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STATEMENT OF CHAIRMAN WILLIAM E. KENNARD

Re: Biennial Review - Review of the Commissionís Rules and Policies Affecting the Conversion to Digital Television

The transition to digital television will bring tremendous benefits to the public, both in enhanced broadcast services and in the return of valuable spectrum for auction. Our actions today go a long way toward moving that transition forward.

Todayís decision provides broadcasters with the clarity and flexibility necessary to accelerate the build out of their DTV operations, while ensuring that all Americans will participate in the digital television future. We also reaffirm our selection of the 8-VSB ATSC transmission standard and finally put this lingering debate to rest. I appreciate the efforts of the broadcast industry to confirm that 8-VSB will serve the needs of American consumers in the digital age. I am pleased that after extensive testing of 8-VSB, including tests that compared 8-VSB with alternate transmission standards, the broadcast industry overwhelmingly supports the 8-VSB standard. Now, I encourage broadcasters and manufacturers to come together to refine and improve 8-VSB as necessary.

Finally, I believe that reception capability is a critical part of the transition puzzle. I fully support the decision to seek comment on a requirement that all DTV sets be able receive DTV programming over the air.