[opendtv] News: FCC's Powell To Delay Digital-TV Vote, Aides Say

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 7 Dec 2004 08:11:05 -0500


FCC's Powell To Delay Digital-TV Vote, Aides Say

FCC Chairman Michael Powell expects to postpone until early next year 
a vote on his plan to convert the U.S. television system to digital 
technology by January 2009, a Powell aide said.

  As reported by Bloomberg, local television stations and broadcasters 
such as Walt Disney Co.'s ABC network have lobbied against the plan, 
saying consumers aren't prepared to switch to digital TV sets. Police 
and fire-safety groups have pushed the transition because it would 
free current airwaves for emergency services.

  A delay by Powell may lead Congress to pre-empt the FCC on the 
issue, increasing the likelihood that the transition to digital TV 
will be pushed back even further, Precursor Group analyst Rudy Baca 

  ``It's quite possible the Powell plan was an interesting 
intellectual exercise that won't be voted on anytime soon,'' said 
Baca, a former senior aide to then-FCC Chairman James Quello.

  Powell had planned to hold a December 15 vote on the issue and now 
expects to submit it to an agency vote by March, said Jonathan Cody, 
a top Powell aide.

  ``There's no harm done in waiting,'' said Cody, Powell's senior 
media-regulation adviser, in an interview. ``We can only gain by 
getting more support from Congress and industry.''

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  • » [opendtv] News: FCC's Powell To Delay Digital-TV Vote, Aides Say