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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, 104th Congress [TXT]

Public Law 104-104, 104th Congress [TXT]

Telecommunications Act of 1996

Plain Text icon telecommunicatoins act 1996.txt — Texto Plano, 6 KB (6776 bytes)

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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.

a. 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

a. Definitions 
As used in this section—
1. Disability
The term “disability” has the meaning given to it by 
section 12102 (2)(A) of title 42.
2. Readily achievable
The term “readily achievable” has the meaning given to 
it by section 12181 (9) of title 42.
b. Manufacturing
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.
c. Telecommunications services
A provider of telecommunications service shall ensure that
 the service is accessible to and usable by individuals 
with disabilities, if readily achievable.
d. Compatibility
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.
e. Guidelines
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.
f. No additional private rights authorized
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

a. Commission inquiry
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.
b. Accountability criteria
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.
c. Deadlines for captioning
Such regulations shall include an appropriate schedule of 
deadlines for the provision of closed captioning of video programming.
d. Exemptions
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.
e. Undue burden
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.
f. Video descriptions inquiry
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.
g. Video description
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.
h. Private rights of actions prohibited
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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