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FCC may set new rules for digital transition at cable companies

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 11 Sep 2007 7:08 User comments (5)

FCC may set new rules for digital transition at cable companies FCC Chairman Kevin Martin wants the agency to require cable companies to guarantee support for their customers' analog televisions after the 2009 switch to digital broadcasts over the air.
"Unless the commission acts, some cable customers may actually be harmed by the transition and lose the ability to view some of these channels," Martin told The Associated Press on Monday.

In February of 2009 analog television owners will be eligible for a government subsidy to buy analog converter boxes so they can continue to watch TV. The subsidy, however, is targeted toward people who receive broadcasts over the air.

Cable providers could solve the problem by supplying customers with their own analog converters, and industry representatives have assured the FCC that their customers with analog TVs will still be able to watch them after the digital cutover, but Martin feels it should be required by FCC rule.

A National Cable Television Association (NCTA) expressed outrage at the proposal, saying "We've said we will voluntarily take care of our customers, which is different than a government mandate."

The FCC is scheduled to meet today, and will likely be discussing the issue.

Source: Associated Press

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5 user comments

111.9.2007 13:11

Quote:
A National Cable Television Association (NCTA) expressed outrage at the proposal, saying "We've said we will voluntarily take care of our customers, which is different than a government mandate.
If they had plans to hold true to their word, why would they be expressing outrage?

211.9.2007 18:51

Quote:
Quote:
A National Cable Television Association (NCTA) expressed outrage at the proposal, saying "We've said we will voluntarily take care of our customers, which is different than a government mandate.
If they had plans to hold true to their word, why would they be expressing outrage?
ditto. so we have to go based on their word in a world that legislation is all around.

311.9.2007 20:53

I think that is great! I do have an HDTV but i do also have a standard T.V. & both have standard Tivos on them i can not afford to purchase a NEW HD tivo & pay another $10 a month for 2 cable cards! Then there are plenty of people who have just basic cable in there home & have old CRT non HD tv's that cant afford a box rental or even subsidised box! There are a lot of people who still have jsut a Standard NON HD T.V. in there home! & i am sure that most people who have 1 hd havent changed all to hd! The only reason i have an HD is my old one went bad & it was the same cost to get a new t.v almost!

412.9.2007 4:02

Well now that we have heard from the collectivist. S0 what constitutional right does the goverment have to even be involved in the cable television industry or any industry for that matter? It was the FCC who was originally requiring that TV signals go digital by 2007. The constitution is a set of rules (a contract) that sais "we the people" allow "you" the goverment to do these things and only these things outlined in the constitution. The goverment has been in violation of that contract for more than 70 years. So what is new.

512.9.2007 9:03

I guess that's government logic for you...

It will be illegal to broadcast analog, but they want to require cable companies to stream analog... Weird!

Just let the free market work! Analog is an option that DirecTV cannot offer (without a converter box), and broadcast won't be able to offer in the future. The cable companies can benefit by offering their customers a choice.

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