As predicted, the Senate Commerce Committee has rescheduled its mark-up of a four-pack of media-related issues from June 19 to Thursday, Oct. 20. The new time is 2 p.m.
.There were said to be some member conflicts with the Wednesday date. It is certainly a busy media-related day in Washington, including a minority conference starring Jesse Jackson, a cable competition hearing in the Judiciary Committee and a speech by FNC architect Roger Ailes at the Media Institute dinner that night.
The markup will deal with four bills: a DTV hard-date bill (April 7, 2009); a new emergency alert system (in the wake of Katrina); new rules for VoIP 911 service, including number portability; and a bill mandating on-screen identifications for government video news releases.
A draft of the DTV hard date bill was circulated last Friday. It would reclaim the broadcast analog spectrum by April 7, 2009 and auction that spectrum, turning over $4.8 billion to the treasury, with the balance, perhaps another $5 billion or more, to help fund a digital-to-analog converter box and DTV transition consumer education campaign, among other projects, with the balance of the funds.
Some estimates have put the total spectrum auction take at $10 billion, some even more.