"This is a digitally archived AccessInfo Announcement"

Yesterday, the FCC released a Public Notice (DA 10-2050), asking the public to provide feedback on the need to revise its closed captioning rules. This request follows a petition filed in 2004 by Telecommunications for the Deaf, Inc. and several other consumer organizations, which had asked the FCC to issue rules pertaining to captioning quality. In response to that petition, in 2005, the Commission issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that sought comment on a broad range of issues concerning closed captioning, including whether the Commission should adopt quality standards for closed captioning, revise the process for filing closed captioning complaints, and limit the use of electronic newsroom technique for local news programming.

In 2008, the Commission addressed some of the issues raised in that rulemaking proceeding by revising the complaint process and requiring that video programming distributors make contact information easily available for consumers that experienced problems with closed captioning. At the same time, in 2008, the Commission sought comment on whether its captioning exemption for channels producing revenues of less than $3,000,000 should apply to digital broadcasters that multicast.

Interested parties filed more than 1600 comments, reply comments, and ex parte letters in response to the 2005 Closed Captioning NPRM, and numerous comments were filed in response to the 2008 Closed Captioning NPRM.

During the five years since the 2005 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking was issued, there have been a number of changes in the provision of closed captioning on video programming which suggest the need to refresh the FCC's record. These include: completion of many of the Commission's captioning benchmarks, the transition from analog to digital television, and technological advances in captioning technology (such as speech-to text technologies), along with the significantly expanded availability of captioning services nationwide. The comments received now will provide greater insight into the present captioning market and the current needs of consumers who use captioning.

We encourage you to share your thoughts about ways that closed captioning can be improved by responding to the new Public Notice, available at:


Questions about this proceeding? Please contact us at: dro@fcc. gov or 202-418-2517 (voice); 202-418-2922 (TTY).

Wednesday, September 12, 2018