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Comment Deadlines Established for National Association of Broadcasters Petition for Waiver of New Accessible Emergency Information Requirements

April 1, 2015
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

To implement the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA), the FCC adopted rules in April 2013 to make emergency information that is conveyed visually during a television program that is not a newscast, such as emergency information conveyed in a text crawl, accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired. The FCCs rules require the use of the secondary audio stream to convey this televised emergency information aurally. An aural tone will continue to alert consumers to the presence of an emergency situation, and give them an opportunity to switch to the secondary audio stream to hear the emergency information. Compliance with the FCCs new rules is required by May 26, 2015.

On March 27, 2015, the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) filed a petition for a waiver from the new accessible emergency information rules. NAB requests the following:

  • a six-month waiver until November 26, 2015 of the requirement to provide an aural representation of visual emergency information on the secondary audio stream;
  • a waiver of the requirement that visual but non-textual emergency information, such as weather and radar maps, be included in the aural representation until technological solutions are available; and
  • a temporary waiver of the requirement to aurally convey school closing information on the secondary audio stream while NAB considers alternatives with input from stakeholders.
  • On March 30, 2015, the Media Bureau released a Public Notice that summarizes the NAB petition, establishes comment periods, and provides comment filing instructions. Comments are due by April 13, 2015, and reply comments are due by April 20, 2015.

    Links to the Public Notice:

    Read the NAB petition:

    For more information, contact Maria Mullarkey in the Media Bureau at (202) 418-2120 or

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