January 9, 2023
Source: Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Comments Due: February 16, 2023
Reply Comments Due: March 16, 2023
On January 4, 2023, the FCC released an order to grant a request filed by seventeen groups and individuals for an extension of the time in which to file comments in response to the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Further Notice) about broadband labeling. Comments and reply comments were originally due on January 17, 2023 and February 14, 2023, respectively, and have been extended another thirty days.
On November 17, 2022, the FCC released a Report and Order and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that will require broadband Internet access service providers to display easy-to-understand labels to assist consumers when comparison shopping for broadband services. On December 19, 2022, the FCC released a Public Notice establishing the comment dates for the Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.
More specifically regarding accessibility for individuals with disabilities, in the Further Notice, the FCC seeks comment on the following:
- Additional ways to improve accessibility of the broadband label, such as video calling services to provide customer service in American Sign Language, irrespective of whether the broadband label information is provided in hard copy or digitally.
- Whether to require Braille or a Quick Response (QR) code with a tactile indicator for blind or visually impaired consumers at the point of sale.
- Whether to mandate any specific WCAG suggestions, sections, and criteria for the broadband label, such as specific sections of WCAG 2.1, which suggests providing text alternatives for any non-text content, or providing definitions of idioms, jargon, and abbreviations.
Interested parties may file comments by accessing the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System at https://www.fcc.gov/ecfs/filings. All filings must reference CG Docket No. 22-2. People with disabilities who need assistance to file comments online may request assistance by email to FCC504@fcc.gov.
Links to the Order Extending the Comment Period:
Links to the Report and Order and Further Notice:
For general information about broadband labels, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/broadbandlabels. For specific information about the Further Notice, contact Erica H. McMahon, Consumer Policy Division, Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, (202) 418-0346, or Erica.McMahon@fcc.gov. Individuals who use videophones and are fluent in American Sign Language (ASL) may call the FCC’s ASL Consumer Support Line at (844) 432-2275 (videophone).