FCC responds to GAO DTV report

The commission released a report documenting the role it’s played in the DTV transition Dec. 11, but two commissioners call for greater efforts.

The FCC released a report Dec. 11 responding to a report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on the DTV transition that found “no comprehensive plan or strategy to measure progress and results.”

In response, the 99-page FCC report “FCC Written Response to the GAO Report on DTV,” lays out in detail the 20-year history of the steps the commission has taken to shepherd the digital television transition. The report divides the commission’s response into four sections:

  • Technical goals
  • Policy goals
  • Consumer outreach goals
  • Other critical elements.

In its November report, the GAO recommended that the FCC, working with public and private stakeholders in the DTV transition, “develop a comprehensive plan for the various aspects of the DTV transition.” The FCC response appears to be an attempt on the part of the commission to demonstrate its long-term plan and the milestones that have been reached along the way towards digital television transmission.

However, commissioners Jonathan Adelstein and Michael Copps issued written statements expressing their concerns over the commission’s efforts to complete the transition successfully.

“It continues to astound me that we do not have a comprehensive DTV transition plan,” wrote Copps. What’s missing he said is a “comprehensive, public sector-private-sector partnership” similar to that which was developed to address concerns over the Y2K computer issue.

In his response, Adelstein called for an interagency task force and reestablishing the commission’s internal working group on DTV. The commission “appears to be in a state of denial over what the GAO is telling us,” he said. “Rather than making excuses, we need to come up with solutions.”

To read the FCC report, visit: http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-278883A1.pdf.

To read the GAO report, visit: www.gao.gov/new.items/d0843.pdf.