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11.22.2004
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
Minority Media Telecommunications Council asks FCC to fund DTV gear before transition

Congress should fully fund digital television equipment for low-income Americans before the FCC pulls the plug on analog TV broadcasts, an advocacy organization representing the interests of minority citizens said.

David Honig, president of the Minority Media Telecommunications Council, stated in a letter to the FCC that the commission should not vote on a DTV plan until Congress fully funds a mechanism to ensure universal TV service for all Americans. The transition is not acceptable, Honig said, without a guarantee that low-income viewers will continue receiving free over-the-air broadcasts. To do otherwise would be reckless, he argued.

The group’s comments stem from an FCC initiative that seeks to set a hard date for the return of analog broadcast spectrum to the federal government. At issue is a proposal that would authorize federal funds to subsidize digital-to-analog converters that allow low-income citizens to watch digital signals on existing analog receivers.

For more information, visit www.mmtconline.org.

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