[opendtv] News: Digital Transistion Date Will Stick, Staffers Say
- From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
- To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 4 Oct 2006 10:36:14 -0400
Digital Transistion Date Will Stick, Staffers Say
-- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/3/2006 3:06:00 PM
Despite a few caveats, Key House and Senate legislative staffers
predicted Tuesday that the digital transition date of February 2009
Those predictions were made at a Maximum Service Television
conference in Washington Tuesday.
Lisa Sutherland, staff director for Senate Commerce Committee
Chairman Ted Stevens was the most definitive, while Johanna Shelton,
minority counsel to the House Energy & Commerce Committee offered the
largest caveat. She said there remains a lot of hard work to be done,
and was particularly concerned with the digital-to-analog converter
The National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA)
has been given only $5 million for an education campaign to let
viewers know of the coming switch from analog to digital. "If NTIA
does the converter box program on the cheap, it will get a transition
on the cheap, she said.
There was less certainty about the fate of the franchise reform bill
now stuck in the Senate. The bill is being blocked over the issue of
network neutrality, and Sutherland was not ready to predict its fate
in the lame duck session when Congress returns in November, though
she it was stalled now and pointed out that "a lot will depend on the
election. If one or both Houses were to change control "certainly
that changes the dynamic."
James Assey, minority counsel for the Senate Commerce Committee
agreed that the election could change things.
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