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Heard on the hill: DTV legislation update

Kevin C. Tofel

Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens is looking to split the planned DTV bill into two separate bills now. Bill numero uno will focus on a hard transition date for DTV and any federal budgetary impacts. Bill the second will deal with any related industry or consumer issues. Is it just me or is he sending an "us first, consumers second" subliminal message? We still have two weeks to follow the show "As the DTV Bill Passes" since the legislation is planned  for October 19th. Thank goodness C-SPAN isn't in HDTV just yet.

As I see the high level ideas here, it looks like the "must-carry" or "multi-cast" decisions will be in the second bill, as will any government subsidies to consumers for analog-to-digital converters. Interestingly enough, Senator Stevens himself says, "Passage of both bills is necessary to accomplish our goals." Um, so why are we splitting them up again? Anybody? A little help?


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