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The Federal Communications Commission has passed a new regulation known as the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM). The new measure aims to combat obnoxiously loud television commercials, an issue we have all likely experienced firsthand.
Excessively loud commercials, especially on local networks, have plagued television viewers for as long as most can remember. The FCC has received over 6,000 complaints regarding loud commercials since 2008. According to the Consumer Union, the issue has been a top complaint in 21 of the past 25 reports they have released.
CALM was passed by Congress over a year ago, entrusting the FCC to address the issue. But despite the new regulation, it will still be some time before our ears get relief. CALM isn't set to go into effect until December 2012, giving satellite providers, cable TV operators and local broadcasters a full year to get their act in order.
Additionally, the FCC has been granted the right to give providers a one-year waiver should they not meet the requirements within a year. If that weren't enough, the FCC can dole out an additional one-year waiver. A worst-case scenario would mean that a provider would have until December 2014 to comply. Given the recent surge in online video streaming and other alternate delivery methods, such a regulation could become largely irrelevant by the time its fully enforced.
In the meantime, viewers are left to either turn down the volume manually or hit the mute button.