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Consumers may file complaints with FCC

Those annoying ear-splitting commercials that come out of nowhere are now officially against the law. The rules governing implementation of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act (CALM) Act went into effect today requiring broadcasters, cable operators, satellite services and other video distributors to keep the volume level of commercials consistent with regular TV programming.

Loud commercials have been a top consumer complaint for decades, making the CALM Act a consumer favorite.

It also made the law’s author, Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) recognizable in grocery stores, she said during a press conference Thursday morning.

“It’s the one bill that I’ve heard from people all over the country,” said Eshoo of her 2008 bill. “This will be a relief to consumers. Today begins a new era of quieter TV.”

Eshoo was joined at press conference this morning by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), who sponsored the Senate companion bill that was passed in Dec. 2010. President Obama immediately signed the two-page bill into law Dec. 15, 2010. Once the Federal Communications Commission established the rules for the bill, media outlets were given a year to come into compliance.

If a loud commercial slips through, consumers must file a complaint with the FCC using the oline complaint form at www.fcc.gov/complaints.