Paying for DTV - TvTechnology

Paying for DTV

Few would argue that getting from here to 2006, at least in the DTV world, is problematic at best. Stations are facing millions in conversion costs. There’s
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Few would argue that getting from here to 2006, at least in the DTV world, is problematic at best. Stations are facing millions in conversion costs. There’s no reason to believe that a digital signal will generate anymore income than an analog one. Consumers are as confused about DTV as they are about income taxes.

Yet the FCC has set a deadline and it seems that it will not move. So is there a way to offer the entire industry a positive encouragement – okay, a carrot - rather than the stick approach to DTV conversion? Broadcast Engineering magazine suggested a tax incentive more than four years ago as a way to help broadcasters get over the financial hurdle of DTV. Few listened. Now with 2006 looming, many in the industry are far more interested in ways to make this conversion work.

Its with this background that we present to the entire broadcast (and consumer) industries a proposal that would allow both camps to achieve the total conversion to DTV in a less painful, more positive way. The proposal offered by author Don Stendal is innovative, progressive and highly possible. This program offers a low cost benefit to all concerned and helps move forward an entire nation’s conversion to digital. Broadcasters would be wise to immediately step forward and embrace this program while there is yet time to affect the process. Don’t wait. Your personal and our industry’s future may depend on your actions.

Read on, there is a way to pay for DTV without becoming bankrupt.
Brad Dick, editor

The big problem for most stations with regard to DTV is simple. It’s cost – how to pay for it.

Suppose the IRS created a federal tax credit program for stations that allowed for the recovery of DTV conversion costs — even up to the point of $1.50 in tax credits for every dollar of qualifying DTV expenses. Suppose the tax credits could be used as a tool to generate cash whether your projects were complete, were in progress or as an up-front funding mechanism to create cash to start and build your projects.

What if this program also provided a similar tax benefit for viewers? Such a program might provide an incentive for viewers to buy new DTV sets or STBs so they could enjoy DTV programming.

The goal of this program would be to stimulate the completion of all station DTV conversions by May 2003 and to bring the viewing public online between 2003 and 2006. Combined, these steps would make the NTSC cutoff date of Dec. 31, 2006, a reality. Interested?

Benefits
“Win-Win”:
Most of the discussion on DTV has been in the form of a “stick” swung at broadcasters. It’s been a “do it or else” proposition. But what if there was a way to substitute a carrot for the stick? What if it became a win-win program for the broadcaster, the viewer and even the government? What would the benefits be to a cost recovery program for DTV?

Recover the Cost, Meet the Timing:
The tax credit tool would afford broadcasters the benefit of recovering their costs of expansion and build-outs or to raise funds up-front for construction. For some, tax credits could mean the difference between compliance with FCC timing requirements, or not.

Broadcasters Could Promote DTV Conversion to the Public:
Consumers would benefit through a partial or full recovery of upgrade costs. A timely conversion to DTV could be orchestrated through a well-organized advertising campaign donated by all broadcasters.

If consumers were informed of the value of DTV and of the cost recovery benefits available through the generosity of the U.S. government via this sort of program, they just might become motivated to convert to DTV sooner, and begin to enjoy a whole new dimension in their favorite pastime. All the while, they would be completing the changeover between 2003 and 2006, oblivious to the “drop-dead” turnoff date.

Outcry from the American Public:
Even Congress gets a win here. In political terms, this is their “cover.” A partial or full cost recovery program would help avoid what is likely to be a huge public outcry when the American public finally understands that their analog TV set is about to go dark.

Viewers that may need a little help to buy new TV sets get it, and again, Congress gets credit for providing a “universal service.” Only in this case, the rest of us don’t end up paying for someone else’s TV set.

Promised Spectrum Would Actually be Available:
Government benefits again because broadcasters will free up the spectrum to be auctioned. The sold spectrum will generate funds for their favorite projects. But this time, there’s not a penalizing tax increase to raise those funds.

