California Attorney General Punts to FCC on AT&T’s PEG Channel Inaccessibility to the Blind

January 4, 2012

Press Release

In what American Community Television (ACT) calls a disappointing response, the office of Kamala D. Harris, Attorney General of California, issued a letter saying that it would wait until the FCC rules on a pending petition to address the inability of the blind and vision impaired to access PEG television channels.  The letter also mentioned waiting for the FCC to evaluate the Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010, before it would weigh in on the issue.

“We shouldn’t have to wait,” said John Rocco, President of ACT.  “The FCC has had the petition challenging the treatment of PEG channels on its Uverse system for almost three years and they have not acted.”

“Additionally, it will be another two to three years before the FCC issues guidelines for accessibility of onscreen menus and then there will be a long lag time as the operators try to launch the technology,” said Rocco.  “The problem with the onscreen menus to access PEG channels can be fixed tomorrow.  How is it that every video operator except AT&T can deliver PEG channels the same way as other channels and make them accessible to the blind or vision impaired?”

ACT asked PEG operators and other interested persons in various states to file a letter of complaint with their state’s attorney general.  It took five months for the filer in California to receive a response.

“It’s clear that the California Attorney General’s office is confused about the technology,” said Rocco.  “The technology for AT&T to deliver PEG channels so they can be accessible to the blind and vision impaired already exists and there is no excuse for AT&T to discriminate against my community.”

American Community Television educates and advocates for PEG access television on Capitol Hill and across the country.  To contact Mr. Rocco, please call 410-992-4976 or email Bunnie Riedel, Executive Director at riedel@acommunitytv.org.

 

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