Stevens Says DTV Bill Markup By Oct. 25


Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska.) said Thursday that a DTV transition bill will be ready for mark-up by the budget committee Oct. 25.

That is the budget committee's deadline for bills that will bring money into the treasury over the next five years.

The Commerce Committee will mark up the bill by Oct. 19 to make that Oct. 25 deadline.

The DTV bill will set a hard date for broadcasters' return of analog spectrum, which will be auctioned for advanced wireless services, which is projected to bring billions to the treasury.

Stevens said there will actually be two bills, one dealing strictly with spectrum-reclamation--per rules governing money bills--and another with other DTV-related issues.

It is unclear whether issues such as multicast-mustcarry and a DTV-to-analog converter subsidy would be in the spectrum bill or have to be put in the other, related, bill.
Stevens also assued his committee that 24 mHz of that reclaimed analoh spectrum will go to first responders.

He gave the mark-up date in a hearing Thursday on communications issues related to Hurricane Katrina.