The Basics
Tax Credits – A Vehicle to Cost Recovery:
The basic premise of this concept is that tax credits for broadcasters would represent cost recovery. This cost recovery would be based on the sum of the purchase costs of DTV related assets plus other expenses incurred, all related to DTV conversion. The combined sum of those would be multiplied by a bonus of 150 percent.

Once in hand, the tax credit is applied to a corporate or personal federal tax return after the “total tax” is computed, which reduces dollar for dollar, or could even eliminate the amount of that tax.

An Option to “Carry-Back”:
A station owner may elect to “carry back” the tax credit to recover federal income taxes paid in up to five previous years. In that case, using the carry-back option would not trigger the need to file extensively amended federal tax returns.

Assets reported, depreciation and all other expenses would remain unchanged. Amendments would start with a line that says “Income Tax” (due). Below that line, the DTV tax credit would be entered in an amount that would either eliminate or reduce the tax to pay (paid).

Commercial and Non-Commercial Stations Participate:
This tax credit program would be available to any commercial or noncommercial station owner whose license is within the purview of the FCC rules requiring conversion to DTV. Owners would have filed for DTV construction permits since April 3, 1997, or will file based on current FCC DTV conversion rules.

Tax Credits Awarded Once:
The tax credits could only be awarded once for costs related to the DTV build-out of an individual station. After program implementation, acquisition costs for DTV projects that have previously been the subject of a tax credit award would not qualify for a second award. However, it might be possible for further DTV upgrades or enhancements to qualify.

Exceptions would be re-building after losses or destruction of assets attributed to terrorism, war, natural disasters, or other catastrophic occurrences. In those cases, values realized on tax returns through claiming casualty losses, depreciation and other tax benefits, or payments received from insurance proceeds, or from the government would offset the original investment amount.

The result would be a remainder not addressed by any offset to the loss, which would be intended to be an allowable increase to eligible basis. Eligible new costs would include demolition, clean up, re-construction, and any other costs incurred to restore the project and the site at the same or different location, depending on the circumstances;

A. Where the program has not previously been in place, it would be a matter of adding original costs, less recovery and prior tax benefits, plus new or replacement costs. The result of these computations would be included in the development budget of the original application.

B. If this program is adopted, and if a reservation is issued for a project that subsequently experiences these types of losses, then the tax credit reservation would be modified, adjusted as described above, and reissued.

Your Choice: Recover Money Spent, Raise Cash for Construction - or Both:

A station could elect to keep the tax credits for use on their own federal tax returns. Alternatively, the tax credit is a detachable benefit and could be transferred or “sold” to raise immediate cash for their own cost reimbursement or to raise funds for construction.

The Broadcaster’s Tax Credit Program Would Be Short Lived:
The DTV Tax Credit Program would have a sunset provision of Dec. 31, 2003, for broadcasters and Dec. 31, 2006, for homeowners. The key is that broadcasters (and government) could meet the mandated conversion time frame. Exceptions might be extended to allow stations created within the abandoned channels of 52 – 69 (if any) to participate in the tax credit program.

Combined, this plan suggests a positive way for all concerned to Make the Switch by 2006.

Qualifying Costs

The Tax Credit Quantity Has a Foundation:
The tax credit must have a foundation to determine its quantity. The foundation is called eligible basis. Eligible basis is the total of all qualifying costs plus the special 150 percent bonus program for broadcasters.

The Development Budget:
The development budget would list all qualifying tax credit expenditures. That amount would actually be increased by 150 percent. The result becomes the total eligible basis and would be the value upon which the tax credit is based.

Purpose of the 150% Bonus:
This bonus is designed to help stations offset, in a small way, the interruption of routine, and disruption to their organization. For instance, most stations will need to operate both NTSC and DTV transmitters for several years. The costs of this are significant. This bonus would help them recoup (in advance) some of these costs.

