House committee announces hearings amid doubts over efforts to prepare public for DTV transition

The leadership of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce scheduled hearings for mid-February on the status of the DTV transition amid doubts about whether all necessary steps are being taken to prepare the public for the analog switch off.

In announcing the Feb. 13 hearings, committee chairman John Dingell, D-MI, expressed a lack of confidence that government, broadcasters, retailers and other stakeholders were doing enough.

“With just a year to go, we want this transition to be as smooth as possible for American consumers,” said Rep. Edward Markey, D-MA, chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

No list of witnesses was available, but according to a press statement from the committee, a major focus of the hearings will be on consumer access to digital-to-analog converter boxes.

To date, the Committee on Energy and Commerce has held three hearings on the status of the DTV transition during the 110th Congress.