[opendtv] Re: News: Reps Seek Digital-Decision Delay

  • From: "John Willkie" <johnwillkie@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 8 Dec 2004 20:13:00 -0800

We (I can say this freely, being a member of a non-racial minority group)
need to protect the po' folks from the future!

John Willkie

-----Original Message-----
From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
[mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]On Behalf Of Craig Birkmaier
Sent: Tuesday, December 07, 2004 5:06 AM
To: OpenDTV Mail List
Subject: [opendtv] News: Reps Seek Digital-Decision Delay


http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA485726.html?display=Breaking+News
&referral=SUPP

Reps Seek Digital-Decision Delay

By Bill McConnell -- Broadcasting & Cable, 12/6/2004 10:30:00 PM

A group of lawmakers representing mostly rural or African-American
districts Monday asked FCC Chairman Michael Powell to delay a vote on
his plan to accelerate the transition to all-digital TV.

   The lawmakers are worried that Powell will ask his fellow FCC
commissioners to vote on the plan next week. "Surely there can be
several months of congressional debate and input on this critical
matter during the first quarter of next year," wrote Reps. G. K.
Butterfield, D-N.C.; John Lewis, D-Ga.; Mike Ross, D-Ark.; Bernie
Thompson, D-Miss.; Marion Berry, D-Ark.; and Bob Etheridge, D-N.C. in
a letter to Powell.

The plan, developed by FCC Media Bureau Staff, would set Jan. 1,
2009, as the date when TV stations must give up their old analog
channels and operate all-digital. To continue receiving TV service at
that point, viewers would need to subscribe to pay TV, purchase a
digital set or buy converters that will keep old analog sets working.

  Under current FCC rules the TV stations won't be obligated to go
all-digital for another decade or so.

  Powell envisions Congress subsidizing the cost of converters for
low-income Americans, but only Congress has the power to sanction
such a program. "We do not see any substantive language in the Media
Bureau Plan that would protect low income consumers from losing their
analog television service or any provision to assist them with making
the conversion to digital without the purchase of expensive digital
equipment which so many minorities cannot afford," the lawmakers
wrote.

  Despite the lawmakers' worries, some FCC officials and industry
lobbyists say no vote on the plan is slated for this month, and even
a vote in January is unlikely.  But staff for the lawmakers say
rumors persist that Powell will attempt to bring the matter to a vote
with only a few days notice.









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