FCC to clarify digital must-carry rules

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The Federal Communications Commission soon will release its second report
on how digital television should be carried on cable, FCC Chairman Michael
Powell told Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) in a letter sent last Friday.

'Among other matters, the Order I plan to present to the Commission will
address issues related to the carriage of both analog and digital television
broadcast signals during the transition, and the carriage rights of multiple
digital programming streams delivered over a single 6 Megahertz channel,' Powell
wrote.

Powell also says the Commission soon will address how to achieve
interoperability between all digital cable set-top boxes, digital TVs and
digital cable systems.

Powell was responding to a letter Markey sent him in July, urging
the FCC to require that all new TV sets include digital TV tuners.

Powell was quick to oblige Markey, issuing a rule on August 8 that all new TV
sets with screens larger than 36 inches must have digital TV tuners by July 1,
2004.

All new TVs with screens larger than 13 inches, VCRs,
and DVDs also will be required to have tuners by July 1, 2007.

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