[United States Statutes at Large, Volume 124, 111th Congress, 2nd Session]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office, www.gpo.gov]


Public Law 111-260
111th Congress

An Act


 
To increase the access of persons with disabilities to modern
communications, and for other purposes. <>

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled, <>

SECTION 1. <> SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS.

(a) Short Title.--This Act may be cited as the ``Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010''.
(b) Table of Contents.--

Sec. 1. Short title; table of contents.
Sec. 2. Limitation on liability.
Sec. 3. Proprietary technology.

TITLE I--COMMUNICATIONS ACCESS

Sec. 101. Definitions.
Sec. 102. Hearing aid compatibility.
Sec. 103. Relay services.
Sec. 104. Access to advanced communications services and equipment.
Sec. 105. Universal service.
Sec. 106. Emergency Access Advisory Committee.

TITLE II--VIDEO PROGRAMMING

Sec. 201. Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory Committee.
Sec. 202. Video description and closed captioning.
Sec. 203. Closed captioning decoder and video description capability.
Sec. 204. User interfaces on digital apparatus.
Sec. 205. Access to video programming guides and menus provided on
navigation devices.
Sec. 206. Definitions.

SEC. 2. <> LIMITATION ON LIABILITY.

(a) In General.--Except as provided in subsection (b), no person
shall be liable for a violation of the requirements of this Act (or of
the provisions of the Communications Act of 1934 that are amended or
added by this Act) with respect to video programming, online content,
applications, services, advanced communications services, or equipment
used to provide or access advanced communications services to the extent
such person--
(1) transmits, routes, or stores in intermediate or
transient storage the communications made available through the
provision of advanced communications services by a third party;
or
(2) provides an information location tool, such as a
directory, index, reference, pointer, menu, guide, user
interface, or hypertext link, through which an end user obtains
access

[[Page 2752]]

to such video programming, online content, applications,
services, advanced communications services, or equipment used to
provide or access advanced communications services.

(b) Exception.--The limitation on liability under subsection (a)
shall not apply to any person who relies on third party applications,
services, software, hardware, or equipment to comply with the
requirements of this Act (or of the provisions of the Communications Act
of 1934 that are amended or added by this Act) with respect to video
programming, online content, applications, services, advanced
communications services, or equipment used to provide or access advanced
communications services.

SEC. 3. <> PROPRIETARY TECHNOLOGY.

No action taken by the Federal Communications Commission to
implement this Act or any amendment made by this Act shall mandate the
use or incorporation of proprietary technology.

TITLE I--COMMUNICATIONS ACCESS

SEC. 101. DEFINITIONS.

Section 3 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153) is
amended--
(1) by adding at the end the following new paragraphs:
``(53) Advanced communications services.--The term `advanced
communications services' means--
``(A) interconnected VoIP service;
``(B) non-interconnected VoIP service;
``(C) electronic messaging service; and
``(D) interoperable video conferencing service.
``(54) Consumer generated media.--The term `consumer
generated media' means content created and made available by
consumers to online websites and services on the Internet,
including video, audio, and multimedia content.
``(55) Disability.--The term `disability' has the meaning
given such term under section 3 of the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12102).
``(56) Electronic messaging service.--The term `electronic
messaging service' means a service that provides real-time or
near real-time non-voice messages in text form between
individuals over communications networks.
``(57) Interconnected voip service.--The term
`interconnected VoIP service' has the meaning given such term
under section 9.3 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, as
such section may be amended from time to time.
``(58) Non-interconnected voip service.--The term `non-
interconnected VoIP service'--
``(A) means a service that--
``(i) enables real-time voice communications
that originate from or terminate to the user's
location using Internet protocol or any successor
protocol; and
``(ii) requires Internet protocol compatible
customer premises equipment; and
``(B) does not include any service that is an
interconnected VoIP service.
``(59) Interoperable video conferencing service.--The term
`interoperable video conferencing service' means a service

[[Page 2752]]

that provides real-time video communications, including audio,
to enable users to share information of the user's choosing.'';
and
(2) by reordering paragraphs (1) through (52) and the
paragraphs added by paragraph (1) of this section in
alphabetical order based on the headings of such paragraphs and
renumbering such paragraphs as so reordered.

SEC. 102. HEARING AID COMPATIBILITY.

(a) Compatibility Requirements.--
(1) Telephone service for the disabled.--Section 710(b)(1)
of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 610(b)(1)) is
amended to read as follows:

``(b)(1) Except as provided in paragraphs (2) and (3) and subsection
(c), the Commission shall require that customer premises equipment
described in this paragraph provide internal means for effective use
with hearing aids that are designed to be compatible with telephones
which meet established technical standards for hearing aid
compatibility. Customer premises equipment described in this paragraph
are the following:
``(A) All essential telephones.
``(B) All telephones manufactured in the United States
(other than for export) more than one year after the date of
enactment of the Hearing Aid Compatibility Act of 1988 or
imported for use in the United States more than one year after
such date.
``(C) All customer premises equipment used with advanced
communications services that is designed to provide 2-way voice
communication via a built-in speaker intended to be held to the
ear in a manner functionally equivalent to a telephone, subject
to the regulations prescribed by the Commission under subsection
(e).''.
(2) Additional amendments.--Section 710(b) of the
Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 610(b)) is further
amended--
(A) in paragraph (2)--
(i) in subparagraph (A)--
(I) in the matter preceding clause
(i)--
(aa) by striking
``initial'';
(bb) by striking ``of this
subsection after the date of
enactment of the Hearing Aid
Compatibility Act of 1988''; and
(cc) by striking ``paragraph
(1)(B) of this subsection'' and
inserting ``subparagraphs (B)
and (C) of paragraph (1)'';
(II) by inserting ``and'' at the end
of clause (ii);
(III) by striking clause (iii); and
(IV) by redesignating clause (iv) as
clause (iii);
(ii) by striking subparagraph (B) and
redesignating subparagraph (C) as subparagraph
(B); and
(iii) in subparagraph (B) (as so
redesignated)--
(I) by striking the first sentence
and inserting ``The Commission shall
periodically assess the appropriateness
of continuing in effect the exemptions
for telephones and other customer
premises

[[Page 2754]]

equipment described in subparagraph (A)
of this paragraph.''; and
(II) in each of clauses (iii) and
(iv), by striking ``paragraph (1)(B)''
and inserting ``subparagraph (B) or (C)
of paragraph (1)'';
(B) in paragraph (4)(B)--
(i) by striking ``public mobile'' and
inserting ``telephones used with public mobile'';
(ii) by inserting ``telephones and other
customer premises equipment used in whole or in
part with'' after ``means'';
(iii) by striking ``and'' after ``public land
mobile telephone service,'' and inserting ``or'';
(iv) by striking ``part 22 of''; and
(v) by inserting after ``Regulations'' the
following: ``, or any functionally equivalent
unlicensed wireless services''; and
(C) in paragraph (4)(C)--
(i) by striking ``term `private radio
services''' and inserting ``term `telephones used
with private radio services'''; and
(ii) by inserting ``telephones and other
customer premises equipment used in whole or in
part with'' after ``means''.

