A BDPA Opportunity? Senate Passes DTV Delay Act | S.328

Senate passes legislation to put off the switch to digital TV until June.

Washington | bdpatoday -- Government Computing News (GCN) reports the U.S. Senate has passed a bill Tuesday, 27 JAN 09, that essentially would delay the national switch to digital television broadcasting until June 13, 2009, giving broadcasters and viewers an additional four months to prepare for the national switchover that would make millions of antenna-equipped TV sets obsolete.

S.328, the DTV Delay Act, also would extend the converter-box coupon program intended to help households purchase the hardware needed to make the transition.

The program, run by the Commerce Department's National Telecommunications and Information Administration, has reached its funding limit but is putting consumers on a waiting list as funds from expiring coupons become available. The coupons are worth $40 toward the purchase of a converter box, which cost from $40 to more than $100.

The DTV act also would extend the licenses for recovered radio-frequency (RF) spectrum that was auctioned off by the Federal Communications Commission for more than $20 billion in anticipation of the transition. The licenses, and deadlines for building out infrastructure to use the spectrum, would be extended by 116 days.

The DTV act also would allow broadcasters to switch off analog signals prior to the June 13th deadline if they are ready, and the FCC could allow the use of the early use of freed-up spectrum that has been set aside for public safety networks.

A   bdpatoday  Special Report

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Backgrounder Information

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(See BDPA Government Relations page 16 | August 2008 issue) 

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(See pages 13 and 18 | October 2008 issue)
+ http://www.ncr-bdpa.org/bdpatoday/OCT08-Newsletter_DC-Final.pdf

(See pages 5 and 12 | November 2008 issue)
+ http://www.ncr-bdpa.org/bdpatoday/NOV08-Newsletter_DC-Final.pdf

+ Click here for more on Senate Bill S.328

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