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

The FCC has issued a Report and Order that implements the requirement that satellite providers in Alaska and Hawaii carry local broadcasters’ analog and digital signals. This continues the implementation of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 (SHVERA),

SHVERA requires that satellite providers must carry local analog signals by Dec. 8. The Order specifies that broadcasters must elect whether to assert must carry for their analog signals by Oct. 1.

Similarly, SHVERA requires that digital signals be carried by June 8, 2007. The Order concludes 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 Order also concludes that, once broadcasters’ digital signals are carried, carriage of their analog signals is no longer required.

Finally, the Order concludes that this provision applies only to Alaska and Hawaii and does not include territories and possessions such as Puerto Rico and Guam.

In December 2004, Congress passed the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act. SHVERA amends a 1988 provision of the copyright law and the Communications Act to further aid the competitiveness of satellite carriers and expand program offerings for satellite subscribers.

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