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fcclogo NEWS

Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
Internet: http://www.fcc.gov
TTY: 202/418-2555

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

April 13, 2000


I strongly support this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that addresses issues that have to be resolved as part of the conversion to digital technology that is changing the television industry.

On Tuesday this week, I gave an address to the National Association of Broadcasters in Las Vegas. I talked about why it is so important that broadcasters keep moving aggressively into the digital era. I described how Americans have awakened to the power and functionality of digital; they want more and they are never going back to the analog-only world.

I told the broadcasters what I presume they already know: Analog is over. Delay is simply not an option. And resistance is futile.

I am confident that broadcasters will successfully make the conversion to digital and then flourish in that environment.

It is my hope that they can do so with a minimum of involvement on our part. But we may run into roadblocks during the transition to digital, and that's where FCC action might be appropriate.

The compatibility issues that are the subject of this proceeding involve primarily the cable industry and the consumer electronics industry. From time to time I have warned them that the FCC would have to act if they failed to resolve their differences.

My prior warnings have met with some success. Shortly after my last warning, the parties resolved all of the thorny technical issues and the so-called PSIP issue. So I am both pleased with the progress the parties have made, and frustrated that several years after these issues first arose they have not been put to bed.

I trust that the initiation of this rulemaking will lead to the resolution we've been searching for, and bring us one step closer to completing the digital transition.

- FCC-