Preliminary Reservation of Tax Credits – The Application:
Every station filing for the tax credit would be required to supply basic information. The application would require, among other things, listing the licensed owner, station location, transmitter site, call letters and other necessary information that would tie the tax credit allocation to a specific station, address and owner and to specific build-out features.

The application process would assist in monitoring project progress as well as monitoring continued project viability from start to finish. Critical to preserving the preliminary reservation is maintaining “project viability” from the viewpoints of ownership, financing, environmental, permitting, construction, and FCC regulations including compliance with conversion deadlines.

A reservation of tax credits is preliminary until the Placed In Service Reservation issued, which is when the compliance period begins, and the allocation period starts. The reservation continues to remain conditional throughout the compliance period. A reservation may be revoked for cause at any time if the project becomes “not viable”, which could include failing to meet timing deadlines, or if it falls out of compliance by not maintaining its DTV status as required by the FCC once the compliance period begins. Compliance requirements could include that the DTV channels could only be used for FCC authorized purposes.

If a project fails to remain viable during the development period, or to remain in compliance throughout the compliance period, the project could be compelled to repay equity, or to return tax credits, or both.

Cost Recording is the Same for All Applicants:
Also required would be a development budget that itemizes project costs (see Table 1) and a worksheet to compute eligible basis. The cost accumulation process would be the same whether the station is owned by a corporation, an individual or is a non-commercial station. Non-commercial stations would likely need to list grants received, especially federal grants, which might be subtracted from eligible basis.

If Congress Approves:
Once Congress agrees to this program, stations could immediately begin seeking financing commitments, and projects could move forward. Those stations that have not already started their DTV planning would need to promptly begin assembling the needed data in preparation for their application. Stations with completed projects could begin to assemble data in preparation for their tax credit application and cost recovery as well.

Start Counting Costs from April 3, 1997:
The timing of expenses is also important. To maximize benefits to stations, the cost accumulation period could extend from April 3, 1997, through the date their DTV license is (or was) granted by the FCC. For stations that are not built out, that date could extend an additional 90 days to allow final cost documentation to settle.

At their option, stations that are already built out might use the tax credit benefit as an opportunity to purchase additional equipment, make changes or modify their installations, even though the DTV license already is “granted.”

Examples of Allowable Costs:
Examples of allowable costs include engineering, architecture, general contractor fees, consultant fees, past research and development, developer fees, accounting and legal. Other allowable costs would be for project construction, including permits of all types, lease costs, construction loan financing costs, and other related costs inside and outside the property lines. Costs (net of recovery) attributed to rebuilding after catastrophic losses would also be allowable. (Refer to Table 1 attached to these notes for a more detailed list.)

Program Outline
A Proposed Process for Allocating Tax Credits:
20. Program Administration:
The following are salient program characteristics:

A. Allocation Period
The tax credits would be issued annually, through out a 10-year allocation period. This is also called the tax credit stream.

B. Carryback
At the election of the taxpayer, federal income taxes paid in up to five previous years could be recovered. In that case, the first-year distribution would include an allocation for those carry back years. The current year would be prorated based on the in-service date and would also be included in the first-year allocation.

This is an important benefit to those who have already invested in DTV. These early adopters must be supported equally in the program not only because it’s fair, but because the program needs their support. The same applies to viewers who have already made DTV purchases.

C. 15 year Life:
Each year of DTV Tax Credit allocation would have its own individual 15-year life.

The credit allocated in any given year must first be used in the current year. Unused portions may then be carried back to the first, then second, etc. previous years. Remaining unused portions may then be held, or “carried forward” for use in following years. The 15 year period would be a combination of years going forward and years going back varying with the number of carry back years.

The credit must be used by the 15th anniversary of its allocation year (each carry back year counts as one year of the 15 year total life) or be returned to the IRS. Therefore, if the last year of allocation for your tax credit stream was 2013, then (going forward) the allocation for 2013 must be used by 2028 or returned to the IRS.