(b) Technical Standards.--Section 710(c) of the Communications Act
of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 610(c)) is amended by adding at the end the
following: ``A telephone or other customer premises equipment that is
compliant with relevant technical standards developed through a public
participation process and in consultation with interested consumer
stakeholders (designated by the Commission for the purposes of this
section) will be considered hearing aid compatible for purposes of this
section, until such time as the Commission may determine
otherwise. <>  The Commission shall consult with
the public, including people with hearing loss, in establishing or
approving such technical standards. The Commission may delegate this
authority to an employee pursuant to section 5(c). The Commission shall
remain the final arbiter as to whether the standards meet the
requirements of this section.''.

(c) Rulemaking.--Section 710(e) of the Communications Act of 1934
(47 U.S.C. 610(e)) is amended--
(1) by striking ``impairments'' and inserting ``loss''; and
(2) by adding at the end the following sentence: ``In
implementing the provisions of subsection (b)(1)(C), the
Commission shall use appropriate timetables or benchmarks to the
extent necessary (1) due to technical feasibility, or (2) to
ensure the marketability or availability of new technologies to
users.''.

(d) Rule of Construction.--Section 710(h) of the Communications Act
of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 610(h)) is amended to read as follows:
``(h) Rule of Construction.--Nothing in the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 shall be construed to
modify the Commission's regulations set forth in section 20.19 of title
47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on the date of
enactment of such Act.''.

[[Page 2755]]

SEC. 103. RELAY SERVICES.

(a) Definition.--Paragraph (3) of section 225(a) of the
Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 225(a)(3)) is amended to read as
follows:
``(3) Telecommunications relay services.--The term
`telecommunications relay services' means telephone transmission
services that provide the ability for an individual who is deaf,
hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who has a speech disability to
engage in communication by wire or radio with one or more
individuals, in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the
ability of a hearing individual who does not have a speech
disability to communicate using voice communication services by
wire or radio.''.

(b) Internet Protocol-based Relay Services.--Title VII of such Act
(47 U.S.C. 601 et seq.) is amended by adding at the end the following
new section:

``SEC. 715. <> INTERNET PROTOCOL-BASED RELAY
SERVICES.

<> ``Within one year after the date of enactment
of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
of 2010, each interconnected VoIP service provider and each provider of
non-interconnected VoIP service shall participate in and contribute to
the Telecommunications Relay Services Fund established in section
64.604(c)(5)(iii) of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect
on the date of enactment of such Act, in a manner prescribed by the
Commission by regulation to provide for obligations of such providers
that are consistent with and comparable to the obligations of other
contributors to such Fund.''.

SEC. 104. ACCESS TO ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT.

(a) Title VII Amendment.--Title VII of the Communications Act of
1934 (47 U.S.C. 601 et seq.), as amended by section 103, is further
amended by adding at the end the following new sections:

``SEC. 716. <> ACCESS TO ADVANCED COMMUNICATIONS
SERVICES AND EQUIPMENT.

``(a) Manufacturing.--
``(1) In general.--With respect to equipment manufactured
after the effective date of the regulations established pursuant
to subsection (e), and subject to those regulations, a
manufacturer of equipment used for advanced communications
services, including end user equipment, network equipment, and
software, shall ensure that the equipment and software that such
manufacturer offers for sale or otherwise distributes in
interstate commerce shall be accessible to and usable by
individuals with disabilities, unless the requirements of this
subsection are not achievable.
``(2) Industry flexibility.--A manufacturer of equipment may
satisfy the requirements of paragraph (1) with respect to such
equipment by--
``(A) ensuring that the equipment that such
manufacturer offers is accessible to and usable by
individuals with disabilities without the use of third
party applications, peripheral devices, software,
hardware, or customer premises equipment; or

[[Page 2756]]

``(B) if such manufacturer chooses, using third
party applications, peripheral devices, software,
hardware, or customer premises equipment that is
available to the consumer at nominal cost and that
individuals with disabilities can access.

``(b) Service Providers.--
``(1) In general.--With respect to services provided after
the effective date of the regulations established pursuant to
subsection (e), and subject to those regulations, a provider of
advanced communications services shall ensure that such services
offered by such provider in or affecting interstate commerce are
accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities,
unless the requirements of this subsection are not achievable.
``(2) Industry flexibility.--A provider of services may
satisfy the requirements of paragraph (1) with respect to such
services by--
``(A) ensuring that the services that such provider
offers are accessible to and usable by individuals with
disabilities without the use of third party
applications, peripheral devices, software, hardware, or
customer premises equipment; or
``(B) if such provider chooses, using third party
applications, peripheral devices, software, hardware, or
customer premises equipment that is available to the
consumer at nominal cost and that individuals with
disabilities can access.

``(c) Compatibility.--Whenever the requirements of subsections (a)
or (b) are not achievable, a manufacturer or provider shall ensure that
its equipment or service is compatible with existing peripheral devices
or specialized customer premises equipment commonly used by individuals
with disabilities to achieve access, unless the requirement of this
subsection is not achievable.
``(d) Network Features, Functions, and Capabilities.--Each provider
of advanced communications services has the duty not to install network
features, functions, or capabilities that do not impede accessibility or
usability.
``(e) Regulations.--
``(1) In general.-- <> Within one year
after the date of enactment of the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, the
Commission shall promulgate such regulations as are necessary to
implement this section. In prescribing the regulations, the
Commission shall--
``(A) include performance objectives to ensure the
accessibility, usability, and compatibility of advanced
communications services and the equipment used for
advanced communications services by individuals with
disabilities;
``(B) provide that advanced communications services,
the equipment used for advanced communications services,
and networks used to provide advanced communications
services may not impair or impede the accessibility of
information content when accessibility has been
incorporated into that content for transmission through
advanced communications services, equipment used for
advanced communications services, or networks used to
provide advanced communications services;

[[Page 2757]]

``(C) <>  determine the
obligations under this section of manufacturers, service
providers, and providers of applications or services
accessed over service provider networks; and
``(D) not mandate technical standards, except that
the Commission may adopt technical standards as a safe
harbor for such compliance if necessary to facilities
the manufacturers' and service providers' compliance
with sections (a) through (c).
``(2) Prospective guidelines.--The Commission shall issue
prospective guidelines for a manufacturer or provider regarding
the requirements of this section.

``(f) Services and Equipment Subject to Section 255.--The
requirements of this section shall not apply to any equipment or
services, including interconnected VoIP service, that are subject to the
requirements of section 255 on the day before the date of enactment of
the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of
2010. Such services and equipment shall remain subject to the
requirements of section 255.
``(g) Achievable Defined.--For purposes of this section and section
718, the term `achievable' means with reasonable effort or expense, as
determined by the Commission. In determining whether the requirements of
a provision are achievable, the Commission shall consider the following
factors:
``(1) The nature and cost of the steps needed to meet the
requirements of this section with respect to the specific
equipment or service in question.
``(2) The technical and economic impact on the operation of
the manufacturer or provider and on the operation of the
specific equipment or service in question, including on the
development and deployment of new communications technologies.
``(3) The type of operations of the manufacturer or
provider.
``(4) The extent to which the service provider or
manufacturer in question offers accessible services or equipment
containing varying degrees of functionality and features, and
offered at differing price points.

