Forget about that once-touted House digital-TV bill. The Federal Communications
Commission plans to approve use of the "broadcast flag" to restrict illegal
transmission of TV shows over the Internet at its Oct. 16 meeting.
With that task out of the way and the commission already having approved
standards for cable-ready digital-TV sets and working fast to settle broadcasters'
digital-cable-carriage rights, there’s little pressure on House Commerce
Committee leaders to revive their former bill.
Introduction had been delayed in part because of the departure of committee
chairman Billy Tauzin’s (R-La.) top telecommunications aide.
Now, the only major issue left to tackle is whether the 85% digital-TV-penetration
trigger for reclaiming analog spectrum should be replaced with a "hard"
That controversial idea helped to doom plans to launch a digital-TV bill last year, and
lawmakers still don’t agree on the change.