FCC March Meeting Will Focus on DTV Transition

(Feb. 27, 2009) WASHINGTON: The FCC will take up but one topic during its regular monthly meeting in March, and that will be the DTV transition.

“Congress has set June 12, 2009 as the final deadline for terminating full-power analog broadcasts,” the FCC’s meeting notification reads. “The purpose of the meeting is to educate and inform the commission and the public about the digital television transition, including the partial transition on Feb. 17, 2009, when some full-power broadcast television stations stopped broadcasting in analog and began broadcasting in digital-only.

Some 421 stations shut down on Feb. 17, the original end date for the transition before the government issued a voluntary extension to June 12. Another 200 or so stations had already flipped the switch, leaving around 1,200 to end analog broadcasts between now and June.

The FCC braced for a barrage of phone calls and complaints in the wake of Feb. 17, but they actually got more calls the day before than the day after those 400-plus stations pulled the plug. Many of the calls involved questions about reception, some from folks unaware they needed to rescan for channel locations.

The commission’s March meeting is scheduled for the 5th, at 9:30 a.m. in Room TW-C305 at the Portals, at 445 12 St. S.W. in Washington, D.C. The meeting’s Capitol Connection, for a fee, at www.capitolconnection.gmu.edu.

A list of presenters will be issued beforehand.