Rapid advances in technology have resulted in innovations in how telecommunications services are provided to, and are accessed by, users of those services. Many of these advances are increasing the rate of convergence among categories of services that have traditionally been viewed as distinct, such as cable television services, telephony, data services, and internet services. Regulations must be examined in light of these technology advances, and the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") must remain abreast of new developments in technology so that it can effectively fulfill its responsibilities under the Communications Act.

The purpose of the TAC is to provide technical advice to the Federal Communications Commission and to make recommendations on the issues and questions presented to it by the FCC. The TAC will address questions referred to it by the FCC Chairman, or by the FCC Chief Technologist or Chief Engineer. The questions referred to the TAC will be directed to technological and technical issues in the field of communications.

Access for Persons with Disabilities

The TAC has a focus group that is charged with analyses of technology and accessibility for persons with disabilities. Mission Statement:

Assess and report to the TAC the current technical trends in telecommunications services; suggest any changes that might decrease, rather than increase, the accessibility of telecommunications services by persons with disabilities; and suggest how the FCC might best communicate to designers of emerging telecommunications network architectures, the requirements for accessibility.

Gregg Vanderheiden, moderator. The website is located at http://trace.wisc.edu/docs/fccadv/disability.htm.

Technical Advisory Council website.