DTV bill on hold

The bill before the House Energy and Commerce committee to require broadcasters to give back analog NTSC bandwidth at the end of 2006, regardless of DTV set penetration, has been put on hold until the next session of Congress.

Some members of Congress claim that the spectrum freed up by NTSC going dark will help the country’s safety forces communicate in emergencies. Many in Congress see digital delivery through broadcast and the Internet as a potential boon to the economy. A draft of the bill, written by Committee Chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La) and John Dingell (D-Mi), the ranking Democrat on the committee, will now wait until the next Congress has the time to sort through the issues raised by the NAB and others.

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