Action by the House Commerce Committee on terminating analog-TV service
within a few years will likely be postponed by at least one week. The Senate
Commerce Committee scheduled Oct. 19 to hold key votes on the same issue,
but budget politics in the House are complicating the Commerce Committee's
effort to complete work on digital-television issues at the same time. The
House panel is unlikely to vote next week because House Budget Committee
leaders are coming under pressure to cut spending or find new revenue to pay
for Hurricane Katrina cleanup. The House Commerce Committee was expected to
find about $15 billion in savings under the budget blueprint adopted before
Katrina. The panel might be expected to come up with billions of dollars
[SOURCE: Multichannel News, AUTHOR: Ted Hearn]
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Members of the Senate Commerce Committee are actively considering using the
digital television transition bill to open new spectrum to unlicensed
access. This could include opening current Channels 2-4 after the
broadcasters vacate it, or pushing the FCC to finish the "white spaces"
proceeding. It is supported by a number of tech companies, who want to see
broadband widely deployed so they can sell more stuff. It is also supported
by a number of public interest groups, community wireless networks, and
wireless ISPs, because this means cheap ubiquitous mobile broadband for all
Americans and all the social and economic benefits this brings. It is
opposed by the National Association of Broadcasters and cell phone
companies, who dislike the thought of wireless competitors and/or believe
that we haven't advanced much in radio technology to avoid interference
since God apparently made the TV allotment tables in the 1950s.
[SOURCE: Tales from the Sausage Factory, AUTHOR: Harold Feld]

Frank Muto
Co-founder -  Washington Bureau for ISP Advocacy - WBIA
Telecom Summit Ad Hoc Committee

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