The FCC, via The Consumer Government Affairs Bureau, is seeking to refresh the record concerning standards for closed captioning that were stated in Notices of Proposed Rulemaking in 2005 and 2008. Due to advances in technology, the FCC hopes to gain a better understanding of the issues and how they relate to pending proceedings. More than five years have passed since the Commission sought comment on several important matters relating to the quality and implementation of closed captioning of video programming, and a variety of changes in the closed captioning landscape warrant a refresh of the record created in response to that proceeding. For example, the benchmarks for 100% captioning of nonexempt new English and Spanish language programming have passed, the transition to digital television occurred on June 12, 2009, and advances in captioning technology and availability have occurred. The Bureau also believes that a refreshed record will help it to better understand the issues that were raised for comment in the 2008 Closed Captioning Declaratory Ruling, Order and NPRM. Because, in the 2008 Closed Captioning Declaratory Ruling, Order and NPRM, the Commission adopted requirements for video program distributors to make contact information available to consumers, and requirements concerning the process for filing and handling closed captioning complaints, the Commission does not seek to refresh the record with regard to those matters.
For more information about commenting, please refer to the Federal Register Notice here. Comments were due on November 24, 2010 but Reply comments may be submitted on or before December 9, 2010.