On February 24, 2014, the FCC adopted the Closed Captioning Quality Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FNPRM) which included closed captioning quality obligations and standards and technical compliance rules to ensure that video programming is fully accessible to individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing. Publication of the FNPRM in the Federal Register has now triggered various effective dates. Different rules have different effective dates, which are outlined below:
April 30, 2014 – effective date of changes to rules addressing equipment monitoring, treatment of multicast streams, electronic filing of exemption requests, and correction of the e-mail address for submission of video programming distributor (VPD) contact information.
June 30, 2014 – effective date of rule changes regarding the use of Electronic Newsroom Technique (ENT).
January 15, 2015 (or upon announcement in the Federal Register of OMB approval, whichever is later) – effective date of changes to rules addressing captioning quality obligations, standards and best practices.
Rules regarding maintaining records of VPD monitoring and maintenance activities, procedures for informal complaints regarding the use of ENT, compliance procedures regarding the use of ENT, and the ENT progress report will be effective upon announcement in the Federal Register of Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the data collection.
The Declaratory Ruling included in the Closed Captioning Quality Order was effective immediately upon its release (February 24, 2014).
Comments on issues addressed in the section of the FNPRM entitled “Responsibilities for Meeting the Closed Captioning Requirements” are due April 28, 2014 and reply comments are due May 27, 2014. Comments on the remaining sections of the FNPRM are due June 25, 2014 and reply comments are due July 25, 2014.