``(h) Commission Flexibility.--
``(1) Waiver.--The Commission shall have the authority, on
its own motion or in response to a petition by a manufacturer or
provider of advanced communications services or any interested
party, to waive the requirements of this section for any feature
or function of equipment used to provide or access advanced
communications services, or for any class of such equipment, for
any provider of advanced communications services, or for any
class of such services, that--
``(A) is capable of accessing an advanced
communications service; and
``(B) is designed for multiple purposes, but is
designed primarily for purposes other than using
advanced communications services.
``(2) Small entity exemption.--The Commission may exempt
small entities from the requirements of this section.

``(i) Customized Equipment or Services.--The provisions of this
section shall not apply to customized equipment or services that are not
offered directly to the public, or to such classes of

[[Page 2758]]

users as to be effectively available directly to the public, regardless
of the facilities used.
``(j) Rule of Construction.--This section shall not be construed to
require a manufacturer of equipment used for advanced communications or
a provider of advanced communications services to make every feature and
function of every device or service accessible for every disability.

``SEC. 717. <> ENFORCEMENT AND RECORDKEEPING
OBLIGATIONS.

``(a) Complaint and Enforcement Procedures.--
<> Within one year after the date of
enactment of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010, the Commission shall establish regulations
that facilitate the filing of formal and informal complaints that allege
a violation of section 255, 716, or 718, establish procedures for
enforcement actions by the Commission with respect to such violations,
and implement the recordkeeping obligations of paragraph (5) for
manufacturers and providers subject to such sections. Such regulations
shall include the following provisions:
``(1) No fee.--The Commission shall not charge any fee to an
individual who files a complaint alleging a violation of section
255, 716, or 718.
``(2) Receipt of complaints.--The Commission shall establish
separate and identifiable electronic, telephonic, and physical
receptacles for the receipt of complaints filed under section
255, 716, or 718.
``(3) Complaints to the commission.--
``(A) In general.--Any person alleging a violation
of section 255, 716, or 718 by a manufacturer of
equipment or provider of service subject to such
sections may file a formal or informal complaint with
the Commission.
``(B) Investigation of informal complaint.--
<> The Commission shall
investigate the allegations in an informal complaint
and, within 180 days after the date on which such
complaint was filed with the Commission, issue an order
concluding the investigation, unless such complaint is
resolved before such time. The order shall include a
determination whether any violation occurred.
``(i) If the Commission determines that a
violation has occurred, the Commission may, in the
order issued under this subparagraph or in a
subsequent order, direct the manufacturer or
service provider to bring the service, or in the
case of a manufacturer, the next generation of the
equipment or device, into compliance with
requirements of those sections within a reasonable
time established by the Commission in its order.
``(ii) No violation.--If a determination is
made that a violation has not occurred, the
Commission shall provide the basis for such
determination.
``(C) Consolidation of complaints.--The Commission
may consolidate for investigation and resolution
complaints alleging substantially the same violation.
``(4) Opportunity to respond.--Before the Commission makes a
determination pursuant to paragraph (3), the party that is the
subject of the complaint shall have a reasonable opportunity to
respond to such complaint, and may include

[[Page 2759]]

in such response any factors that are relevant to such
determination. Before issuing a final order under paragraph
(3)(B)(i), the Commission shall provide such party a reasonable
opportunity to comment on any proposed remedial action.
``(5) Recordkeeping.-- <> (A)
Beginning one year after the effective date of regulations
promulgated pursuant to section 716(e), each manufacturer and
provider subject to sections 255, 716, and 718 shall maintain,
in the ordinary course of business and for a reasonable period,
records of the efforts taken by such manufacturer or provider to
implement sections 255, 716, and 718, including the following:
``(i) Information about the manufacturer's or
provider's efforts to consult with individuals
with disabilities.
``(ii) Descriptions of the accessibility
features of its products and services.
``(iii) Information about the compatibility of
such products and services with peripheral devices
or specialized customer premise equipment commonly
used by individuals with disabilities to achieve
access.
``(B) <> An officer of a
manufacturer or provider shall submit to the Commission an
annual certification that records are being kept in accordance
with subparagraph (A).
``(C) After the filing of a formal or informal complaint
against a manufacturer or provider in the manner prescribed in
paragraph (3), the Commission may request, and shall keep
confidential, a copy of the records maintained by such
manufacturer or provider pursuant to subparagraph (A) of this
paragraph that are directly relevant to the equipment or service
that is the subject of such complaint.
``(6) Failure to act.--If the Commission fails to carry out
any of its responsibilities to act upon a complaint in the
manner prescribed in paragraph (3), the person that filed such
complaint may bring an action in the nature of mandamus in the
United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia to
compel the Commission to carry out any such responsibility.
``(7) Commission jurisdiction.--
<> The limitations of section 255(f) shall
apply to any claim that alleges a violation of section 255, 716,
or 718. Nothing in this paragraph affects or limits any action
for mandamus under paragraph (6) or any appeal pursuant to
section 402(b)(10).
``(8) Private resolutions of complaints.--Nothing in the
Commission's rules or this Act shall be construed to preclude a
person who files a complaint and a manufacturer or provider from
resolving a formal or informal complaint prior to the
Commission's final determination in a complaint proceeding. In
the event of such a resolution, the parties shall jointly
request dismissal of the complaint and the Commission shall
grant such request.

``(b) Reports to Congress.--
``(1) In general.--Every two years after the date of
enactment of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010, the Commission shall submit to the
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate
and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of
Representatives a report that includes the following:

[[Page 2760]]

``(A) An assessment of the level of compliance with
sections 255, 716, and 718.
``(B) An evaluation of the extent to which any
accessibility barriers still exist with respect to new
communications technologies.
``(C) The number and nature of complaints received
pursuant to subsection (a) during the two years that are
the subject of the report.
``(D) A description of the actions taken to resolve
such complaints under this section, including forfeiture
penalties assessed.
``(E) The length of time that was taken by the
Commission to resolve each such complaint.
``(F) The number, status, nature, and outcome of any
actions for mandamus filed pursuant to subsection (a)(6)
and the number, status, nature, and outcome of any
appeals filed pursuant to section 402(b)(10).
``(G) An assessment of the effect of the
requirements of this section on the development and
deployment of new communications technologies.
``(2) Public comment required.--The Commission shall seek
public comment on its tentative findings prior to submission to
the Committees of the report under this subsection.

``(c) Comptroller General Enforcement Study.--
``(1) In general.--The Comptroller General shall conduct a
study to consider and evaluate the following:
``(A) The Commission's compliance with the
requirements of this section, including the Commission's
level of compliance with the deadlines established under
and pursuant to this section and deadlines for acting on
complaints pursuant to subsection (a).
``(B) Whether the enforcement actions taken by the
Commission pursuant to this section have been
appropriate and effective in ensuring compliance with
this section.
``(C) Whether the enforcement provisions under this
section are adequate to ensure compliance with this
section.
``(D) Whether, and to what extent (if any), the
requirements of this section have an effect on the
development and deployment of new communications
technologies.
``(2) Report.--Not later than 5 years after the date of
enactment of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010, the Comptroller General shall submit
to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the
Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of
Representatives a report on the results of the study required by
paragraph (1), with recommendations for how the enforcement
process and measures under this section may be modified or
improved.

