WASHINGTON (CN) – Video programs delivered to televisions through the internet will have to carry closed captioning files for the hearing impaired, according to new regulations adopted by the Federal Communications Commission.
Distributors of internet video programming will have to provide consumers with the software or hardware needed to decode the closed captioning files, and the owners of the programming must provide captions of the same quality as those available on regular television broadcasts.
The rules apply to all new broadcasts, while existing programs shown in rerun must add closed captioning if it was available in the original broadcast of the program, on a sliding scale.
Two years from the publication of the new rules in the Federal Register, rerun shows must have internet closed captioning within 45 days of its rebroadcast on television. Four years from now, program owners will have 15 days to provide the captions.
The FCC adopted the changes in January, but as it is with all federal agencies, its rule changes are not effective until they are published in the Federal Register.
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