Democrat leaders want DTV task force

Congressional Democrats want President Bush to establish a DTV task force to manage the country’s transition to digital. Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-HI, and Rep. John Dingell, D-MI, have asked the president to create an interagency DTV task force to concentrate on educating consumers for the digital transition.

In a letter to the president, the chairmen of the Senate Commerce Committee and House Energy & Commerce Committee, respectively, noted a GAO study that found the DTV transition education effort lacks coordination. The members of Congress are afraid the public will blame them for problems.

The National Telecommunications & Information Administration, an office of the Bush administration, and the FCC are coordinating federal government efforts.

“A coordinated federal effort to oversee the DTV transition is essential,” the Congressional leaders wrote to Bush and asked that he take steps to create a task force “immediately.”

Neither NTIA head Meredith Baker or FCC chairman Kevin Martin have supported calls for a task force, contending the agencies are working together.

In a response, the FCC said that it had been preparing for the transition for two decades and didn’t need a task force.