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Usted está aquí: Inicio / Servicios / Información / Leyes y Reglamentos / Leyes Federales / Public Law 104-104 - Telecommunications Act of 1996

Public Law 104-104 - Telecommunications Act of 1996

Requires that telecommunications equipment and services be accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities and discusses rules on closed captions and video descriptions of video programming.

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This document was prepared like a public service to the community, these must be reviewed and be compared carefully with the official document issued by the Congress of the United States or the Library of Congress.


Public Law 104-104 - Telecommunications Act of 1996

 

An Act

To promote competition and reduce regulation in order to secure lower prices and higher quality services for American telecommunications consumers and encourage the rapid deployment of new telecommunications technologies.

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

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; REFERENCES.

  1. SHORT TITLE- This Act may be cited as the `Telecommunications Act of 1996'.

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TITLE I--TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES

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Access by persons with disabilities

  1. Definitions
  2. As used in this section—

    1. Disability
    2. The term “disability” has the meaning given to it by section 12102 (2)(A) of title 42.

    3. Readily achievable
    4. The term “readily achievable” has the meaning given to it by section 12181 (9) of title 42.

  3. Manufacturing
  4. A manufacturer of telecommunications equipment or customer premises equipment shall ensure that the equipment is designed, developed, and fabricated to be accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.

  5. Telecommunications services
  6. A provider of telecommunications service shall ensure that the service is accessible to and usable by individuals with disabilities, if readily achievable.

  7. Compatibility
  8. Whenever the requirements of subsections (b) and (c) of this section are not readily achievable, such a manufacturer or provider shall ensure that the equipment or service is compatible with existing peripheral devices or specialized customer premises equipment commonly used by individuals with disabilities to achieve access, if readily achievable.

  9. Guidelines
  10. Within 18 months after February 8, 1996, the Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board shall develop guidelines for accessibility of telecommunications equipment and customer premises equipment in conjunction with the Commission. The Board shall review and update the guidelines periodically.

  11. No additional private rights authorized
  12. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any private right of action to enforce any requirement of this section or any regulation thereunder. The Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to any complaint under this section.

US CODE: Title 47,255. Access by persons with disabilities

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TITLE III--CABLE SERVICES

Video programming accessibility

  1. Commission inquiry
  2. Within 180 days after February 8, 1996, the Federal Communications Commission shall complete an inquiry to ascertain the level at which video programming is closed captioned. Such inquiry shall examine the extent to which existing or previously published programming is closed captioned, the size of the video programming provider or programming owner providing closed captioning, the size of the market served, the relative audience shares achieved, or any other related factors. The Commission shall submit to the Congress a report on the results of such inquiry.

  3. Accountability criteria
  4. Within 18 months after February 8, 1996, the Commission shall prescribe such regulations as are necessary to implement this section. Such regulations shall ensure that—

    1. video programming first published or exhibited after the effective date of such regulations is fully accessible through the provision of closed captions, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section;and
    2. video programming providers or owners maximize the accessibility of video programming first published or exhibited prior to the effective date of such regulations through the provision of closed captions, except as provided in subsection (d) of this section.
  5. Deadlines for captioning
  6. Such regulations shall include an appropriate schedule of deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video programming.

  7. Exemptions
  8. Notwithstanding subsection (b) of this section—

    1. the Commission may exempt by regulation programs, classes of programs, or services for which the Commission has determined that the provision of closed captioning would be economically burdensome to the provider or owner of such programming;
    2. a provider of video programming or the owner of any program carried by the provider shall not be obligated to supply closed captions if such action would be inconsistent with contracts in effect on February 8, 1996, except that nothing in this section shall be construed to relieve a video programming provider of its obligations to provide services required by Federal law; and
    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 result in an undue burden.
  9. Undue burden
  10. The term “undue burden” means significant difficulty or expense. In determining whether the closed captions necessary to comply with the requirements of this paragraph would result in an undue economic burden, the factors to be considered include—

    1. the nature and cost of the closed captions for the programming;
    2. the impact on the operation of the provider or program owner;
    3. the financial resources of the provider or program owner; and
    4. the type of operations of the provider or program owner.
  11. Video descriptions inquiry
  12. Within 6 months after February 8, 1996, the Commission shall commence an inquiry to examine the use of video descriptions on video programming in order to ensure the accessibility of video programming to persons with visual impairments, and report to Congress on its findings. The Commission’s report shall assess appropriate methods and schedules for phasing video descriptions into the marketplace, technical and quality standards for video descriptions, a definition of programming for which video descriptions would apply, and other technical and legal issues that the Commission deems appropriate.

  13. Video description
  14. For purposes of this section, “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.

  15. Private rights of actions prohibited
  16. Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize any private right of action to enforce any requirement of this section or any regulation thereunder. The Commission shall have exclusive jurisdiction with respect to any complaint under this section.

US CODE: Title 47,613. Video programming accessibility

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