The Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association has joined the Digital Transition Coalition, a group of activists and satellite companies that want direct-broadcast satellite providers to be able to deliver out-of-town network digital-TV programing to customers who can't yet get local stations' digital signals.
SBCA officials said their aim is to accelerate the transition to digital television and speed the day when analog channels are returned to the U.S. government and auctioned for advanced wireless services. The analog spectrum would also be distributed to public safety entities such as police and fire departments.
"In addition to encouraging others to speed their transition to digital, DBS should have the ability to serve digitally un-served consumers," SBCA President Richard DalBello said Thursday.
Other members of the "strange bedfellows" coalition include Americans for Tax Reform, Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, EchoStar Communications, Frontiers of Freedom, Media Access Project, Public Knowledge, and the Small Business Survival Committee.
The tax and government waste groups want spectrum reclaimed as soon as possible so that it can be auctioned as a revenue-raiser for the Treasury.