PITTSBURGH, May 26, 2015 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission decision by the Media Bureau to grant waivers of the emergency information rule to small and financially constrained cable systems:
“ACA understands the importance of the FCC’s requirement that emergency information provided visually during non-newscast video programming be made audibly accessible to individuals who are blind and visually impaired; therefore, ACA is deeply appreciative of the Media Bureau’s decision to grant ACA’s request for a pair of narrowly tailored waivers for certain analog-only and hybrid analog/digital systems from the requirement to pass through the emergency information on a secondary audio stream. These waivers will give some very small and financially constrained cable systems serving a tiny proportion of cable subscribers the much-needed additional time to come into compliance with the pass-through rule and allow other systems to serve their subscribers through the alternative of providing free set-top boxes to enable access to audible emergency information.
“By taking these measured steps, the Media Bureau ensures the interests of the blind and visually impaired community are served as intended by the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) and avoids causing either undue financial burdens to small operators or the suspension of cable service to smaller and harder to serve communities – a ‘win-win’ solution for consumers and providers alike.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for nearly 7 million cable subscribers 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://acaconnects.org/