09.21.2005 12:00 AM
Telecom Legislation Emerging on Dual Tracks
Capitol Hill is dealing with both a DTV transition bill and an overhaul of the Telecommunications Act of 1996 this fall, with much of the congressional agenda either stalled, or modified in recent weeks, because of immediate concerns over the economic and human devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The Senate Commerce Committee will work around a new deadline of Oct. 19 for a DTV transition bill, according to published reports. The committee is in the midst of some Katrina-related hearings, and apparently will hold at least one DTV hearing as soon as its schedule permits. Katrina has prompted renewed calls by some in Congress (notably Sen. John McCain, again) to free up analog spectrum faster for emergency services, similar to calls made soon after the events of 9/11 four years ago.

Meanwhile over on the House side, its commerce committee has unveiled bipartisan draft legislation designed to update nearly 10-year-old American telecom laws to, among other things, deal with technologies that have emerged in the past decade, notably IPTV--which eventually will have some sort of impact on HD, for better or for worse--broadband and VOIP.

Cable and telcos wishing to expand their TV, broadband and telephony services must first go through an often-lengthy, costly process of winning franchises on a local basis, except, most recently, in Texas. New legislation will likely seek to eliminate some of the local red tape for new TV services and, thus, provide more competition, which, in turn, usually lowers consumer prices.


Comments
Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found




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


 
Featured Articles
Research & Standards
Discover TV Technology