The Department of Broadband Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has requested comment on two possible timeframes to implement closed captions on free-to-air multichannels once analogue TV is switched off at the end of 2013.

For those who don't already know, closed captions are the text description that run along the bottom of your TV screen that describes the audio, sound effects and spoken word of a program. Digital multichannels are the TV channels that free-to-air broadcasters have introduced to digital television i.e. ABC 2, SBS 2, 7 Mate etc.

Both proposals would require closed captions to begin in 2014 and achieve 100% captioning by either 2023 or 2024.

ACCAN, after consultation with our members, has rejected both proposed timeframes as taking too long for consumers to have full and meaningful access to free-to-air television.

Download: docxDBCDE multichannel captioning consultation84 KB