

Polka added, "We are especially pleased the FCC included explicit guidance on the standard of review for limited-time waivers of the three-year compliance deadline for mid-sized operators" - those serving more than 400,000 but fewer than 2 million subscribers who make a good faith determination that they will require additional time to comply.  

Polka said the FCC incorporated important eligibility requirements for providing accessible solutions on request, afforded service providers the flexibility in implementation, as Congress intended, and clarified that the navigation device accessibility requirements do not apply to a cable channel providing program listings.

"We appreciate the FCC has recognized that smaller operators, unlike the largest cable operators, don't drive equipment design and software development for STBs and thus need more time to comply," Polka added.

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