D. The Application Process:
In comparison to a commercial construction loan application, the DTV tax credit application process would be quite simple, at least in concept. Proof of compliance with certain FCC Construction Permit and other regulatory requirements would be necessary submittals, which would also include proof that certain time-line milestones have been met.

E. DTV Tax Credit Program Rules:
The tax credit program would have its own rules that would require compliance separate from any other rules or programs.

F. Falling Out of Compliance / Loss of Project Viability = Loss of Tax Credits:
Falling out of compliance could mean loss of tax credits, interruption in the tax credit stream or repayment of tax credits used. There could be a compliance period requiring the owner to maintain the DTV station in service throughout the 10-year allocation period, or longer.

G. Reporting and Filing Deadlines:
To help monitor the tax credit reservation application progress and to ensure a smooth process for both the applicant and the IRS, the project would be broken down into four phases. Application submittals would vary depending on whether the project was already completed, was in progress, if the applicant wanted advance funding for construction, or wanted to upgrade his completed project.

H. Collecting the Money:
Equity payments would be tied to accomplishments required by these four phases.

Stations using the tax credit program to raise funds would likely receive multiple payments from their equity sources, at various stages of development. A typical payment schedule might be 50 percent before construction start, 30 percent when the station submits for final reservation, 10 percent upon receipt of their granted DTV license, and the final 10 percent upon receipt of the first tax credit allocation from the IRS.

Key Program Phases
Four Phases to the Tax Credit Reservation Process:
The program can be broken down into four basic steps or phases separate from any equity payment schedule. Each step would require unique submittals to prove continued progress and project viability. While it may seem complex, the actual process is relatively straightforward for anyone who has been involved in applying for a commercial construction loan. (See “Tracking Chart”):

Phase One:
Submit an application for a Preliminary Reservation of Tax Credits:
This application would be filed by any station wanting to participate, whether the construction is complete, in process or not yet started; and whether the station is commercial or non-commercial.

In the application, stage, a station is seeking funding or cost recovery for the conversion process.

Submittals would include:

1. Identification
Disclosure of owner, station, project location and legal description for transmitter and station sites;

2. Site Control
Demonstrate site control through a long term lease, purchase and sale, or deed;

3. Project Descriptions
Initial description of the DTV conversion scope of work at station and transmitter sites. Include work necessary to adapt analog for DTV purposes. Include site plans, elevations and floor plans. This Description will be amended and adjusted to actual at the end of the project;

4. Development Budget
If pre-construction funding is sought, the development budget for the project would be based on assumptions of reasonably expected costs and eligible basis, which will be adjusted to actual at the end of the project;

5. Eligible Basis
Preliminary computations of Eligible Basis would be included. This computation would be adjusted to actual and resubmitted after the project is completed;

If the project is complete and reimbursement is the objective, the applicant would submit actual costs and actual eligible basis with engineering and accounting certifications, then continue to prepare the remainder of the submittals for this phase;

6. Equity
Trading Tax Credits for Cash:
If the station is “selling” the tax credit stream in exchange for cash, he would submit a preliminary, enforceable commitment of funds from the equity provider. This commitment could be contingent solely upon the project receiving a tax credit reservation;

7. Loans
If other funding is required, then enforceable financing commitments from those sources would be included. These also would be contingent solely upon the project receiving a tax credit reservation;

8. Self Funding of Construction
If the station will be built using its own funds, those funds must be irrevocably committed, contingent solely upon receipt of a preliminary reservation of tax credits;

9. Election for Self Use of Tax Credits
If the station will use its tax credit stream to offset its own federal income tax, the applicant would include an election to retain the tax credits for self use;

10. Election to Carry Back
If the station elects to carry back tax credits to recover past Federal Income Taxes, then an election to carry back with computations would be included. The Carry Back option would apply to Federal Income Taxes paid within the 5 years previous to the start of the tax credit program;

