House Passes Analog Extension Bill

Broadcasters encouraged to run info screens
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Broadcasters encouraged to run info screens

The U.S. House of Representatives passed S. 3663, the 30-day analog extension bill by unanimous consent. The “Short-term Analog Flash and Emergency Readiness Act” directs the FCC to lay out a plan for broadcasters to transmit emergency and DTV transition information for another month after the Feb. 17, 2009 shutdown. The commission has until Jan. 15 to outline a strategy.

The extension is not compulsory, and not every station will be able to keep transmitting in analog because some are flash-cutting on the same frequency, while others are handing over analog frequencies to other stations for digital assignments.

The Senate passed bill in late November. It awaits the president’s signature.