Capitol Hill: House Receives DTV Transition Bill

New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House to address several key issues associated with the current analog cut off in February 2009. Much of the measure is designed to provide additional help in alerting consumers to the pending cut off of analog signals. (Similar legislation has already become law.)

Under the new bill's provisions, retailers would be required to display signs near analog sets to alert consumers that after Feb. 17, 2009, they will need to connect the current set to a converter box, or to cable or satellite services, to receive broadcast signals.

Also, broadcasters will be required to file regular reports with the FCC detailing what consumer education efforts they are undertaking, such as airing PSAs. And the FCC would be required to create a pro-active public outreach program to help educate consumers.

The bill is being co-sponsored by three GOP minority members: Reps. Joe Barton (R-Texas), Fred Upton (R-Mich.), and Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.), the former speaker. The entire bill is available online in a PDF file from the NAB, which supports the measure.