11. Sources and Uses of Funds
A sources and uses of funds statement to support ability to complete the project would prove that there are funding sources equal to the total development cost in the form of enforceable commitments. This statement would be adjusted to actual, and resubmitted in the next phase;

12. Grant Funding
Proof of funding sources will be especially important for PBS stations that may have received state, federal or private grants. These grants may be subtracted from Eligible Basis, which would reduce the tax credit award;

13. Zoning Approval
Include final proof of land use and zoning approval from the local jurisdiction;

14. FAA Clearance
Include final proof of FAA clearance for the project;

15. Other submittals would be asked for

With these milestones completed, the submittals would be prepared and indexed in a binder, and the tax credit application would be complete. The application would be sent to the IRS who would then send a Preliminary Tax Credit Reservation letter, announcing an award of tax credits to the project.

The letter would be 2 pages (approx.), would indicate that the project had been awarded a Preliminary Reservation of Tax Credits, would state the estimated total eligible basis, and would include an allocation schedule based on the estimate with carry back if elected;

Phase Two:
Construction of the Project
All applicants for tax credits would proceed with phase two. Those stations with completed projects prior to filing an application will save the construction time.

Steps would include:
1. Preliminary Reservation
The first step would be to receive the Preliminary Reservation letter;

2. Equity Funding
Receive Cash for the Tax Credits
The enforceable commitment of funds submitted in the application, contingent only upon receipt of a tax credit reservation would now be signed again, acknowledging the receipt of the Preliminary Tax Credit Reservation;

3. Loans
As with the equity agreements, enforceable commitments submitted in the application would be signed again, also acknowledging receipt of the Preliminary Tax Credit Reservation;

4. Self Funding
Final commitments of funds acknowledging receipt of the tax credit reservation would be executed;

5. Construction of the Project
a. Start and complete the construction at station and transmitter sites.
b. If construction is already completed, and no additional enhancements are planned, the applicant would save the construction time and continue to work through the steps.
c. If the applicant has additional enhancements planned, he would treat his project as though the construction was not complete.

6. Certificate of Occupancy
The project receives a C of O from the Building Official, which confirms that the project and the work conforms to local zoning, building, and environmental requirements;

7. FCC Test Authority Phase
The station would then be in the Program Test Authority stage. The applicant would continue in his preparation to submit for the Final Reservation of Tax Credits.

8. FCC DTV License
The applicant would apply to the FCC for his DTV License, and commence to complete licensing requirements not already satisfied;

9. Cost Compilations
Collecting project cost data would continue. It would likely take 30 – 60 days for all costs of the project to be invoiced to the owner, reconciled, and entered into the final development budget. Cost compilations would begin to be followed by engineering and accounting certifications;

With completion of the construction phase, the applicant would be in the process of completing FCC requirements for the DTV License to be granted. The Final Reservation Submittal is the next step in the Tax Credit process.

Phase Three:
Submit for the Final Reservation of Tax Credits:
In this phase, the applicant will submit for the Final Reservation of Tax Credits. This submittal notifies the IRS that construction is complete, that the project is compliant with zoning and building codes, that the owner is in the process of completing FCC licensing requirements, and that all financing is in place. It also serves to prove continued viability and project progress.

Submittals would include:
1. Preliminary Reservation Letter
A copy of the Preliminary Reservation letter issued by the IRS;

2. Development Budget
There would not be a need for a submittal related to costs yet. However, cost compilation would continue until FCC compliance was completed and all project costs had settled;

3. Eligible Basis
A submittal would not be required yet;

4. Equity Commitments
The executed agreements acknowledging receipt of the tax credit reservation by the owner would be included in this submittal. This does not mean (nor does it require) that the provider of these funds would have an ownership position in the project. Equity, in this case, assumes cash received by the project owner in exchange for tax credits, with the cash invested in the project. The cash must be used for project debts.

