FCC Grants Two ACA Petition for Waivers for Small MVPDs


The FCC has adopted a Memorandum Opinion and Order granting two waivers of its rules.  In June 2018, the American Cable Association (ACA) filed a petition for waiver. ACA sought waivers on two obligations required under 47 CFR § 79.108. The rule in question requires multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) that use navigation devices (i.e., remote controls and set top boxes) and manufacturers of navigation devices to ensure that on-screen text menus and guides are “audibly accessible in real time” by blind or visually impaired viewers. ACA requested that the Commission waive the requirements for operators of certain small and mid-sized cable systems because the costs of fully implementing each and every requirement of Section 79.108 would have exceeded $100,000 or more per operator. Additionally, these added costs would likely put the smallest of MVPDs out of business. Recognizing the harm enforcement of this rule would have had on small and mid-sized MVPDs, the Commission has waived, for qualifying small and mid-sized MVPDs, the application of Section 79.108 of the Commission’s rules under two narrow circumstances involving system operators using covered navigation devices for two-way service offering (i.e., on-demand video).

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