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Kerry/Edwards Pledge to Hasten DTV Transition

If you were wondering where Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry stands on the DTV transition, looking at The Kerry-Edwards Five-Point Plan for Rural and Small Town Economies it appears to match that of the Congress and the FCC -- TV broadcasting must transition to digital and free up the analog spectrum. The plan emphasizes the need for bringing high-speed Internet to rural communities and it says one way to do this is to expand the spectrum available for new broadband wireless services that could travel 30 miles. "The Kerry-Edwards plan will complete the transition to digital television, and accelerate the return of valuable spectrum that is currently being used for broadcasting the 'analog' television signal. The plan will ensure that Americans continue to enjoy free, over-the-air television, including subsidies, if necessary, to ensure all Americans can make the transition. Better use of this spectrum will allow us to provide additional spectrum for both licensed and unlicensed services for wireless broadband." It notes that "deploying these new services could be 3-4 times cheaper than existing wireless technologies," an important consideration for rural areas.

Notice that the plan mentions the use of subsidies if necessary. Subsidies for low-cost DTV set-top boxes were mentioned in the MSTV and NAB comments to the FCC's Notice of Inquiry the impact of the DTV transition over-the-air TV viewers described in last week's RF Report.