``(d) Clearinghouse.-- <> Within one year after the
date of enactment of the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010, the Commission shall, in consultation with
the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board, the
National Telecommunications and Information Administration, trade
associations, and organizations representing individuals with
disabilities, establish a clearinghouse of information on the
availability of accessible products and services and accessibility

[[Page 2761]]

solutions required under sections 255, 716, and 718. Such information
shall be made publicly available on the Commission's website and by
other means, and shall include an annually updated list of products and
services with access features.

``(e) Outreach and Education.--Upon establishment of the
clearinghouse of information required under subsection (d), the
Commission, in coordination with the National Telecommunications and
Information Administration, shall conduct an informational and
educational program designed to inform the public about the availability
of the clearinghouse and the protections and remedies available under
sections 255, 716, and 718.

``SEC. 718. <> INTERNET BROWSERS BUILT INTO
TELEPHONES USED WITH PUBLIC MOBILE SERVICES.

``(a) Accessibility.--If a manufacturer of a telephone used with
public mobile services (as such term is defined in section 710(b)(4)(B))
includes an Internet browser in such telephone, or if a provider of
mobile service arranges for the inclusion of a browser in telephones to
sell to customers, the manufacturer or provider shall ensure that the
functions of the included browser (including the ability to launch the
browser) are accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or
have a visual impairment, unless doing so is not achievable, except that
this subsection shall not impose any requirement on such manufacturer or
provider--
``(1) to make accessible or usable any Internet browser
other than a browser that such manufacturer or provider includes
or arranges to include in the telephone; or
``(2) to make Internet content, applications, or services
accessible or usable (other than enabling individuals with
disabilities to use an included browser to access such content,
applications, or services).

``(b) Industry Flexibility.--A manufacturer or provider may satisfy
the requirements of subsection (a) with respect to such telephone or
services by--
``(1) ensuring that the telephone or services that such
manufacture or provider offers is accessible to and usable by
individuals with disabilities without the use of third party
applications, peripheral devices, software, hardware, or
customer premises equipment; or
``(2) using third party applications, peripheral devices,
software, hardware, or customer premises equipment that is
available to the consumer at nominal cost and that individuals
with disabilities can access.''.

(b) <>  Effective Date for Section 718.--
Section 718 of the Communications Act of 1934, as added by subsection
(a), shall take effect 3 years after the date of enactment of this Act.

(c) Title V Amendments.--Section 503(b)(2) of such Act (47 U.S.C.
503(b)(2)) is amended by adding after subparagraph (E) the following:
``(F) Subject to paragraph (5) of this section, if the
violator is a manufacturer or service provider subject to the
requirements of section 255, 716, or 718, and is determined by
the Commission to have violated any such requirement, the
manufacturer or provider shall be liable to the United States
for a forfeiture penalty of not more than $100,000 for each
violation or each day of a continuing violation, except that the
amount

[[Page 2762]]

assessed for any continuing violation shall not exceed a total
of $1,000,000 for any single act or failure to act.''.

(d) Review of Commission Determinations.--Section 402(b) of such Act
(47 U.S.C. 402(b)) is amended by adding the following new paragraph:
``(10) By any person who is aggrieved or whose interests are
adversely affected by a determination made by the Commission
under section 717(a)(3).''.

SEC. 105. RELAY SERVICES FOR DEAF-BLIND INDIVIDUALS.

Title VII of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by section
104, is further amended by adding at the end the following:

``SEC. 719. <> RELAY SERVICES FOR DEAF-BLIND
INDIVIDUALS.

``(a) In general.-- <> Within 6 months
after the date of enactment of the Equal Access to 21st Century
Communications Act, the Commission shall establish rules that define as
eligible for relay service support those programs that are approved by
the Commission for the distribution of specialized customer premises
equipment designed to make telecommunications service, Internet access
service, and advanced communications, including interexchange services
and advanced telecommunications and information services, accessible by
individuals who are deaf-blind.

``(b) Individuals Who Are Deaf-blind Defined.--For purposes of this
subsection, the term `individuals who are deaf-blind' has the same
meaning given such term in the Helen Keller National Center Act, as
amended by the Rehabilitation Act Amendments of 1992 (29 U.S.C.
1905(2)).
``(c) Annual amount.--The total amount of support the Commission may
provide from its interstate relay fund for any fiscal year may not
exceed $10,000,000.''.

SEC. 106. <> EMERGENCY ACCESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

(a) Establishment.-- <> For the purpose of
achieving equal access to emergency services by individuals with
disabilities, as a part of the migration to a national Internet
protocol-enabled emergency network, not later than 60 days after the
date of enactment of this Act, the Chairman of the Commission shall
establish an advisory committee, to be known as the Emergency Access
Advisory Committee (referred to in this section as the ``Advisory
Committee'').

(b) Membership.--As soon as practicable after the date of enactment
of this Act, the Chairman of the Commission shall appoint the members of
the Advisory Committee, ensuring a balance between individuals with
disabilities and other stakeholders, and shall designate two such
members as the co-chairs of the Committee. Members of the Advisory
Committee shall be selected from the following groups:
(1) State and local government and emergency responder
representatives.--Representatives of State and local governments
and representatives of emergency response providers, selected
from among individuals nominated by national organizations
representing such governments and representatives.
(2) Subject matter experts.--Individuals who have the
technical knowledge and expertise to serve on the Advisory
Committee in the fulfillment of its duties, including
representatives of--

[[Page 2763]]

(A) providers of interconnected and non-
interconnected VoIP services;
(B) vendors, developers, and manufacturers of
systems, facilities, equipment, and capabilities for the
provision of interconnected and non-interconnected VoIP
services;
(C) national organizations representing individuals
with disabilities and senior citizens;
(D) Federal agencies or departments responsible for
the implementation of the Next Generation E 9-1-1
system;
(E) the National Institute of Standards and
Technology; and
(F) other individuals with such technical knowledge
and expertise.
(3) Representatives of other stakeholders and interested
parties.--Representatives of such other stakeholders and
interested and affected parties as the Chairman of the
Commission determines appropriate.

(c) Development of Recommendations.-- <> Within 1
year after the completion of the member appointment process by the
Chairman of the Commission pursuant to subsection (b), the Advisory
Committee shall conduct a national survey of individuals with
disabilities, seeking input from the groups described in subsection
(b)(2), to determine the most effective and efficient technologies and
methods by which to enable access to emergency services by individuals
with disabilities and shall develop and submit to the Commission
recommendations to implement such technologies and methods, including
recommendations--
(1) with respect to what actions are necessary as a part of
the migration to a national Internet protocol-enabled network to
achieve reliable, interoperable communication transmitted over
such network that will ensure access to emergency services by
individuals with disabilities;
(2) for protocols, technical capabilities, and technical
requirements to ensure the reliability and interoperability
necessary to ensure access to emergency services by individuals
with disabilities;
(3) for the establishment of technical standards for use by
public safety answering points, designated default answering
points, and local emergency authorities;
(4) for relevant technical standards and requirements for
communication devices and equipment and technologies to enable
the use of reliable emergency access;
(5) for procedures to be followed by IP-enabled network
providers to ensure that such providers do not install features,
functions, or capabilities that would conflict with technical
standards;
(6) for deadlines by which providers of interconnected and
non-interconnected VoIP services and manufacturers of equipment
used for such services shall achieve the actions required in
paragraphs (1) through (5), where achievable, and for the
possible phase out of the use of current-generation TTY
technology to the extent that this technology is replaced with
more effective and efficient technologies and methods to enable
access to emergency services by individuals with disabilities;
(7) for the establishment of rules to update the
Commission's rules with respect to 9-1-1 services and E-911
services

[[Page 2764]]

(as defined in section 158(e)(4) of the National
Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization
Act (47 U.S.C. 942(e)(4))), for users of telecommunications
relay services as new technologies and methods for providing
such relay services are adopted by providers of such relay
services; and
(8) that take into account what is technically and
economically feasible.

