Thursday, October 7, 2010

Obama Signs 21st Century Comm. & Video Accessibility Act of 2010

President Obama signed Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 into law, providing an update to the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

The bill requires that VoIP equipment be compatible with hearing aids and it requires that Internet-based voice communication service providers contribute to the Interstate Relay Service Fund. Likewise, providers of advanced communications equipment and services, including smartphones, must make their products accessible to individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, the bill provides up to $10 million per year from the Interstate Relay Service Fund for equipment used by individuals who are deaf-blind.

In addition, new requirements for video programmers have been added concerning closed captioning and programming guides and menus.