Senate OKs DTV Border Fix Act


The Senate last week passed the Digital Television Border Fix Act of 2007 (S.2507) that would set up a way for television broadcasters along the U.S.-Mexican border to continue broadcasting in analog and digital after the Feb. 17, 2009 DTV transition. The measure would establish a means for border stations to apply to the Federal Communications Commission to seek permission to stay on the air with their analog transmissions for years following the nationwide DTV transition deadline. The act, introduced last year by Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX), passed the Senate by unanimous consent. Companion legislation, H.R. 5435, has been introduced by Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) in the House. The Senate approved the bill to give broadcasters along the border the ability to effectively postpone the completion of their DTV transition "so border residents' access to important public safety information is not threatened," Sen Hutchinson said. The bill would allow stations within 50 miles of the border to seek FCC permission for continued simulcast of analog and digital transmissions for up to four years after the DTV deadline.

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