(d) Meetings.--
(1) Initial meeting.--The initial meeting of the Advisory
Committee shall take place not later than 45 days after the
completion of the member appointment process by the Chairman of
the Commission pursuant to subsection (b).
(2) Other meetings.--After the initial meeting, the Advisory
Committee shall meet at the call of the chairs, but no less than
monthly until the recommendations required pursuant to
subsection (c) are completed and submitted.
(3) Notice; open meetings.-- <> Any
meetings held by the Advisory Committee shall be duly noticed at
least 14 days in advance and shall be open to the public.

(e) Rules.--
(1) Quorum.--One-third of the members of the Advisory
Committee shall constitute a quorum for conducting business of
the Advisory Committee.
(2) Subcommittees.--To assist the Advisory Committee in
carrying out its functions, the chair may establish appropriate
subcommittees composed of members of the Advisory Committee and
other subject matter experts as determined to be necessary.
(3) Additional rules.--The Advisory Committee may adopt
other rules as needed.

(f) Federal Advisory Committee Act.--The Federal Advisory Committee
Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Advisory Committee.
(g) Implementing Recommendations.--The Commission shall have the
authority to promulgate regulations to implement the recommendations
proposed by the Advisory Committee, as well as any other regulations,
technical standards, protocols, and procedures as are necessary to
achieve reliable, interoperable communication that ensures access by
individuals with disabilities to an Internet protocol-enabled emergency
network, where achievable and technically feasible.
(h) Definitions.--In this section--
(1) the term ``Commission'' means the Federal Communications
Commission;
(2) the term ``Chairman'' means the Chairman of the Federal
Communications Commission; and
(3) except as otherwise expressly provided, other terms have
the meanings given such terms in section 3 of the Communications
Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 153).

TITLE II--VIDEO PROGRAMMING

SEC. 201. <> VIDEO PROGRAMMING AND EMERGENCY
ACCESS ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

(a) Establishment.-- <> Not later than 60 days
after the date of enactment of this Act, the Chairman shall establish an
advisory

[[Page 2765]]

committee to be known as the Video Programming and Emergency Access
Advisory Committee.

(b) Membership.--As soon as practicable after the date of enactment
of this Act, the Chairman shall appoint individuals who have the
technical knowledge and engineering expertise to serve on the Advisory
Committee in the fulfillment of its duties, including the following:
(1) Representatives of distributors and providers of video
programming or a national organization representing such
distributors.
(2) Representatives of vendors, developers, and
manufacturers of systems, facilities, equipment, and
capabilities for the provision of video programming delivered
using Internet protocol or a national organization representing
such vendors, developers, or manufacturers.
(3) Representatives of manufacturers of consumer electronics
or information technology equipment or a national organization
representing such manufacturers.
(4) Representatives of video programming producers or a
national organization representing such producers.
(5) Representatives of national organizations representing
accessibility advocates, including individuals with disabilities
and the elderly.
(6) Representatives of the broadcast television industry or
a national organization representing such industry.
(7) Other individuals with technical and engineering
expertise, as the Chairman determines appropriate.

(c) Commission Oversight.--The Chairman shall appoint a member of
the Commission's staff to moderate and direct the work of the Advisory
Committee.
(d) Technical Staff.--The Commission shall appoint a member of the
Commission's technical staff to provide technical assistance to the
Advisory Committee.
(e) Development of Recommendations.--
(1) Closed captioning report.--Within 6 months after the
date of the first meeting of the Advisory Committee, the
Advisory Committee shall develop and submit to the Commission a
report that includes the following:
(A) A recommended schedule of deadlines for the
provision of closed captioning service.
(B) An identification of the performance requirement
for protocols, technical capabilities, and technical
procedures needed to permit content providers, content
distributors, Internet service providers, software
developers, and device manufacturers to reliably encode,
transport, receive, and render closed captions of video
programming, except for consumer generated media,
delivered using Internet protocol.
(C) An identification of additional protocols,
technical capabilities, and technical procedures beyond
those available as of the date of enactment of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010 for the delivery of closed
captions of video programming, except for consumer
generated media, delivered using Internet protocol that
are necessary to meet the performance objectives
identified under subparagraph (B).

[[Page 2766]]

(D) A recommendation for technical standards to
address the performance objectives identified in
subparagraph (B).
(E) A recommendation for any regulations that may be
necessary to ensure compatibility between video
programming, except for consumer generated media,
delivered using Internet protocol and devices capable of
receiving and displaying such programming in order to
facilitate access to closed captions.
(2) Video description, emergency information, user
interfaces, and video programming guides and menus.--
Within <> 18 months after the date of
enactment of this Act, the Advisory Committee shall develop and
submit to the Commission a report that includes the following:
(A) A recommended schedule of deadlines for the
provision of video description and emergency
information.
(B) An identification of the performance requirement
for protocols, technical capabilities, and technical
procedures needed to permit content providers, content
distributors, Internet service providers, software
developers, and device manufacturers to reliably encode,
transport, receive, and render video descriptions of
video programming, except for consumer generated media,
and emergency information delivered using Internet
protocol or digital broadcast television.
(C) An identification of additional protocols,
technical capabilities, and technical procedures beyond
those available as of the date of enactment of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010 for the delivery of video
descriptions of video programming, except for consumer
generated media, and emergency information delivered
using Internet protocol that are necessary to meet the
performance objectives identified under subparagraph
(B).
(D) A recommendation for technical standards to
address the performance objectives identified in
subparagraph (B).
(E) A recommendation for any regulations that may be
necessary to ensure compatibility between video
programming, except for consumer generated media,
delivered using Internet protocol and devices capable of
receiving and displaying such programming, except for
consumer generated media, in order to facilitate access
to video descriptions and emergency information.
(F) With respect to user interfaces, a
recommendation for the standards, protocols, and
procedures used to enable the functions of apparatus
designed to receive or display video programming
transmitted simultaneously with sound (including
apparatus designed to receive or display video
programming transmitted by means of services using
Internet protocol) to be accessible to and usable by
individuals with disabilities.
(G) With respect to user interfaces, a
recommendation for the standards, protocols, and
procedures used to enable on-screen text menus and other
visual indicators used to access the functions on an
apparatus described in subparagraph (F) to be
accompanied by audio output so that such

[[Page 2767]]

menus or indicators are accessible to and usable by
individuals with disabilities.
(H) With respect to video programming guides and
menus, a recommendation for the standards, protocols,
and procedures used to enable video programming
information and selection provided by means of a
navigation device, guide, or menu to be accessible in
real-time by individuals who are blind or visually
impaired.
(3) Consideration of work by standard-setting
organizations.--The recommendations of the advisory committee
shall, insofar as possible, incorporate the standards,
protocols, and procedures that have been adopted by recognized
industry standard-setting organizations for each of the purposes
described in paragraphs (1) and (2).

