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DTV Blue: Cops Endorse FCC Plan

The New York Police Department's top technology officer has endorsed the Federal Communications Commission's developing plan to speed the digital-TV transition.

Thomas Gangone, deputy chief for technology and systems development, said speeding broadcasters' switch to all-digital operation and making good on plans to give some of their old analog channels to public safety departments across the country will "directly benefit the police office, fire fighter and other public safety officers who respond to the citizen facing an emergency."

Gangone's comments were included in an April 28 letter to FCC Chairman Michael Powell. Broadcasters hate the FCC's plan--which counts almost all cable and satellite TV subscribers toward the 85% digital penetration test--because it would trigger the analog giveback in most markets years before most are equipped to received high-definition programming and other digital services.

Gangone said the approach brings "reality and balance" to the twin goals of providing reasonable time for the transition and opening much needed room on the airwaves for public safety operations.