5. Loans
Final agreements would be submitted. Loans from the owner or stockholders would be included;

6. Self Funding
A final commitment letter, indicating total funds committed by the owner would be submitted. These funds would not be encumbered;

7. Sources and Uses of Funds
A final statement reconciling the final total development costs and total funds to finance the project would be prepared and included in this submittal. This statement would amend the original;

8. Certificate of Occupancy
Submit a copy of the signed off C of O;

9. FCC Test Authority Phase
This phase would be in process;

10. FCC DTV License
The applicant would submit a letter indicating progress and current status, and would submit proof that the DTV license had been applied for;

11. Cost Compilations
Engineering and Accounting Certification
The applicant would submit a letter indicating progress and current status.

With completion of the milestones for a Final Reservation, the applicant would index and assemble the submittals, and send the package to the IRS. This submittal is intended to demonstrate continued project viability and progress

At that time, the final Development Budget and Eligible Basis computations, engineering and accounting certifications, and the DTV license application would still be in process.

The next step is to receive the Final Reservation, complete these open items; then file for the Placed in Service Reservation.

Phase Four
Apply for the “Placed in Service” Reservation:

Submittals would include:

1. Final Reservation
A copy of the Final Reservation Letter from the IRS;

2. Identification
A final disclosure of identification, location indicating changes if any, and the final ownership structure;

3. Project Descriptions
As-Built drawings and final project descriptions

4. Development Budget
The final Development Budget with total project costs reconciled to the satisfaction of the owner;

5. Eligible Basis
Final Eligible Basis computations, with an adjusted annual allocation schedule;

6. FCC Test Authority Phase
This phase would be completed, and the DTV license would be expected to be issued;

7. FCC DTV License
A certified copy of the DTV License indicating that the station is DTV compliant and that the DTV license has been granted;

8. Cost Compilations
Engineering and Accounting Certifications
a. Certifications from an independent Engineer and CPA attesting to the relationship to DTV of all products and costs claimed in eligible basis;
b. That all elements claimed in Eligible Basis are allowable;
c. A certified opinion that the project conforms to the Tax Credit rules for this program;

9. The submittal documents would be assembled, indexed and forwarded to the IRS. The result will be receipt of a Placed In Service Reservation issued by the IRS.

10. Upon receipt of this reservation, the tax credits will be vested and the compliance period begins.

The Tax Credit Reservation has an Expiration Date:
A Placed in Service reservation would have to be issued before the expiration of the allowable time frame, which would be within two years of the date the preliminary reservation was issued (step two).

The First Allocation of Tax Credits:
In January of the year following the filing of the Placed in Service Reservation, the station would receive the first allocation of tax credits. Carry back years would be included in this first distribution.

A Win-Win Situation

Benefits to Non-Commercial Stations, Consumers and the Government:
On the surface, some outside the industry may say that only the commercial broadcaster benefits from this program. Let’s examine how noncommercial stations, the consumer and even the government would benefit.

Non Commercial Stations:
Non-commercial and PBS stations don’t pay taxes so why should they support this program? The advantage to these stations is cost recovery or to use the tax credit as a mechanism to generate cash in advance for construction.

Consumers:
Benefits extend to consumers as well. When TV first came on the market, no one said we had to give up our radios. When color became available, viewers still had a choice of color or black and white. As other delivery methods became available, viewers could choose to get their television signals via OTA, cable or satellite. But when digital replaces analog, there will be no choice. Viewers will either be able to receive DTV or will be in the dark.

The consumer is unwittingly caught up in the DTV push, which due to a “take it or leave it” alternative, is unique to this technology. While government is highly motivated and involved, and is in the position of compelling compliance, there is clearly a political penalty for not doing so in a consumer-friendly way.

Government:
This proposal is a way of softening the burden on the broadcaster and homeowner alike, while simultaneously creating a benefit for the government, that being to bring about a favorable, productive reaction to progress from the public and to bring the Government’s DTV conversion program in on time.

