Lawmakers lambaste noncom commercials


Key House lawmakers oppose the FCC's recent decision to allow public broadcasters to offer commercials on some of their digital tiers, the lawmakers
told FCC Chairman Michael Powell in a letter Thursday.

'We believe this change is ill-advised and we encourage the Commission to
reconsider its action,' wrote Reps. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.)
and Richard Burr (R-N.C.).

'We do not believe that funding goals for the public broadcasting system
should guide Commission action. Federal decisions regarding the level of funding
for the public broadcasting system reside with the Congress.'

The FCC in early October voted 3-1 to allow public TV stations to sell ads on
some of their digital channels to help cover the costs of converting to DTV.

The House Telecommunications and Internet Subcommittee had planned a hearing
on the subject Oct. 31, but postponed it due to anthrax