Martin Heads House DTV-Hearing Witness List

NTIA’s Kneuer, GAO’s Goldstein Also to Appear Before House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee 10/15/2007 07:58:00 AM Eastern

The House Telecommunications & Internet Subcommittee set the witness list for its Oct. 17 9:30 a.m. digital-TV hearing on the government/industry perspective on the DTV transition, and Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin is leading off.

Capitol Hill

Committee chairman Ed Markey (D-Mass.) promised to keep a close eye on the transition as the Democratic leadership exercises its FCC oversight authority.

Also on the first of two panels will be John Kneuer, who heads the National Telecommunications & Information Administration. The NTIA is overseeing the subsidy program for DTV-to-analog converter boxes that will allow analog-only TVs to receive over-the-air signals after the February 2009 transition to digital TV.

Rounding out the first panel is Mark Goldstein, from the Government Accountability Office, who plans to hammer the FCC and the NTIA over what the GAO sees as a lack of coordination of the transition and its education campaign. He will present findings from a soon-to-be-released GAO report on the transition requested by Markey. He has already testified at a hearing in the Senate Special Committee on Aging where he expressed concerns that no one seemed in charge of the transition.

Kneuer will have to have his track shoes on. He is scheduled to testify at a hearing on the DTV transition in the Senate Commerce Committee a half-hour later at 10 a.m. FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein will provide the FCC perspective on in that hearing, although one that will be different from Martin's since Adelstein has been critical of the FCC and what he said is a lack of coordination of the DTV-education message.

For his part, Kneuer has said that different industries will have different approaches, so a single “command and control” entity may not be the best approach. Adelstein and others have pushed for an overarching task force.

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