Broadcasters Create an Advertising Campaign:
A cost recovery program for homeowners would partially or completely offset the expense of their DTV upgrade (which might be limited to converter boxes) and would likely increase their receptiveness to conversion.
Broadcasters could help by establishing a strong advertising campaign promoting the benefits of DTV, thereby effectively attaining everyone’s attention and encouraging its rapid adoption.

Again, on the Benefits for Government:
Lastly, but most importantly, is government’s participation. Congress is certainly going to ask “What’s in it for me?”

The key benefit to government of converting to digital television technology has always been the revenue generated through the sale of the analog spectrum. While temporarily lost in the recent financial turmoil, it’s certain to rise to the forefront as Congress struggles with rising costs of programs.

The other greatest benefit of this program is to offer a plan that could produce a timely conversion to DTV, with deadlines for the public met through an innocuous, low profile approach. This would seem to enable government the timely availability of recovered spectrum, for sale (on schedule) with as little public attention drawn to the turnover date as possible.

Other significant benefits include new income tax revenues created by new and expanding businesses, as they come on line with new wireless uses, and the new jobs that will be created. At this particular time in our nations history, here is another opportunity to demonstrate how a Democratic Government participates in its people, and how in this free country, people can participate in government.

For our worldwide observers, America would introduce a program that could work in any free country that has the equivalent of our income tax.

Broadcaster Support

Broadcasters Created it and Brought it to the Government:
Television used to be an option, even a luxury. In today’s world, TV is a much more integral component of our lives. Now government is making digital TV a requirement. If you in the broadcast industry are to benefit from the conversion to DTV, then your influence on the process is critical.

For years, broadcasters have voluntarily contributed to the advancement of TV technology through enterprise, innovation, ingenuity, and their own resources, and have donated vast amounts of public service airtime. In the course of that, they have returned billions of dollars to the government through corporate income taxes and through income taxes paid by their employees.

Now a small portion of that goodwill could be extended to them through a program of this sort, to help build American’s digital future. Admittedly, this program was conceived after the fact, when the attainment of program deadlines seemed to flounder, and staggering costs were realized.

The Communications Sub-Committee of the U. S. Senate:
At their request, an outline of this concept has been submitted to the Senate Commerce Committee, who has said that in order to take this concept further, widespread industry support is needed. If you think the idea presented in this article has merit, then we need your support to move forward. A copy has also been sent to the House Sub Committee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

Please utilize our web page and e-mail or a method of your own choosing to voice your opinion. Simultaneously, if you would, kindly send hard document proof to us that will provide the Senate with the industry wide support they want. Your written letters collectively presented would be an invaluable asset it terms of documenting your support. Possibly NAB could be encouraged to contribute their support as well.

The Broadcast Engineering Web Page:
Readers are encouraged to visit the Broadcast Engineering website and voice their opinion on this issue. In addition, links for the Senators and Congressman who are members of the FCC oversight committees are listed, as well as those from all 50 states. You can personally contact them and encourage their participation.

Links:
Senate Contacts

House of Representatives Contacts

Senate FCC Oversight Committee & Subcommittee

House of Representatives FCC Oversight Committee & Subcommittee

Submittal Process Tracking Chart


Make the Switch by 2006 Do you support a broadcasters' cost recovery program to help build DTV?VOTE NOW
by going to the
Broadcast Engineeringwebsite:www.broadcastengineering.com
Click on Vote for DTV and register your opinion.Also: Complete links to all 50 state senators. Contact your senator now and express your support for the Make the Switch by 2006 program.

About the Author:
Don Stendal is a DTV developer / consultant, has a tax credit financing and construction background, and works in partnership with Holmes & Narver / DMJM Harris, Architects and Engineers, to offer design, construction, and single point of contact construction management. He can be reached at: Phone no. (801) 486-4455; or (801) 463-5074; Fax no. (801) 486-4454; e-mail: switchby2006@yahoo.com. Address: 220 East Morris Avenue, Suite 300, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115.