Google Fiber Seeks More Time for Accessible Interfaces

Tells FCC it is still working on some audible functionality for sight-impaired
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The Google Fiber rabbit did not win the race to comply with a Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act of 2010 (CVAA) requirement before an FCC deadline. 

Google Fiber, the search engine giant's high-speed broadband service play, has told the FCC it needs more time to make its navigation devices, in this case consumer's cell phones and other devices, accessible to the sight-impaired.

It was under a December 2018 deadline for making "video programming guides and menus accessible on televisions, set-top boxes, and other devices used to view video programming," but sought more time.

Google wants a limited waiver for accessing video via the Fiber TV app on iOS and Android devices. The app allows a mobile device to act as a set-top navigation device/remote control.

Google fiber logo with bunny.jpg

Google said it can provide some, but not all, of the required functions for audible accessibility for the blind, the "not all" being "(1) activating video description (for certain programming); (2) adjusting the presentation and display of closed captioning; (3) display of current configuration options; and (4) activating set-top box configuration options."

Obviously, activating video description is a key function for the sight-impaired.

Google said it can resolve the first two in a matter of months--it wants a waiver until December 2019--and is still looking at how to provide audible triggers for the other two--it wants a waiver of either two years from the original December 2018 petition filing or until it can resolve the issue, whichever comes first.

Google filed the initial petition in December but said it would need to amend it. The FCC held off on putting the petition out for comment until that amendment, which has now occurred.

Comments on whether the FCC should grant the petition are due June 17 and replies July 1.

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