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FCC implements HDTV and multicast programming satellite carriage in Alaska and Hawaii

August 26, 2005

Continuing the implementation of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 (SHVERA), the FCC last week ordered satellite providers in Alaska and Hawaii to carry local broadcasters’ analog and digital signals.

SHVERA requires that satellite providers carry local analog signals by Dec. 8. The FCC said broadcasters must elect whether to assert must carry for their analog signals pursuant to this provision by Oct. 1.

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Similarly, SHVERA requires that digital signals be carried by June 8, 2007. The FCC concluded that satellite carriage of the digital signals includes high-definition signals as well as multicast signals.

Broadcasters must make their carriage election for their digital signals by April 1, 2007. The commission also concluded that once broadcasters’ digital signals are carried, carriage of their analog signals is no longer required.

The FCC ruling applies only to Alaska and Hawaii and does not include territories and possessions such as Puerto Rico and Guam.

SHVERA, passed by Congress in December 2004, amended a 1988 provision of the copyright law and the Communications Act to aid the competitiveness of satellite carriers and expand program offerings for satellite subscribers.

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