Gates Joins in Call for Early Cutoff Date - TvTechnology

Gates Joins in Call for Early Cutoff Date

Just as Congress is gearing up to decide on a possible compromise cutoff date for analog, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and other industry leaders are urging lawmakers to speed the transition to DTV in order to free up radio spectrum for computer-centric wireless broadband, especially in underserved and impoverishe
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Just as Congress is gearing up to decide on a possible compromise cutoff date for analog, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates and other industry leaders are urging lawmakers to speed the transition to DTV in order to free up radio spectrum for computer-centric wireless broadband, especially in underserved and impoverished areas.

The high tech execs expressed their collective wish in a letter to congressional leaders that also stressed the need to clear airwaves to enhance police, fire and other first responders. This was the chief reason cited for the need for a faster transition following spectrum and other communications problems endured by first responders on Sept. 11 more than four years ago, and most recently during hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The original cutoff date (which technically remains in force for now) is Dec. 31, 2006. The Gates letter urged any new cutoff date to come no later than Jan. 1, 2009. (The current compromise date is April 7, 2009.) The group behind the letter is the High Tech DTV Coalition, whose members include Microsoft, Intel, Dell, Cisco Systems and the Information Technology Industry Council.