(f) Meetings.--
(1) Initial meeting.-- <> The initial
meeting of the Advisory Committee shall take place not later
than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act.
(2) Other meetings.--After the initial meeting, the Advisory
Committee shall meet at the call of the Chairman.
(3) Notice; open meetings.-- <> Any meeting
held by the Advisory Committee shall be noticed at least 14 days
before such meeting and shall be open to the public.

(g) Procedural Rules.--
(1) Quorum.--The presence of one-third of the members of the
Advisory Committee shall constitute a quorum for conducting the
business of the Advisory Committee.
(2) Subcommittees.--To assist the Advisory Committee in
carrying out its functions, the Chairman may establish
appropriate subcommittees composed of members of the Advisory
Committee and other subject matter experts.
(3) Additional procedural rules.--The Advisory Committee may
adopt other procedural rules as needed.

(h) Federal Advisory Committee Act.--The Federal Advisory Committee
Act (5 U.S.C. App.) shall not apply to the Advisory Committee.

SEC. 202. VIDEO DESCRIPTION AND CLOSED CAPTIONING.

(a) Video Description.--Section 713 of the Communications Act of
1934 (47 U.S.C. 613) is amended--
(1) by striking subsections (f) and (g);
(2) by redesignating subsection (h) as subsection (j); and
(3) by inserting after subsection (e) the following:

``(f) Video Description.--
``(1) Reinstatement of regulations.-- <> On
the day that is 1 year after the date of enactment of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
of 2010, the Commission shall, after a rulemaking, reinstate its
video description regulations contained in the Implementation of
Video Description of Video Programming Report and Order (15
F.C.C.R. 15,230 (2000)), recon. granted in part and denied in
part, (16 F.C.C.R. 1251 (2001)), modified as provided in
paragraph (2).
``(2) Modifications to reinstated regulations.--Such
regulations shall be modified only as follows:

[[Page 2768]]

``(A) <> The regulations shall
apply to video programming, as defined in subsection
(h), insofar as and programming is transmitted for
display on television in digital format.
``(B) <> The Commission
shall update the list of the top 25 designated market
areas, the list of the top 5 national nonbroadcast
networks that at least 50 hours per quarter of prime
time programming that is not exempt under this
paragraph, and the beginning calendar quarter for which
compliance shall be calculated.
``(C) The regulations may permit a provider of video
programming or a program owner to petition the
Commission for an exemption from the requirements of
this section upon a showing that the requirements
contained in this section be economically burdensome.
``(D) The Commission may exempt from the regulations
established pursuant to paragraph (1) a service, class
of services, program, class of programs, equipment, or
class of equipment for which the Commission has
determined that the application of such regulations
would be economically burdensome for the provider of
such service, program, or equipment.
``(E) The regulations shall not apply to live or
near-live programming.
``(F) The regulations shall provide for an
appropriate phased schedule of deadlines for compliance.
``(G) The Commission shall consider extending the
exemptions and limitations in the reinstated regulations
for technical capability reasons to all providers and
owners of video programming.
``(3) Inquiries on further video description requirements.--
The Commission shall commence <> the
following inquiries not later than 1 year after the completion
of the phase-in of the reinstated regulations and shall report
to Congress 1 year thereafter on the findings for each of the
following:
``(A) Video description in television programming.--
The availability, use, and benefits of video description
on video programming distributed on television, the
technical and creative issues associated with providing
such video description, and the financial costs of
providing such video description for providers of video
programming and program owners.
``(B) Video description in video programming
distributed on the internet.--The technical and
operational issues, costs, and benefits of providing
video descriptions for video programming that is
delivered using Internet protocol.
``(4) Continuing commission authority.--
``(A) In general.-- <> The
Commission may not issue additional regulations unless
the Commission determines, at least 2 years after
completing the reports required in paragraph (3), that
the need for and benefits of providing video description
for video programming, insofar as such programming is
transmitted for display on television, are greater than
the technical and economic costs of providing such
additional programming.
``(B) Limitation.--If the Commission makes the
determination under subparagraph (A) and issues
additional

[[Page 2769]]

regulations, the Commission may not increase, in total,
the hour requirement for additional described
programming by more than 75 percent of the requirement
in the regulations reinstated under paragraph (1).
``(C) Application to designated market areas.--
``(i) In general.-- <> After the Commission completes the
reports on video description required in paragraph
(3), the Commission shall phase in the video
description regulations for the top 60 designated
market areas, except that the Commission may grant
waivers to entities in specific designated market
areas where it deems appropriate.
``(ii) Phase-in deadline.--The phase-in
described in clause (i) shall be completed not
later than 6 years after the date of enactment of
the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010.
``(iii) Report.--Nine years after the date of
enactment of the Twenty-First Century
Communications and Video Accessibility Act of
2010, the Commission shall submit to the Committee
on Energy of the House of Representatives and the
Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
of the Senate a report assessing--
``(I) the types of described video
programming that is available to
consumers;
``(II) consumer use of such
programming;
``(III) the costs to program owners,
providers, and distributors of creating
such programming;
``(IV) the potential costs to
program owners, providers, and
distributors in designated market areas
outside of the top 60 of creating such
programming;
``(V) the benefits to consumers of
such programming;
``(VI) the amount of such
programming currently available; and
``(VII) the need for additional
described programming in designated
market areas outside the top 60.
``(iv) Additional market areas.--Ten years
after the date of enactment of the Twenty-First
Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act
of 2010, the Commission shall have the authority,
based upon the findings, conclusions, and
recommendations contained in the report under
clause (iii), to phase in the video description
regulations for up to an additional 10 designated
market areas each year--
``(I) if the costs of implementing
the video description regulations to
program owners, providers, and
distributors in those additional markets
are reasonable, as determined by the
Commission; and
``(II) <> except that the Commission
may grant waivers to entities in
specific designated market areas where
it deems appropriate.

[[Page 2770]]

``(g) Emergency Information.-- <> Not later than 1
year after the Advisory Committee report under subsection (e)(2) is
submitted to the Commission, the Commission shall complete a proceeding
to--
``(1) identify methods to convey emergency information (as
that term is defined in section 79.2 of title 47, Code of
Federal Regulations) in a manner accessible to individuals who
are blind or visually impaired; and
``(2) <> promulgate regulations that
require video programming providers and video programming
distributors (as those terms are defined in section 79.1 of
title 47, Code of Federal Regulations) and program owners to
convey such emergency information in a manner accessible to
individuals who are blind or visually impaired.

``(h) Definitions.--For purposes of this section, section 303, and
section 330:
``(1) Video description.--The term `video description' means
the insertion of audio narrated descriptions of a television
program's key visual elements into natural pauses between the
program's dialogue.
``(2) Video programming.--The term `video programming' means
programming by, or generally considered comparable to
programming provided by a television broadcast station, but not
including consumer-generated media (as defined in section 3).

