Spectrum Issue Gets Prime Position


The DTV transition hit prime time Thursday night.

On an ABC special following President Bush's speech from New Orleans, Ted Koppel interviewed two former members of the 9/11 Commission, led by Tom Kean, about emergency preparedness.

Kean took the opportunity to push Congress to pass Senator John McCain's SAVE LIVES bill, which calls for the return of broadcasters' analog spectrum by 2009, or 2007 if McCain has his way, in part to turn over to first responders,

Kean did not name the bill, but said the lack of spectrum for emergency workers was one of the problems identified by the commission after 9/11 that had not yet been rectified and Congress had yet to act on a bill.

Kean and nine other former commissioners held a press conference earlier in the week pushing for return of analog spectrum, and Kean told Koppel Thursday night he thought lives had been lost because of the inabilityof emergency workers to talk to each other.

McCain also took to the Senate floor this week to push for the bill, saying he wanted to move the date up to 2007. He also quoted Kean from a CNN appearance last weekend, saying he agreed lives had been lost due to lack of spectrum.