COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL
Re: Closed Captioning of Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Programming:
Implementation of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010; Closed Captioning of
Internet Protocol-Delivered Video Clips, MB Docket 11-154
The future of watching video does not look like the past. Bulky television sets encased in
walnut cabinets are no more. But even slim models with flat-screens mounted on the wall are no
longer the only game in town. Because we live in a world where screens surround us,
multiplying opportunities for viewing—anytime, anywhere.
In short, television is changing fast. As the ways we watch expand, the Commission
must update its policies under the law. Here we do just that. Specifically, we modernize our
rules regarding the closed captioning of Internet Protocol-delivered programming, pursuant to
the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act. In particular, we
update our policies regarding what are known as IP video clips.
This is a righteous nod to changes in how we watch. After all, the future of video
involves a lot more than gathering around a television screen for programs of uniform 30- or 60-
minute length. Those programs now get sliced and diced into abbreviated bits and pieces. The
excerpts, or IP video clips, that emerge get posted online and widely viewed. It makes sense that
closed captioning obligations follow. That means more video programming online will be
accessible to more people who are deaf or hard of hearing. That includes the 36 million
Americans who today are deaf or have hearing loss—and the 40 million Americans over the age
of 65 who experience varying degrees of hearing loss at some point in their lives. So our actions
have my full support.
At the same time, I appreciate that compliance with our new rules will take work. The
law, however, charges this Commission to be more than just a steward of the status quo. So I
believe we can move forward, make progress, meet deadlines, and get this done.
Finally, a special thank you to Chairman Wheeler, who has made improving closed
captioning a high priority. Moreover, he has carried through on a promise he made to me on this
dais just a few months ago when he said would be the second vote for updating our captioning
policies regarding video clips. I am grateful for his interest and the speed with which he has led
the charge for change.
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