07.04.2005 08:00 AM
DTV legislation has 80 percent chance of passage by Congress

There’s an 80 percent chance that the Congress will pass legislation this year establishing a hard deadline to end the DTV transition, the National Journal reported.

House Energy and Commerce Chairman Joe Barton, (R-TX), made a strong case that Congress needs to set a fixed date for completing the transition to digital television, the publication said. Public safety, consumers, wireless companies and TV manufacturers cannot make plans without a hard date. Barton wants that hard date to be Dec. 31, 2008.

House Republican leaders urged Barton to delay a markup of his draft legislation until September. But Barton scored an ally when Senate Commerce Chairman Ted Stevens, (R-AK), voiced support for an analog broadcast cutoff one day later. The NAB now said it could live with a hard date, as long as Congress includes a subsidy so consumers can get low-cost set-top converter boxes.

The size of that subsidy is the focus of debate, and insiders believe a deal will be struck.

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Thursday 10:05 AM
NAB Requests Expedited Review of Spectrum Auction Lawsuit
“Broadcasters assigned to new channels following the auction could be forced to accept reductions in their coverage area and population served, with no practical remedy.” ~NAB


 
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