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Notice

Information Collection Being Reviewed by the Federal Communications Commission

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Notice and request for comments.

SUMMARY:

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC or Commission) invites the general public and other Federal agencies to take this opportunity to comment on the following information collections. Comments are requested concerning: Whether the proposed collection of information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical utility; the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimate; ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected; ways to minimize the burden of the collection of information on the respondents, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology; and ways to further reduce the information collection burden on small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.

The FCC may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number. No person shall be subject to any penalty for failing to comply with a collection of information subject to the PRA that does not display a valid OMB control number.

DATES:

Written PRA comments should be submitted on or before June 30, 2015. If you anticipate that you will be submitting comments, but find it difficult to do so within the period of time allowed by this notice, you should advise the contact listed below as soon as possible.

ADDRESSES:

Direct all PRA comments to Cathy Williams, FCC, via email PRA@fcc.gov and to Cathy.Williams@fcc.gov.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

For additional information about the information collection, contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918.

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SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

OMB Control Number: 3060-1162.

Title: Closed Captioning of Video Programming Delivered Using Internet Protocol, and Apparatus Closed Caption Requirements.

Form Number: N/A.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit entities; Not-for-profit institutions.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 1,322 respondents; 3,666 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 0.084 to 10 hours.

Frequency of Response: One time and on occasion reporting requirements; Recordkeeping requirement; Third-party disclosure requirement.

Obligation to Respond: Mandatory and required to obtain or retain benefits. The statutory authority for this information collection is contained in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Public Law 111-260, 124 Stat. 2751, and Sections 4(i), 4(j), 303, 330(b), 713, and 716 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 154(j), 303, 330(b), 613, and 617.

Total Annual Burden: 10,062 hours.

Total Annual Cost: $95,700.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: Yes. As required by OMB Memorandum M-03-22 (September 26, 2003), the FCC completed a Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) on June 28, 2007, that gives a full and complete explanation of how the FCC collects, stores, maintains, safeguards, and destroys the PII covered by these information collection requirements. The PIA may be reviewed at: http://www.fcc.gov/​omd/​privacyact/​Privacy_​Impact_​Assessment.html.

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Some assurances of confidentiality are being provided to the respondents. Parties filing petitions for exemption based on economic burden, requests for Commission determinations of technical feasibility and achievability, requests for purpose-based waivers, or responses to complaints alleging violations of the Start Printed Page 24921Commission's rules may seek confidential treatment of information they provide pursuant to the Commission's existing confidentiality rules.

The Commission is not requesting that individuals who file complaints alleging violations of our rules (complainants) submit confidential information (e.g., credit card numbers, social security numbers, or personal financial information) to us. We request that complainants submit their names, addresses, and other contact information, which enables us to process complaints. Any use of this information is covered under the routine uses listed in the Commission's SORN, FCC/CGB-1, “Informal Complaints, Inquiries, and Requests for Dispute Assistance.”

The PIA that the FCC completed on June 28, 2007 gives a full and complete explanation of how the FCC collects, stores, maintains, safeguards, and destroys PII, as required by OMB regulations and the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a. The PIA may be viewed at: http://www.fcc.gov/​omd/​privacyact/​Privacy_​Impact_​Assessment.html.

The Commission will update the PIA to cover the PII collected related to this information collection to incorporate various revisions to it as a result of revisions to the SORN and as required by OMB's Memorandum M-03-22 (September 26, 2003) and by the Privacy Act, 5 U.S.C. 552a.

Needs and Uses: The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) directed the Commission to revise its regulations to mandate closed captioning on IP-delivered video programming that was published or exhibited on television with captions after the effective date of the regulations. Accordingly, the Commission requires video programming owners (VPOs) to send program files to video programming distributors and providers (hereinafter VPDs) with required captions, and it requires VPDs to enable the rendering or pass through of all required captions to the end user. The CVAA also directed the Commission to revise its regulations to mandate that all apparatus designed to receive, play back, or record video programming be equipped with built-in closed caption decoder circuitry or capability designed to display closed-captioned video programming, except that apparatus that use a picture screen that is 13 inches or smaller and recording devices must comply only if doing so is achievable. These rules are codified at 47 CFR 79.4 and 79.100-79.104.

