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fcclogo NEWS

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

June 23, 1999

Maureen Peratino (202) 418-0253


It's an honor to be here among such a distinguished group:

Representative Markey -- the "father" of the V-Chip, without whose vision, courage and persistence none of us would be here today.

Jack Valenti, Decker Anstrom, Eddie Fritts -- who put their industries and their energy behind the voluntary ratings system that makes the V-Chip work, and who have chosen a constructive approach when many were urging a different path.

And, of course, Kathryn Montgomery, Vicky Rideout, Jeff McIntyre and all those in the advocacy community whose tenacity and devotion to this issue are now bearing fruit.

But what strikes me most is not that all of these people are working on the V- Chip, but that they are all working on it together. We've got government, industry and citizens' groups all pulling on the same oar to make the V-Chip a success. And all of these people are talking to one another -- not about one another, as is too often the case in Washington.

I may be somewhat new to Washington, but I'm not new to this issue. I'm the mother of an 18 year-old daughter and a 6 year-old son. I know the concerns and the frustrations of parents who want to protect their children from material they deem unsuitable. Empowering those parents has been one of my top priorities at the Commission. In fact, my very first speech at the FCC was about the effects of TV violence on our children and how the V-Chip was on its way to help parents monitor what their children were watching.

More recently, Chairman Bill Kennard asked me to head the FCC's V-Chip Task Force. My general charge was to ensure that the roll-out of the V-Chip goes as smoothly as possible. To do that, I thought we had to do three things immediately. One, we had to make sure the V-Chips are in the TV sets. A couple of weeks ago, we announced that all major TV manufacturers would meet or beat their deadlines. Two, we had to make sure that the ratings were actually being transmitted so that the V-Chips will have something to read. We're working with industry on that and hope to report on that issue in the near future. And three -- the reason we are here today -- we had to let parents know that the V-Chip is here and how they can use it in their everyday lives.

That's why efforts like the V-Chip Education Project are so important. Until we educate parents about the V-Chip, they can't use it to make educated choices for their children.

The V-Chip Task Force will do whatever we can to help educate parents. Today we are unveiling a new FCC web page, with information about the V-Chip for parents and with links to other web pages on the topic. You can find our new page at www.fcc.gov/v- chip.

I commend all of you here today for your fine work in bringing us to this point. I look forward to our continued efforts as we work together to make the V-Chip a success.

- FCC -