The stripped-down DTV transition bill that passed the Senate this week--pending House fixes to other parts of the onminbus budget reconciliation package--leaves plenty left to do, says the American Cable Association.
Saying a separate DTV bill is now more likely given the "host of related digital transition issues unresolved," ACA, which represents small and midsize cable operators, pointed to "key DTV-related issues, such as down-conversion of digital signals to analog, needed to prevent consumers' analog television sets from going dark upon the transition; programming-related issues of retransmission consent and tying and bundling; and other broadcast-carriage issues."
Those issues were initially in the House version of the bill but were taken out to comply with a Senate rule against language in budget reconciliations bills that is not directly related to reconciling spending with revenue.
That rule was invoked by the Democrats, which is why the bill has to go back to the House to fix that language.
Commerce Committee Chairman Senator Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) has said he would introduce a separate bill to deal with those issues.