The information collection requirements consist of:

(a) Mechanism for information about video programming subject to the IP closed captioning requirements.

Pursuant to 47 CFR 79.4(c)(1)(ii) and (c)(2)(ii) of the Commission's rules, VPOs and VPDs must agree upon a mechanism to make information available to VPDs about video programming that becomes subject to the requirements of 47 CFR 79.4 on an ongoing basis. VPDs must make a good faith effort to identify video programming that must be captioned when delivered using IP using the agreed upon mechanism.

For example, VPOs and VPDs may agree on a mechanism whereby the VPOs provide captions or certifications that captions are not required, and update those certifications and provide captions when captions later become required. A VPD may rely in good faith on a certification by a VPO that the programming need not be captioned: (1) If the certification includes a clear and concise explanation of why captions are not required; and (2) if the VPD is able to produce the certification to the Commission in the event of a complaint. VPOs may provide certifications for specific programming or a more general certification, for example, for all programming covered by a particular contract.

VPDs may seek Commission determinations that other proposed mechanisms provide adequate information for them to rely on in good faith by filing an informal request and providing sufficient information for the Commission to make such determinations.

(b) Contact information for the receipt and handling of written closed captioning complaints.

Pursuant to 47 CFR 79.4(c)(2)(iii), VPDs must make their contact information available to end users for the receipt and handling of written IP closed captioning complaints. The required contact information includes the name of a person with primary responsibility for IP captioning issues and who can ensure compliance with these rules, as well as the person's title or office, telephone number, fax number, postal mailing address, and email address. VPDs must keep this information current and update it within 10 business days of any change. The Commission expects that such contact information will be prominently displayed in a way that it is accessible to all end users. A general notice on the VPD's Web site with such contact information, if provided, must be provided in a location that is conspicuous to viewers.

(c) Petitions for exemption based on “economic burden.”

Pursuant to 47 CFR 79.4(d), a VPO or VPD may petition the Commission for a full or partial exemption from the closed captioning requirements for IP-delivered video programming based upon a showing that they would be economically burdensome. Petitions for exemption must be supported with sufficient evidence to demonstrate economic burden (significant difficulty or expense). The Commission will consider four specific factors when determining economic burden and any other factors the petitioner deems relevant, along with any available alternatives that might constitute a reasonable substitute for the closed captioning requirements. Petitions and subsequent pleadings must be filed electronically.

The Commission will place such petitions on public notice. Comments or oppositions to the petition may be filed electronically within 30 days after release of the public notice of the petition, and must include a certification that the petitioner was served with a copy. The petitioner may reply to any comments or oppositions filed within 20 days after the close of the period for filing comments or oppositions, and replies must include a certification that the commenting or opposing party was served with a copy. Upon a finding of good cause, the Commission may lengthen or shorten any comment period and waive or establish other procedural requirements. Petitions and responsive pleadings must include a detailed, full showing, supported by affidavit, of any facts or considerations relied on.

(d) Complaints alleging violations of the closed captioning rules for IP-delivered video programming.

Pursuant to 47 CFR 79.4(e), a written complaint alleging a violation of the closed captioning rules for IP-delivered video programming may be filed with the Commission or with the VPD responsible for enabling the rendering or pass through of the closed captions for the video programming. Complaints must be filed within 60 days after the date the complainant experienced a problem with captioning. Such complaints should (but are not required to) include certain information.

If a complaint is filed first with the VPD, the VPD must respond in writing to the complainant within 30 days after receipt of a closed captioning compliant. If a VPD fails to respond timely, or the response does not satisfy the consumer, the complainant may re-Start Printed Page 24922file the complaint with the Commission within 30 days after the time allotted for the VPD to respond. If a consumer re-files the complaint with the Commission (after filing with the VPD) and the complaint satisfies the requirements, the Commission will forward the complaint to the named VPD, and to any other VPD and/or VPO that Commission staff determines may be involved, who then must respond in writing to the Commission and the complainant within 30 days after receipt of the complaint from the Commission.

