The Federal Communications Commission will grill broadcasters, cable
operators and programmers on their efforts to facilitate the digital-TV
Each industry segment will be put under the microscope to help the commission
gauge the transition's progress and determine what, if any, additional
regulatory actions are needed.
The information to be requested was disclosed in letters chairman Michael
Powell sent to the heads of Congress' Commerce Committees, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Billy
Tauzin (R-La.), and other senior lawmakers, released Thursday.
Broadcasters will be asked whether they are using digital spectrum to its
fullest with high-definition TV, multicasting or novel new uses or simply offering minimal
single streams of standard-definition programming and leaving the rest of their
capacity "to lie fallow."
Cable operators will be asked to tell which digital-broadcast channels are
being carried and why some aren't.
TV makers must detail the extent to which receiver improvements are actually being incorporated into sets.
Finally, all sectors will be asked to spell out effort to promote digital TV to