DTV Delay Bill Introduced

January 16, 2009
Legislation delaying the DTV transition to June 12 has begun what could be a stormy trip through Congress.

Incoming Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., launched the bill to delay the date three months.

The bill faces opposition from some in Congress including the top Republican on the panel, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas, although she has previously introduced legislation allowing stations in border areas to continue in analog past the deadline.

Also, some wireless providers and government bodies slated to take over Channels 52-69 oppose the move, which they say would in turn delay the implementation of testing of public-safety and advanced broadband networks.

But the telecom giants, who have spent some $19 billions on the spectrum, have stopped short of threatening immediate legal action if the old tenants stay on.

In addition there are numerous technical and logistic difficulties that would arise for broadcasters if the date is delayed.

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