If a complaint is filed first with the Commission and the complaint satisfies the requirements, the Commission will forward the complaint to the named VPD and/or VPO, and to any other VPD and/or VPO that Commission staff determine may be involved, who must respond in writing to the Commission and the complainant within 30 days after receipt of the complaint from the Commission. In response to a complaint, a VPD and/or VPO must provide the Commission with sufficient records and documentation. The Commission will review all relevant information provided by the complainant and the subject VPDs and/or VPOs, as well as any additional information the Commission deems relevant from its files or public sources. The Commission may request additional information from any relevant entities when, in the estimation of Commission staff, such information is needed to investigate the complaint or adjudicate potential violation(s) of Commission rules. When the Commission requests additional information, parties to which such requests are addressed must provide the requested information in the manner and within the time period the Commission specifies.

(e) Requests for Commission determination of technical feasibility of apparatus closed caption requirements.

Pursuant to 47 CFR 79.103(a), as of January 1, 2014, all digital apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming that uses a picture screen of any size must be equipped with built-in closed caption decoder circuitry or capability designed to display closed-captioned video programming, if technically feasible. If new apparatus or classes of apparatus for viewing video programming emerge on which it would not be technically feasible to include closed captioning, parties may raise that argument as a defense to a complaint or, alternatively, file a request under 47 CFR 1.41 for a Commission determination of technical feasibility before manufacturing or importing the product.

(f) Requests for Commission determination of achievability of apparatus closed caption requirements.

Pursuant to 47 CFR 79.103(a), as of January 1, 2014, all digital apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming that use a picture screen less than 13 inches in size must be equipped with built-in closed caption decoder circuitry or capability designed to display closed-captioned video programming, only if doing so is achievable. In addition, pursuant to 47 CFR 79.104(a), as of January 1, 2014, all apparatus designed to record video programming must enable the rendering or the pass through of closed captions such that viewers are able to activate and de-activate the closed captions as the video programming is played back, only if doing so is achievable.

Manufacturers of such apparatus may petition the Commission, pursuant to 47 CFR 1.41, for a full or partial exemption from the closed captioning requirements before manufacturing or importing the apparatus or may assert as a response to a complaint that these requirements, in full or in part, are not achievable. Pursuant to 47 CFR 79.103(b)(3), such a petition or response must be supported with sufficient evidence to demonstrate that compliance is not achievable (meaning with reasonable effort or expense) and the Commission will consider four specific factors when making such determinations. In evaluating evidence offered to prove that compliance was not achievable, the Commission will be informed by the analysis in the ACS Order.

(g) Petitions for purpose-based waivers of apparatus closed caption requirements.

Manufacturers seeking certainty prior to the sale of a device may petition the Commission, pursuant to 47 CFR 79.104(b)(4), for a full or partial waiver of the closed captioning requirements based on one of the following provisions:

(i) The apparatus is primarily designed for activities other than receiving or playing back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound; or

(ii) The apparatus is designed for multiple purposes, capable of receiving or playing back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound but whose essential utility is derived from other purposes.

(h) Complaints alleging violations of the apparatus closed caption requirements.

Consumers may file written complaints alleging violations of the Commission's rules, 47 CFR 79.101-79.104, requiring apparatus designed to receive, play back, or record video programming to be equipped with built-in closed caption decoder circuitry or capability designed to display closed-captions. A written complaint filed with the Commission must be transmitted to the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau through the Commission's online informal complaint filing system, U.S. Mail, overnight delivery, or facsimile. Such complaints should include certain information about the complainant and the alleged violation. The Commission may forward such complaints to the named manufacturer or provider, as well as to any other entity that Commission staff determines may be involved, and may request additional information from any relevant parties when, in the estimation of Commission staff, such information is needed to investigate the complaint or adjudicate potential violations of Commission rules.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary. Office of Secretary, Office of the Managing Director.

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[FR Doc. 2015-10143 Filed 4-30-15; 8:45 am]

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