Thirteen legislators from states with significant rural areas have sent a letter to House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton and ranking member John Dingell asking that a new DTV transition bill include a gradual phase-in for TV translators.
Some rural areas need translators to carry TV signals to mountainous and remote areas where direct reception is limited. The translators are hard to access and thus costly to upgrade
Given that potential economic hardship for smaller stations and the fact that the FCC has yet to issue second digital frequencies to the translator stations, the legislators want the bill to cut those stations some slack in terms of the hard date that Barton has said he wants established, preferably by Dec. 31, 2006.
Among the letter's authors are Rick Boucher of Virginia, Tom Udall of New Mexico, J.D. Haworth of Arizona and David Wu of Oregon.