Rep. Boucher Pleased With Response From TV Stations In His District

Majority will continue to simulcast their primary analog signal through June 12

Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA), chairman of the House Communications, Technology & Internet Subcommittee, says he is "quite pleased" with the response he has gotten from TV stations serving his district about the move to digital.

In a C-SPAN interview Thursday, Boucher said that he had had a conference call with the dozen stations in his market, and that only one said it was going ahead with a Feb. 17 transition to all digital. The rest, he said, were going to continue to simulcast their primary analog signal through June 12.

"My district is very rural," he said, as well as mountanous and with many older residents and low income households. "These are the kinds of demographics about which we are concerned," he said.

"I would hope that we would see television stations serving mountainous, rural and the elderly deciding to stay on the air," he said.

Boucher said he expected some problems on Feb. 17--when the FCC says at least 368 stations can pull the plug on analog--and that the committee would be monitoring the situation closely.

Re "We may have a hearing at some point that addresses what concerns have arisen in order to highlight areas so that TV stations that might be planning an early transition sometime after Feb. 17 but before June 12 can learn from that example and perhaps alter their plans and stay on the air through the June 12 date."