For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, November 5, 2018 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement after the Federal Communications Commission’s Media Bureau granted ACA’s requests for targeted waivers for small and mid-sized cable systems from the Accessible User Interfaces Rules adopted pursuant to the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA):
“ACA applauds the Media Bureau’s decision to grant ACA’s requests for waivers. Many small and mid-sized cable systems are ready to offer compliant accessible user interfaces to their blind and visually impaired customers in December. However, for a few classes of systems, the cost to comply fully is too great. The Bureau’s waivers address this reality by permitting most of these systems to offer near fully compliant solutions and giving exemptions to the rest.
“The waivers were narrowly tailored to balance the needs of blind and visually impaired video subscribers against the practical realities of the existing marketplace for accessible solutions. In granting ACA’s petition, the Media Bureau ensures that the greatest possible number of blind and visually impaired consumers can obtain audible access to video functions, like those necessary to provide linear video programming and the electronic program guide and to configure other accessibility features like closed captioning and video description.
“The Media Bureau action is very welcome news for small and medium-sized systems that would have incurred costs of at least $100,000 per system to comply, absent the waivers, because the market did not develop as the FCC had expected five years ago. In some cases, these costs would have forced companies out of business, which would provide no benefit to their blind and visually impaired customers. In other cases, these costs would have significantly driven up all customers’ monthly rates.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://www.americancable.org/