FCC Announces May Agenda


FCCThere are quite a few major policy issues percolating away at the FCC, but they won’t be on the docket when the FCC commissioners get together in front of the public next month to conduct some business. There is an item that will likely affect broadcasters, however.

The meeting is scheduled for Thursday 5/21/15 at 10:30 AM eastern.

The item that could impact broadcast is a proposal to extend emergency information availability to “‘second screens.” This means that if the message shows up on television, it will also need to show up on all other devices that carry that program: “tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices.”

The only other item on the agenda involves getting telecom devices into the hands of low income deaf and/or blind individuals.

Here, from the FCC, are full descriptions of the agenda items.

Accessible Emergency Information: The Commission is expected to consider a proposal to extend accessibility rules for emergency alerts to “second screens,” including tablets, smartphones, laptops, and similar devices.  The Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking would take additional steps to make emergency information in video programming accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

Extend and Make Permanent ‘iCanConnect’ Program: The Commission is expected to consider an Order to extend the National Deaf-Blind Equipment Distribution Program and consider a Proposed Rulemaking to permanently extend the program.  The program provides up to $10 million annually from the Interstate Telecommunications Relay Service Fund to support programs that distribute communications equipment to low-income individuals who are deaf-blind.