Policy

Group: 39M Homes Not Getting DTV

9/20/2004 11:17 AM Eastern

About 39 million households can’t receive a digital-TV service from at least one network station more than two years after all commercial-TV stations were required to begin beaming digital pictures, according to a group supported by EchoStar Communications Corp.

The Digital Transition Coalition said it documented for the Federal Communications Commission large digital-TV-coverage gaps illustrating that the transition is behind schedule.

The DTC said its data demonstrated the need for Congress to pass a law supported by EchoStar that would allow satellite carriers to deliver out-of-town digital-network programming to consumers who can’t get the programming locally.

Broadcasters opposed the legislation, which was approved by the Senate Commerce Committee earlier this year.

“If local broadcasters fail to provide a network digital signal, then satellite providers should be allowed to do so. This [legislation] will be the much-needed catalyst for achieving the goal of returning the analog spectrum to the public and providing choices to consumers across the country,” said George Landrith of Frontiers of Freedom, a DTC member, in a prepared statement.