NAB pushes analog/digital button

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Never wearying of the seemingly quixotic quest for dual analog/digital cable carriage rights, the National Association of Broadcasters is urging the FCC to take all "actions necessary" to insure the successful implementation of DTV and the earliest evacuation of TV channels 52-59 by broadcasters.

Other necessary steps urged by the NAB in comments late Friday: mandating inter-operability standards for DTVs and cable systems and requiring DTV tuners in every new television. NAB's comments were in response to proposed FCC auction rules for the channels, which are slated to be auctioned by Sept. 2002.

NAB also suggested it may be too early to set rules for the auction because Congress may delay the deadline. Because broadcasters won't have to relinquish the frequencies any sooner than 2006, the FCC is designing rules that will allow them to voluntarily give up the signals earlier. Similar rules are already in place for channels 60-69, which are slated to be auctioned in Sept. 2001. - Bill McConnell

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