10.21.2010 11:13 AM
FCC seeks membership nominations for new emergency access committee

The FCC announced this week it is looking for nominations for members of its Video Programming and Emergency Access Advisory Committee (VPEAAC).

The committee was mandated by the 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 signed into law Oct. 8. The new law directs the FCC to establish the VPEAAC to assist the agency in carrying out its duties under the act.

The VPEAAC is to be composed generally of video programming providers, developers and manufacturers of equipment used to deliver video programming and information technology, subject matter experts, and others.

Under the law, the committee is charged with developing recommendations for the provision of:

• closed captioning of Internet programming previously captioned on television;

• video description of television programming delivered using Internet protocol or digital broadcast television;

• accessible emergency information for people with vision disabilities delivered using Internet protocol or digital broadcast television; and

• accessible user interfaces on video programming devices.

The new law requires the committee to develop a report on closed caption, due six months from the first VPEAAC meeting, and a report on video description, emergency information, user interfaces, and video programming guides and menus, due 18 months from the act becoming law.

According to the FCC’s public notice, the commission is looking for groups and individuals from:

• distributors and providers of video programming or national organizations representing them;

• vendors, developers, and manufacturers of systems, facilities, equipment, and capabilities for the provision of video programming delivered using Internet protocol or national organizations representing them;

• manufacturers of consumer electronics or information technology equipment or national organizations representing them;

• video programming producers or national organizations representing them;

• national organizations representing accessibility advocates, including people with disabilities and senior citizens;

• representatives of the broadcast television industry or national organizations representing broadcasters; and

• other individuals with appropriate technical and engineering expertise.

Nominations are due at the commission Nov. 1.

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