ACMA, Australian Communications and Media Authority

Top 12 of 12 #6 – changes to the Broadcasting Services Act

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An issue close to home for many of our readers is the quality and availability of captions on free-to-air and subscription TV. Good news arrived in June when the captioning provisions of the Broadcasting Services Act were amended for the first time in a decade.

There are a number of amendments to the Act which improve the accessibility of television for Deaf and hearing impaired viewers:


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ACMA releases draft television captioning standard

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released a draft of the new standard covering caption quality on free-to-air and subscription television.

In June 2012, the Broadcasting Services Act 1992 (BSA) was amended to include increased quotas for captioning on free-to-air television, and to introduce quotas for captioning on subscription television. The amendments also state that captions must be of adequate quality, based on factors including readability, comprehensibility and accuracy.


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Ofcom reveals UK television’s spotless access record

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The UK's media and communications regulator, Ofcom, has not reported a breach of access requirements on UK television in over 15 months.

British television, including digital terrestrial, subscription and digital multichannels are required to meet specific captioning, sign language and audio description levels as part of their broadcast licence conditions.

Ofcom publishes a bi-monthly Broadcast Bulletin detailing any incidents or breaches of broadcast licence conditions, including requirements for television access services.


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Policy on trials of 3DTV and emerging TV technologies announced

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has released its response to the discussion paper, ‘Temporary trials of 3DTV and other emerging technologies’.

The ACMA’s response concluded that any trial of 3DTV or other emerging television technologies, such as audio description, by major networks on available television spectrum should not be longer than one month and should safeguard consumer interests.


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