Oct. 19 Is Deadline for DTV Bill


The Senate Commerce Committee has just gotten word from the Budget Committee that the new deadline for a DTV transition bill is Oct. 19.

That means it will have to have a hearing and mark up the bill before that, which won't come until after its spate of Katrina hearings over the next two weeks.

A couple of those will be communications-related, including on the issue of the moment, interoperability, and one on an emergency alert system coordinated between the FCC and weather service NOAH.

The committee held a hearing on emergency alerts a while back, but Katrina has put that issue on the front burner.

The DTV transition will come up in the interoperability hearing since Congress has been eyeing broadcasters analog spectrum for emergency responders and Katrina only put increasing pressure on the government to come up with a hard date for ther eturn of analog.

And if that wasn't enough, it is also working on its draft of a telecom bill rewrite--the House Commerce Committee released its draft Thursday--which is targeted for sometime in October as well.