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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), 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 Office of Management and Budget (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 comments should be submitted on or before May 1, 2017. 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 contacts 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:

As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork burdens, and as required by the PRA of 1995 (44 U.S.C. 3501-3520), Start Printed Page 12089the FCC 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.

OMB Control No.: 3060-0967.

Title: Section 79.2, Accessibility of Programming Providing Emergency Information, and Emergency Information; Section 79.105, Video Description and Emergency Information Accessibility Requirements for All Apparatus; Section 79.106, Video Description and Emergency Information Accessibility Requirements for Recording Devices.

Form No.: N/A.

Type of Review: Extension of a currently approved collection.

Respondents: Individuals or households; Business or other for-profit; Not-for-profit institutions; and State, local, or tribal governments.

Number of Respondents and Responses: 61 respondents; 161 responses.

Estimated Time per Response: 0.5 to 5 hours.

Frequency of Response: On occasion reporting requirement; Third party disclosure requirement.

Obligation To Respond: Voluntary. The statutory authority for the collection is contained in the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, Pub. L. 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: 175 hours.

Annual Cost Burden: $15,300.

Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: Confidentiality is an issue to the extent that individuals and households provide personally identifiable information, which is covered under the FCC's updated system of records notice (SORN), FCC/CGB-1, “Informal Complaints, Inquiries, and Requests for Dispute Assistance,” which became effective on September 24, 2014. The Commission believes that it provides sufficient safeguards to protect the privacy of individuals who file complaints alleging violations of the Commission's televised emergency information rules, 47 CFR 79.2, and complaints alleging violations of the apparatus emergency information and video description requirements, 47 CFR 79.105-79.106.

Privacy Act Impact Assessment: The Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) for Informal Complaints, Inquiries, and Requests for Dispute Assistance was completed on June 28, 2007. It may be reviewed at http://www.fcc.gov/​omd/​privacyact/​Privacy-Impact-Assessment.html. The Commission is in the process of updating the PIA to incorporate various revisions to it as a result of revisions to the SORN.

Needs and Uses: In 2000, the Commission adopted rules to require video programming distributors (VPDs) to make emergency information provided in the audio portion of the programming accessible to viewers who have hearing disabilities. Second Report and Order, MM Docket No. 95-176, FCC 00-136. Later that year, to ensure that televised emergency information is accessible to viewers who are blind or visually impaired, the Commission modified its rules to require VPDs to make emergency information audible when provided in the video portion of a regularly scheduled newscast or a newscast that interrupts regular programming, and to provide an aural tone when emergency information is provided visually during regular programming (e.g., through screen crawls or scrolls). Report and Order, MM Docket No. 99-339, FCC 00-258.

In 2013, the Commission adopted rules related to accessible emergency information and apparatus requirements for emergency information and video description. Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, MB Docket Nos. 12-107 and 11-43, FCC 13-45. Specifically, the Commission's rules require that VPDs and video programming providers (VPPs) (including program owners) make emergency information accessible to individuals who are blind or visually impaired by using a secondary audio stream to convey televised emergency information aurally, when such information is conveyed visually during programming other than newscasts. The Commission's rules also require certain apparatus that receive, play back, or record video programming to make available video description services and accessible emergency information.

Finally, in 2015, the Commission adopted rules to require the following: (1) Apparatus manufacturers must provide a mechanism that is simple and easy to use for activating the secondary audio stream to access audible emergency information; and (2) starting no later than July 10, 2017, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) must pass through the secondary audio stream containing audible emergency information when it is provided on linear programming accessed on second screen devices (e.g., tablets, smartphones, laptops and similar devices) over their networks as part of their MVPD services. Second Report and Order and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, MB Docket No. 12-107, FCC 15-56.

These rules are codified at 47 CFR 79.2, 79.105, and 79.106.

Information Collection Requirements:

(a) Complaints alleging violations of the emergency information rules.

Section 79.2(c) of the Commission's rules provides that a complaint alleging a violation of § 79.2 of its rules, may be transmitted to the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau by any reasonable means, such as the Commission's online informal complaint filing system, letter, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), Internet email, audio-cassette recording, Braille, or some other method that would best accommodate the complainant's disability. After the Commission receives the complaint, the Commission notifies the VPD or VPP of the complaint, and the VPD or VPP has 30 days to reply.

(b) Complaints alleging violations of the apparatus emergency information and video description requirements.

Complaints alleging violations of the rules containing apparatus emergency information and video description requirements, 47 CFR 79.105-79.106, may be transmitted to the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau by any reasonable means, such as the Commission's online informal complaint filing system, letter in writing or Braille, facsimile transmission, telephone (voice/TRS/TTY), email, or some other method that would best accommodate the complainant's disability. Given that the population intended to benefit from the rules adopted will be blind or visually impaired, if a complainant calls the Commission for assistance in preparing a complaint, Commission staff will document the complaint in writing for the consumer. The Commission will forward such complaints, as appropriate, to the named manufacturer or provider for its response, as well as Start Printed Page 12090to 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.

(c) Requests for Commission determination of technical feasibility of emergency information and video description apparatus requirements.

The requirements pertaining to apparatus designed to receive or play back video programming apply only to the extent they are “technically feasible.” Parties may raise technical infeasibility as a defense when faced with a complaint alleging a violation of the apparatus requirements or they may file a request for a ruling under section 1.41 of the Commission's rules as to technical infeasibility before manufacturing or importing the product.

(d) Requests for Commission determination of achievability of emergency information and video description apparatus requirements.

The requirements pertaining to certain apparatus designed to receive, play back, or record video programming apply only to the extent they are achievable. Manufacturers of apparatus that use a picture screen of less than 13 inches in size and of recording devices may petition the Commission, pursuant to 47 CFR 1.41, for a full or partial exemption from the video description and emergency information requirements before manufacturing or importing the apparatus. Alternatively, manufacturers may assert that a particular apparatus is fully or partially exempt as a response to a complaint, which the Commission may dismiss upon a finding that the requirements of this section are not achievable. A petition for exemption or a response to a complaint must be supported with sufficient evidence to demonstrate that compliance with the requirements is not achievable (meaning with reasonable effort or expense), and the Commission will consider four specific factors when making such a determination.

(e) Petitions for purpose-based waivers of emergency information and video description apparatus requirements.

The Commission may waive emergency information and video description apparatus requirements for any apparatus or class of apparatus that is (a) primarily designed for activities other than receiving or playing back video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound, or (b) designed for multiple purposes, capable of receiving or playing video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound but whose essential utility is derived from other purposes. The Commission will address any requests for a purpose-based waiver on a case-by-case basis, and waivers will be available prospectively for manufacturers seeking certainty prior to the sale of a device.

(f) Submission and review of consumer eligibility information pertaining to DIRECTV, LLC's (DIRECTV's) waiver for provision of aural emergency information during The Weather Channel's programming.

The Commission granted DIRECTV a waiver with respect to the set-top box models on which it is not able to implement audio functionality for emergency information, but conditioned such relief by requiring DIRECTV to provide, upon request and at no additional cost to customers who are blind or visually impaired, a set-top box model that is capable of providing aural emergency information. DIRECTV may require customers who are blind or visually impaired to submit reasonable documentation of disability to DIRECTV as a condition to providing the box at no additional cost.

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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary, Office of the Secretary.

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[FR Doc. 2017-03882 Filed 2-27-17; 8:45 am]

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