DTV Delay Act
This legislation has been signed into law. The details of the law are displayed below. Further down the page you can view the original legislation information.
DTV Delay Act
- amends the Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 to delay the transition of television broadcasting from analog to digital to June 13, 2009.
- requires the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to extend for a 116-day period the licenses for recovered spectrum, including the license period and construction requirements associated with those licenses.
- extends to July 31, 2009, provided additional budget authority is enacted, the deadline for requesting digital-to-analog converter box coupons.
- authorizes the issuance, on request, of one replacement coupon for each coupon that expired without being redeemed.
- declares that this Act does not prevent:
- a station from ending analog broadcasting (and continuing to broadcast exclusively digitally) before June 13, 2009; or
- a public safety service from beginning operations on spectrum recovered as a result of such voluntary cessation of analog or digital broadcasting.
- amends the Communications Act of 1934 to extend through September 30, 2012 (under current law, September 30, 2011), the authority of the FCC to grant a license or permit under provisions relating to competitive bidding.
On Feb 17, 2009, ~25% of TV stations ended analog broadcasts. The most populous places where many or all major-network stations are cutting analog this week include San Diego and Santa Barbara, Calif.; La Crosse and Madison, Wis.; Rockford and Peoria, Ill.; Sioux City, Iowa; Waco, Texas; Macon, Ga.; Scranton, Pa.; Rhode Island and Vermont. In most cases, one station in each of those markets will continue sending analog signals until June or will offer a so-called "analog nightlight" for a few months, with limited local news and emergency broadcasts, as well as information about the digital TV transition.
The FCC says most calls about DTV problems were from viewers who were having reception or technical problems (problems receiving any channels, antenna problems, or weak or intermittent signals).
The Federal Communications Commission will now decide which stations can drop their analog broadcasts and when. See decisions released Feb 11 and a summary. On Feb 20, the FCC released its second order implementing the digital television transition delay bill. In a separate notice of proposed rulemaking the Commission proposes that no TV stations should cease analog broadcasts earlier than April 16. (see summary)
The National Telecommunications and Information Administration will soon implement provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for additional digital-to-analog converter box coupons and related activities, including up to $90 million for education and outreach (such as grants to organizations that will educate people at-risk of losing television service). That law also authorizes the issuance, on request, of one replacement coupon for each coupon that expired without being redeemed.
- The NTIA announced it will prioritize analog-only coupon requests
The original legislation data is included below.
Feb 11, 2009: President Obama Signs DTV Delay Act
The Federal Communications Commission met to discuss the progress of the upcoming digital television transition on Thursday. The three FCC commissioner expressed relief over Congress' Wednesday passage of legislation delaying the date of the digital television transition from February 17 to June 12.
Feb 4, 2009: House Votes to Delay Switch to Digital TV; Bill is sent to President Obama
Jan 28: House falls short of 2/3 passage needed for quick adoption of Senate bill.
Jan 26, 2009: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent.
Sponsor: Sen Jay Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sen Kerry, John F. [D-MA]
Sen Klobuchar, Amy [D-MN]
Sen Schumer, Charles E. [D-NY]
The amendment to the bill was co-sponsored by:
Sen Hutchison, Kay Bailey [R-TX]
Sen Pryor, Mark L. [D-AR]
Sen Harkin, Tom [D-IA]
Sen Kohl, Herb [D-WI]
Sen Casey, Robert P., Jr. [D-PA]
Sen Sanders, Bernard [I-VT]
Coalition of Organizations for Accessible Technology (COAT)
Urban Progressive Foundation: www.PushDTVDateBack.com