(b) Closed Captioning on Video Programming Delivered Using Internet
Protocol.--Section 713 of such Act <> is further
amended by striking subsection (c) and inserting the following:

``(c) Deadlines for Captioning.--
``(1) In general.--The regulations prescribed pursuant to
subsection (b) shall include an appropriate schedule of
deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video
programming once published or exhibited on television.
``(2) Deadlines for programming delivered using internet
protocol.--
``(A) Regulations on closed captioning on video
programming delivered using internet protocol.--Not
later than 6 months after the submission of the report
to the Commission required by subsection (e)(1) of the
Twenty-First Century Communications and Video
Accessibility Act of 2010, the Commission shall revise
its regulations to require the provision of closed
captioning on video programming delivered using Internet
protocol that was published or exhibited on television
with captions after the effective date of such
regulations.
``(B) Schedule.--The regulations prescribed under
this paragraph shall include an appropriate schedule of
deadlines for the provision of closed captioning, taking
into account whether such programming is prerecorded and
edited for Internet distribution, or whether such
programming is live or near-live and not edited for
Internet distribution.
``(C) Cost.-- <> The
Commission may delay or waive the regulation promulgated
under subparagraph (A) to the extent the Commission
finds that the application of the regulation to live
video programming delivered using Internet protocol with
captions after the effective date of such

[[Page 2771]]

regulations would be economically burdensome to
providers of video programming or program owners.
``(D) Requirements for regulations.--The regulations
prescribed under this paragraph--
``(i) shall contain a definition of `near-live
programming' and `edited for Internet
distribution';
``(ii) may exempt any service, class of
service, program, class of program, equipment, or
class of equipment for which the Commission has
determined that the application of such
regulations would be economically burdensome for
the provider of such service, program, or
equipment;
``(iii) shall clarify that, for the purposes
of implementation, of this subsection, the terms
`video programming distribution' and `video
programming providers' include an entity that
makes available directly to the end user video
programming through a distribution method that
uses Internet protocol;
``(iv) and describe the responsibilities of
video programming providers or distributors and
video programming owners;
``(v) shall establish a mechanism to make
available to video progamming providers and
distributors information on video programming
subject to the Act on an ongoing basis;
``(vi) shall consider that the video
programming provider or distributor shall be
deemed in compliance if such entity enables the
rendering or pass through of closed captions and
video description signals and make a good faith
effort to identify video programming subject to
the Act using the mechanism created in (v); and
``(vii) shall provide that de minimis failure
to comply with such regulations by a video
programming provider or owner shall not be treated
as a violation of the regulations.
``(3) Alternate means of compliance.--An entity may meet the
requirements of this section through alternate means than those
prescribed by regulations pursuant to subsection (b), as revised
pursuant to paragraph (2)(A) of this subsection, if the
requirements of this section are met, as determined by the
Commission.''.

(c) Conforming Amendment.--Section 713(d) of such Act <>  is amended by striking paragraph (3) and inserting the
following:
``(3) a provider of video programming or program owner may
petition the Commission for an exemption from the requirements
of this section, and the Commission may grant such petition upon
a showing that the requirements contained in this section would
be economically burdensome. During the pendency of such a
petition, such provider or owner shall be exempt from the
requirements of this section. <>  The
Commission shall act to grant or deny any such petition, in
whole or in part, within 6 months after the Commission receives
such petition, unless the Commission finds that an extension of
the 6-month period is necessary to determine whether such
requirements are economically burdensome.''.

[[Page 2772]]

SEC. 203. CLOSED CAPTIONING DECODER AND VIDEO DESCRIPTION CAPABILITY.

(a) Authority to Regulate.--Section 303(u) of the Communications Act
of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 303(u)) is amended to read as follows:
``(u) Require that, if technically feasible--
``(1) apparatus designed to receive or play back
video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound,
if such apparatus is manufactured in the United States
or imported for use in the United States and uses a
picture screen of any size--
``(A) be equipped with built-in closed caption
decoder circuitry or capability designed to
display closed-captioned video programming;
``(B) have the capability to decode and make
available the transmission and delivery of video
description services as required by regulations
reinstated and modified pursuant to section
713(f); and
``(C) have the capability to decode and make
available emergency information (as that term is
defined in section 79.2 of the Commission's
regulations (47 CFR 79.2)) in a manner that is
accessible to individuals who are blind or
visually impaired; and
``(2) notwithstanding paragraph (1) of this
subsection--
``(A) apparatus described in such paragraph
that use a picture screen that is less than 13
inches in size meet the requirements of
subparagraph (A), (B), or (C) of such paragraph
only if the requirements of such subparagraphs are
achievable (as defined in section 716);
``(B) any apparatus or class of apparatus that
are display-only video monitors with no playback
capability are exempt from the requirements of
such paragraph; and
``(C) <> the
Commission shall have the authority, on its own
motion or in response to a petition by a
manufacturer, to waive the requirements of this
subsection for any apparatus or class of
apparatus--
``(i) primarily designed for
activities other than receiving or
playing back video programming
transmitted simultaneously with sound;
or
``(ii) for equipment designed for
multiple purposes, capable of receiving
or playing video programming transmitted
simultaneously with sound but whose
essential utility is derived from other
purposes.''.

(b) Other Devices.--Section 303 of the Communications Act of 1934
(47 U.S.C. 303) is further amended by adding at the end the following
new subsection:
``(z) Require that--
``(1) if achievable (as defined in section 716),
apparatus designed to record video programming
transmitted simultaneously with sound, if such apparatus
is manufactured in the United States or imported for use
in the United States, enable the rendering or the pass
through of closed captions, video description signals,
and emergency information (as that term is defined in
section 79.2 of title 47,

[[Page 2773]]

Code of Federal Regulations) such that viewers are able
to activate and de-activate the closed captions and
video description as the video programming is played
back on a picture screen of any size; and
``(2) interconnection mechanisms and standards for
digital video source devices are available to carry from
the source device to the consumer equipment the
information necessary to permit or render the display of
closed captions and to make encoded video description
and emergency information audible.''.

(c) Shipment in Commerce.--Section 330(b) of the Communications Act
of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 330(b)) is amended--
(1) by striking ``303(u)'' in the first sentence and
inserting ``303(u) and (z)'';
(2) by striking the second sentence and inserting the
following: ``Such rules shall provide performance and display
standards for such built-in decoder circuitry or capability
designed to display closed captioned video programming, the
transmission and delivery of video description services, and the
conveyance of emergency information as required by section 303
of this Act.''; and
(3) in the fourth sentence, by striking ``closed-captioning
service continues'' and inserting ``closed-captioning service
and video description service continue''.

(d) Implementing Regulations.-- <> The
Federal Communications Commission shall prescribe such regulations as
are necessary to implement the requirements of sections 303(u), 303(z),
and 330(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended by this
section, including any technical standards, protocols, and procedures
needed for the transmission of--
(1) closed captioning within 6 months after the submission
to the Commission of the Advisory Committee report required by
section 201(e)(1); and
(2) video description and emergency information within 18
months after the submission to the Commission of the Advisory
Committee report required by section 201(e)(2).

