Last week, the FCC adopted rules requiring satellite carriers to transmit the analog and digital signals of TV broadcast stations located in Alaska and Hawaii, as required by Section 210 of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA). DBS providers with more than 5 million subscribers have until Dec. 8, 2005 to offer local analog signals and until June 8, 2007 to offer the DTV signals to subscribers in these states. Once a satellite carrier begins transmitting a station’s digital programming, the analog broadcast signal can be dropped, as DBS signals are digitized and satellite carriers will be required to transmit all DTV program channels (multicast).
The FCC news release announcing the Report and Order (FCC 05-159) establishing the new rules explained that the Order applies only to Alaska and Hawaii and does not include territories and possessions such as Puerto Rico and Guam.
Broadcasters in Alaska and Hawaii must elect whether to assert must-carry for their analog signal by Oct. 1, 2005 and to make carriage elections for their DTV signal by April 1, 2007.
For a discussion of the FCC's interpretation of SHVERA and more details on the new rules, refer to the Report and Order (FCC 05-159).
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