Senate Commerce Sets Bills for Markup

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The Senate will mark up four communications-related bills on Wednesday, Oct. 19.

In addition to a bill setting a hard date for the return of broadcasters' analog spectrum after the digital transition, the committee will also deal with a bill creating a new alert system, one setting the ground rules for IP voice communications and public safety, and a bill mandating government disclaimers on packaged video news releases.

The DTV transition bill, which has yet to be introduced, is expected to include a subsidy for digital-to-analog converters so that analog-only viewers can still receive a TV signal, as well as a public education campaign on the transition.

The DTV bill is the most pressing of the four, since it has to be to the budget committee by Oct. 25 and it deals with spectrum that is being returned for auction.

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