(e) <>  Alternate Means of Compliance.--An
entity may meet the requirements of sections 303(u), 303(z), and 330(b)
of the Communications Act of 1934 through alternate means than those
prescribed by regulations pursuant to subsection (d) if the requirements
of those sections are met, as determined by the Commission.

SEC. 204. USER INTERFACES ON DIGITAL APPARATUS.

(a) Amendment.--Section 303 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47
U.S.C. 303) is further amended by adding after subsection (z), as added
by section 203 of this Act, the following new subsection:
``(aa) Require--
``(1) if achievable (as defined in section 716) that
digital apparatus designed to receive or play back video
programming transmitted in digital format simultaneously
with sound, including apparatus designed to receive or
display video programming transmitted in digital format
using Internet protocol, be designed, developed, and
fabricated so that control of appropriate built-in
apparatus functions are accessible to and usable by
individuals who are blind or visually impaired, except
that the Commission may not

[[Page 2774]]

specify the technical standards, protocols, procedures,
and other technical requirements for meeting this
requirement;
``(2) that if on-screen text menus or other visual
indicators built in to the digital apparatus are used to
access the functions of the apparatus described in
paragraph (1), such functions shall be accompanied by
audio output that is either integrated or peripheral to
the apparatus, so that such menus or indicators are
accessible to and usable by individuals who are blind or
visually impaired in real-time;
``(3) that for such apparatus equipped with the
functions described in paragraphs (1) and (2) built in
access to those closed captioning and video description
features through a mechanism that is reasonably
comparable to a button, key, or icon designated by
activating the closed captioning or accessibility
features; and
``(4) that in applying this subsection the term
`apparatus' does not include a navigation device, as
such term is defined in section 76.1200 of the
Commission's rules (47 CFR 76.1200).''.

(b) Implementing Regulations.-- <> Within 18 months after the submission to the Commission of the
Advisory Committee report required by section 201(e)(2), the Commission
shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to implement the
amendments made by subsection (a).

(c) <>  Alternate Means of Compliance.--An
entity may meet the requirements of section 303(aa) of the
Communications Act of 1934 through alternate means than those prescribed
by regulations pursuant to subsection (b) if the requirements of those
sections are met, as determined by the Commission.

(d) <>  Deferral of Compliance with ATSC
Mobile DTV Standard A/153.-- <> A digital apparatus designed and manufactured to receive
or play back the Advanced Television Systems Committee's Mobile DTV
Standards A/153 shall not be required to meet the requirements of the
regulations prescribed under subsection (b) for a period of not less
than 24 months after the date on which the final regulations are
published in the Federal Register.

SEC. 205. ACCESS TO VIDEO PROGRAMMING GUIDES AND MENUS PROVIDED ON
NAVIGATION DEVICES.

(a) Amendment.--Section 303 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47
U.S.C. 303) is further amended by adding after subsection (aa), as added
by section 204 of this Act, the following new subsection:
``(bb) Require--
``(1) if achievable (as defined in section 716), that the
on-screen text menus and guides provided by navigation devices
(as such term is defined in section 76.1200 of title 47, Code of
Federal Regulations) for the display or selection of
multichannel video programming are audibly accessible in real-
time upon request by individuals who are blind or visually
impaired, except that the Commission may not specify the
technical standards, protocols, procedures, and other technical
requirements for meeting this requirement; and
``(2) for navigation devices with built-in closed captioning
capability, that access to that capability through a mechanism

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is reasonably comparable to a button, key, or icon designated
for activating the closed captioning, or accessibility features.

With respect to apparatus features and functions delivered in software,
the requirements set forth in this subsection shall apply to the
manufacturer of such software. <>  With respect to
apparatus features and functions delivered in hardware, the requirements
set forth in this subsection shall apply to the manufacturer of such
hardware.''.

(b) <>  Implementing Regulations.--
(1) In general.-- <> Within 18 months after
the submission to the Commission of the Advisory Committee
report required by section 201(e)(2), the Commission shall
prescribe such regulations as are necessary to implement the
amendment made by subsection (a).
(2) Exemption.--Such regulations may provide an exemption
from the regulations for cable systems serving 20,000 or fewer
subscribers.
(3) Responsibility.--An entity shall only be responsible for
compliance with the requirements added by this section with
respect to navigation devices that it provides to a requesting
blind or visually impaired individual.
(4) Separate equipment or software.--
(A) In general.--Such regulations shall permit but
not require the entity providing the navigation device
to the requesting blind or visually impaired individual
to comply with section 303(bb)(1) of the Communications
Act of 1934 through that entity's use of software, a
peripheral device, specialized consumer premises
equipment, a network-based service or other solution,
and shall provide the maximum flexibility to select the
manner of compliance.
(B) Requirements.--If an entity complies with
section 303(bb)(1) of the Communications Act of 1934
under subparagraph (A), the entity providing the
navigation device to the requesting blind or visually
impaired individual shall provide any such software,
peripheral device, equipment, service, or solution at no
additional charge and within a reasonable time to such
individual and shall ensure that such software, device,
equipment, service, or solution provides the access
required by such regulations.
(5) User controls for closed captioning.--Such regulations
shall permit the entity providing the navigation device maximum
flexibility in the selection of means for compliance with
section 303(bb)(2) of the Communications Act of 1934 (as added
by subsection (a) of this section).
(6) Phase-in.--
(A) In general.-- <> The
Commission shall provide affected entities with--
(i) not less than 2 years after the adoption
of such regulations to begin placing in service
devices that comply with the requirements of
section 303(bb)(2) of the Communications Act of
1934 (as added by subsection (a) of this section);
and
(ii) not less than 3 years after the adoption
of such regulations to begin placing in service
devices that comply with the requirements of
section 303(bb)(1) of the Communications Act of
1934 (as added by subsection (a) of this section).

[[Page 2776]]

(B) Application.--Such regulations shall apply only
to devices manufactured or imported on or after the
respective effective dates established in subparagraph
(A).

SEC. 206. <> DEFINITIONS.

In this title:
(1) Advisory committee.--The term ``Advisory Committee''
means the advisory committee established in section 201.
(2) Chairman.--The term ``Chairman'' means the Chairman of
the Federal Communications Commission.
(3) Commission.--The term ``Commission'' means the Federal
Communications Commission.
(4) Emergency information.--The term ``emergency
information'' has the meaning given such term in section 79.2 of
title 47, Code of Federal Regulations.
(5) Internet protocol.--The term ``Internet protocol''
includes Transmission Control Protocol and a successor protocol
or technology to Internet protocol.
(6) Navigation device.--The term ``navigation device'' has
the meaning given such term in section 76.1200 of title 47, Code
of Federal Regulations.
(7) Video description.--The term ``video description'' has
the meaning given such term in section 713 of the Communications
Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 613).
(8) Video programming.--The term ``video programming'' has
the meaning given such term in section 713 of the Communications
Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 613).

Approved October 8, 2010.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY--S. 3304:
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CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, Vol. 156 (2010):
Aug. 5, considered and passed Senate.
Sept. 28, considered and passed House.