Stations on Mexican Border May Keep Broadcasting in Analog

Senate Commerce Committee to Consider DTV Border Fix Act

The Senate Commerce Committee next week will consider a bill that would allow full-power TV stations along the border with Mexico to continue broadcasting in analog after the Feb. 17, 2009, cutoff date.

A similar bill was introduced in the House.

The DTV Border Fix Act, which was co-sponsored by Republican Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and Democrat Barbara Boxer of California, would allow qualified TV stations within 50 miles of the border to broadcast in analog until 2014.

The bill has numerous caveats, including that the stations could not interfere with DTV stations, could not interfere with public-safety communications and could not prevent the auction of public spectrum.

They also have to be between channels 2-51, since channels 52-59 are in the 700-megahertz band that was already auctioned for advanced wireless services.