03.04.2009 03:05 PM
FCC Will Review DTV Transition

(March 4, 2009) WASHINGTON: The theme of tomorrow’s monthly meeting of the Federal Communications Commission will be all things DTV transition. The intent is to gather as much information as possible about the 600 or so stations that have already ceased analog broadcasting, and determine what still needs to be done for the remaining 1,200 stations ending analog transmissions between now and June 12.

The three sitting commissioners--Interim Chairman Michael Copps, Jonathan Adelstein and Robert McDowell--will provide opening gambits at 9:45 a.m., followed by an overview from Gary Epstein.

At 10 a.m., several FCC officials will participate in a panel discussion of the Feb. 17 initial shutdown, and what lessens can be applied to the continuing transition. Dr. Bernadette McGuire-Rivera, an associate administrator at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration will also sit in. The NTIA has been running the DTV converter-box coupon program. The program ran short of funds in January, leaving more than 4.3 million requests for coupons on hold. Additional money was cut loose in February.

At 11 a.m., the commissioners will hear from the city’s coterie of TV lobbyists, including David Rehr of the NAB; Kyle McSlarrow, chief of National Cable & Telecommunications Association and Dave Donovan of MSTV. They’ll be joined by Christopher McLean of the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition; Gene Kimmelman of the Consumers Union; Mark Lloyd of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights and Sandy Markwood of the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging.

The commission’s March meeting is scheduled for the 5th, at 9:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305 at the Portals, at 445 12 St. S.W. in Washington, D.C. The meeting’s Capitol Connection, for a fee, at www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu 

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Posted by: Deborah McAdams
Wed, 03-04-2009 04:41 PM Report Comment
At this meeting they should also discuss that converter boxes are just half the equation. Perhaps some conversation should be directed toward a coupon program for appropriate antennae, then to the installation of such. If this is to done completely seamless with absolutely no disruption to television viewing, June 12th is an unrealistic date. Perhaps June 12th, 2011 might, just might be a better choice. Otherwise,discussion needs directed at how each market can troubleshoot their own needs.

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